Nearly a year ago I got a Juniper Mastercard from BarclaysBank, with a $5,000 credit limit. I never used it very much- the most I ever owed them was $760.00. Early this week I got a letter that the credit limit had been reguced to $500.00, because of the ratio of credit balances owed to income and delinquencies.
Uh-oh, said I, time to get a copy of my credit report and see what is what. According to the report I was over 30 days late during the past year and a half on exactly one monthly payment out of all the revolving accounts, mortgage & car loans and so on. Yep, I remember being late on that one. No doubt about it.
BarclaysBank is within its rights to lower the credit limit. Here’s what makes them scumsucking pigs: a week or two prior to the lowering of my credit limit they sent blank checks (to be drawn on the credit account) to encourage me to spend more. It seems likely that if I had succumbed to temptation I would now , at the very least, owe them over-the-limit fees and Og only knows what else. If I had written a large check to a retaier and it got dishonored, some really nasty shit would’ve ensued.
I’ve known for a long time that credit card companies are evil. They are bloodsucking parasitical bastards who prey upon those who can least afford their depredations. They are boils on our collective ass. This case exemplifies a new low, however.
It’s fortunate I didn’t use any of those checks. I instantly (online) paid the $286 I still owed them and used their ‘customer service’ webpage to request the account be closed and to “please pass along to management a hearty up yours”.
I haven’t used my credit card in going on two years, and I canceled my Sears card last year. The credit card companies make money off you when you don’t pay in full, and I’d rather pay into my IRA or into my savings account rather than to a credit card company.
Scum. Especially if that one late payment wasn’t even with them (a lot of banks do that now, bastids). And stupid - you might well have been a very good, long-term customer if they hadn’t pulled this crap.
I got a late notice from my Visa card last summer. Checked online and yep, the automatic payment that should have been made the middle of the previous month never got made. Called the bank and complained - because as it turns out, it was THEIR DAMN FAULT. They’d sent me a new card with a new account number (for reasons that escaped me then and now), rolled the balance onto that new card/account… but didn’t bother setting it up to auto-pay the minimum due as it was doing before. This caused my interest rate to jack up (since I was now a Delinquent), and possibly would have affected my credit rating and credit limit. Fortunately, when I called, they actually admitted their problem (though the first person I spoke with was snarky and only removed half of the late payment fee)… and backed out the fee and reset the interest rate.
Otherwise, I’d have closed the account on the spot. Which wouldn’t have been any real skin off their teeth I guess as it wasn’t an especially active one, but still…
For future reference, it might have been worth leaving that account open (but unused) until you’d opened, and used another one for a while, given that account age factors into your credit score.
Just wanted to say, while browsing the Pit I read this title as “Up yours, Juniper Card McBastard.” I haven’t the foggiest idea why it rearranged itself that way in my eyes, but it’s one of the oddest misreadings I’ve ever had.
I’ve had a Discover card for about 5 years now. I got one of those handy cards for my keychain and it’s been nice as the occassional back-up when I’m out and about and forgot my wallet. I use it once or twice a year and don’t carry a balance. Unfortunately, I got a letter from them last week that they’ve cancelled the card due to non-usage.
I’ve got other cards I primarily use (Working Assets is my main one as it gives money to lefty charities each time I use it), but I don’t have a keychain cards for 'em, so I’m a little sad about it.
Man, those cash advance checks are evil. I’ve never used them (thank og), but I’ve know people who got into serious debt because they didn’t know the interest rate on those was so much higher than their normal card usage. I used to have a Capitol One card, and Every. Single. Time. I had to call them for something, they would start into the “I notice you’re not cashing any of your cash advance checks. Why is that?” bullshit. I had more than one person there try to convince me they were trying to give me free money. “Don’t you want free money?” It’s not free jackass!
The main benefit in the UK to using credit cards is that for any purchases between £100-£30,000 the credit card company are jointly liable for the goods or services you buy.
Say I buy a £1000 TV from a website which subsequently goes bust after taking the money but before they ship the item. I have no chance of getting my cash back from the company, but I can apply to my credit card company and they are legally obliged to give me the money (it’s up to them to chase the debt with the bust company).
Really useful way of protecting yourself.
Visa offers the same protection here. Actually, in one totally astonishing example of awesome customer service, my fiancee ordered a Roomba, which FedEx left outside our apartment door and was promptly stolen.
She reported the theft to Visa and iRobot; Visa swallowed the credit charge, and iRobot refunded her payment, including shipping! She told Visa she’d gotten a refund, and they sent us a gift card for half the amount, apparently as a “thank you”.
We wound up buying another Roomba with it (as well as reordering the original one).
I’ve cancelled a bunch of cards in the last week, pretty much all of them never- or once-used.
[ul][li]My Canadian Tire MasterCard, because purchases get me credit in the stores. I pay it off every month so there’s no interest;[/li][li]My Toronto-Dominion Visa because I bank at TD and can view the statements at the website, which’ll come in handy if I start using the card more than once a year or so; and[/li]My almost-never-used BMO Mosaik MasterCard because it has a Star Trek theme. It expires this year and if they send me a non-Trek replacement, that account will get cancelled, too.[/ul]