Credit card rates, check your statements!

I’ve been seeing all these news stories about how credit card companies are seemingly at random raising good customer’s interest rates to 30%. Of course these customers claim to have never made a late payment and always pay more than the minimum. The banks are also reportedly going to begin charging annual fees and inactivity fees.

My card rate has crept up to 16%, but has anyone seen a truly outrageous rate like 30%?

Personally if they start charging annual fees or raising the interest rates that much, I think it will be a great opportunity to kick the credit card habit.


I pay mine off, and there are a few I seldom use. Those are the ones with interest rate hikes. Since I never pay a fee for my cards, since I pay them off in full every month, the only money the cc makes off me is merchant fees. And if I’m only pulling out a particular card once every few months - or never - (the one by my computer to make internet purchases, which I seldom make, the emergency card in my glovebox for “damn, my purse is at home and I need gas”), it makes sense they’ll screw me on interest if I slip up and don’t pay them in full one month.

I probably need to go through and close some long inactive cards.

I looked at my statement. The credit card I use has a 29.8% interest rate.

Doesn’t matter because I never carry a balance. I use the card because I effectively get about 1.4% cash back from it. If they started an annual/monthly fee, I would cancel.

30% isn’t hugely outrageous*. The average among commonly held cards like Barclaycard, MBNA etc seems to be about 24% these days. As bank rates go down, credit card rates go up. One of life’s little mysteries :slight_smile:
Edit: * well sure it’s OUTRAGEOUS. I mean it’s not uncommon.

Really? As recently as a year ago I’m pretty sure my Citi card was 9.9%

Very timely question! My Chase credit limit was reduced from $7,000 to $5,500 a couple of months ago, which was fine. I don’t need that much credit. Unfortunately, I just got something in the mail last week that raises my interest rate from 12. something to 22.5 or something like that. I do carry a balance, but have never been delinquent.

Bye bye, Chase. Capital One also raised my rate from 9.9% to almost double that. I paid it off but will hang onto the card unless they start charging an annual fee. If they do, then goodbye Capital One!

I agree that this will change the way that most people use credit cards. At least, I hope so.

The card companies are about to fall under some restrictions on their vile practices, so they are making up some new tricks. Some cards already have a fee for users who go for a long time without charging anything.

In a spasm of guilty caution, some cards are lopping off users’ credit limits. Like me, you might think that can’t hurt anything, I was never going to use a cc for $25K anyway. However, changes in your available credit are one of the factors that make up your credit score.

Like Blinking Duck, I always pay off my balance, so I’ve been getting a free ride for years. Some banks, though, are planning to charge a big annual fee for folks who never carry a balance. As Control z says, keep an eye out for any changes in the terms. You have a billing cycle to refuse the new terms and back out.

I don’t know what i’m doing right, but my APR is 6.99% and it’s been like that for a good while now. I’ll be pretty pissed if they up it for no reason.

I have a CC I haven’t used in years, just for emergencies. I know I’m not getting charged any fees (no bills) but I should take a look at the limit and rate, just because now I’m curious.

What I object to is you can’t tell what your limit is going to be, or when they’ll cut you off. I had a Citibank that got cut from $5,000 limit to $500.00. Then I went to use it and it was declined. I called them up and they said they cancelled the account. I finally got a letter. I only used the card as a reoccuring payment on my gym membership and to recharge my transit card, and so I wasn’t terribly upset when they shifted my limit down so much, but really to get no letter saying such is awful.

Other tricks Chase is pulling are things like this, I have $5,000 on Chase, they send me an offer to transfer balances at 1.9% rate. Sounds good right? No, the small print says this is drawn against my “CASH ACCESS LINE” which is $250.00. So if you’re not reading careful I could see someone writing a transfer check thinking it was against the credit line, not the cash access line which is much less.

Banks still haven’t got their stuff together, and it’s ridiculous that the bill designed to help comsumers only wound up hurting them. I would love some sort of real action against banks and their fees.

Another sneaky trick is some banks will make the due date on Sunday and let you schedule an online payment for Sunday. Other banks will schedule a Sunday due date and not let you pay on Sunday. HSBC bank doesn’t count Friday as a business day when you go to pay, unless of course you pay their “immediate payment fee” of $15.00 which lets you pay anyday you want. Obviously if they can do this for $15.00 they could set it up for free just as easy.

OK enough rant, Just watch out guys. They’re out to get you

I had a Chase card that would take 3 or 4 days to process payments. My due date could be the 30th, I could log on the 28th and authorize them to transfer my payment directly from my bank account, but they wouldn’t guarantee it would be posted before the due date. To add insult to injury, they had a SERVICE they would charge you a few bucks for to process the payment in only 2 days. I canceled that card.

And speaking of due dates, does Citi somehow know I get most of my money at the beginning of the month? Because their payment due date has crept from the 10th or so back to the 29th or 30th. I can see them studying how much I pay if the payment is due the 10th of Nov versus the 29th of October. Bastards. Quit nickel and diming me, and just make an honest living.

You might want to use it every now and then for a 10 dollar purchase (Then pay off immediately) just to keep it active.

I happen to have looked at mine lately and the one that gets the most use is at about 13.5%. I had to look, though, in case I’d missed any announcements (it’s one we don’t carry a balance on so it’s not a huge issue). I’ve quit using one that was going to go from 9.9 to some floating thing that would have been mid-to-high teens. We’re in the process of moving the balance from that to another with a lower rate.

I have a friend whose card rate was jacked up to 29% due to a single late payment and the bank wouldn’t budge. She did the math and found that even with tax + penalty, she’d be better off taking a distribution from her IRA to kill the card balance.

Interesting. We’ve got a Chase card and when I schedule the payment in advance, for a particular day, it’s always credited as of that day. It hits my bank after working hours on that date also.

The shifting due dates are a pain. I had called them once to have the payment date moved to the 17th of the month (was the 14th or some such) because it better meshed with my payroll schedule. It actually varied from the 17th to the 19th from month to month. Then they sent me a chirpy letter saying “cuz we lurves yoo so much, we’re moving it to the 22nd!”. Last month it was the 26th. Next month it’s the 23rd. You really have to watch that damn date.

Of course they do!

Experiments are performed all the time to see if it results in getting more interest paid. They know many people are paid 15th/31st and if having the due date on the 29th means people carry a balance a little longer then it is money for them. They tried you on the 10th (much like the 29th is to the 31st) and it didn’t work well…so they worked their way to the 28th.

No, I don’t consider this unethical. It is actually smart of them to do this.

I just canceled my VISA card with Citibank because they were going to jack up my APR to 29.99%. And no, I’ve never been late on that card, and always paid the balance off in full every month. I didn’t use the card much, though, which is why I suspected they jacked the rate up - they wanted me to get lost, because they weren’t making enough money off of me to satisfy them.

I consider any bank-initiated move to push the due date earlier in the month to be unethical. If the card starts out as due on the 29th, that’s a different animal entirely. But if it’s on the 2nd, and they move up 3-4 days, I suspect that’s in violation of the new rules and possibly the older ones.

In any case, I’ve never had any problems when I’ve called and asked the due date to be pushed later by a few days. It wouldn’t affect the current month’s bill, but it would take effect the following month.

Yep. That’s my story as well. Citibank really didn’t like it when I paid the sucker off a few months ago. Bye-bye, ShittyBank!

Citibank finally got to me, 24.99%. I have a balance of about $1700 (yeah I know), and have never been late on a payment. You think they’d want me as a customer. I think I’ll tell them to shove it and do a balance transfer to my Discover card.