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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 63247  
Subject: Credit card problems Date: 4/6/2013 11:16 PM
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No. I don't have any problem paying them off each month. But three or four years ago I started having occasional glitches when I traveled. I have 5 different credit cards for various reasons and traveling is one of them. It turns out that each credit card makes up their own rules about foreign transaction fees, what countries they will honor charges from and what countries they won't. In the past couple of years I have contacted my credit card services to let them know when and where I will be traveling only to have one or more of them tell me that they won't honor charges in that country. Last year, when SGSpouse and I traveled to Taiwan, it turns out that only two of our cards could be used there and one of them carried a 3% foreign transaction fee on every charge. Various cards have chosen not to allow charges in Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and even Barcelona. And it's not always the same card.

Anyway . . . after our Taiwan experience, I decided to shop around for a credit card that might have better international service and low foreign transaction fees. I settled on an HSBC Mastercard. It has a cashback reward system, no foreign transaction fee and seemed to be accepted all over the Asia Pacific. Since I am planning on trips to Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong this year, that seemed like a very good choice.

I've been using the card for several months. I have always paid off the amount owed each month. I carry no balance. I have never even approached the credit limit of $15,000 on the card.

So today I contacted HSBC to let them know of my travel plans and was notified that my account was terminated. In fact the wording they used was, "We have decided to terminate our relationship with you entirely." Well . . . I figure there must be a mix-up that I will have to address so I ask what the issue is.

1st person I talk with: We have no indication of why this occurred. You will have to call this other number and ask.

2nd person I talk with: We have no indication of why this occurred. You will have to call this other number and ask.

But wait. That's the same number I just called. Then they go away for a few minutes and come back.

Our records indicate that we sent you mail requesting additional information that you did not respond to, so we took action to close your account.

But wait. I didn't receive such a letter. What information did the letter ask for?

We have no indication of what information was corrected by nothing can be done. We have terminated our relationship with you.

Please let me talk with your supervisor

supervisor: We will not tell you what information we requested. We have terminated our relationship with you entirely. I will not allow you to speak with anyone else. No one here will give you any more information about this.

So . . . I have no idea what this is about. I'm kinda guessing that HSBC got caught by regulators doing something they were not supposed to be doing and somehow that led to them "terminating their relationship entirely" with a number of credit card holders. I did get two of the people I spoke with to tell me that whatever was going on, I was not the only customer affected.

Still . . . I sure would like to know the real story.

And, if any of you have recommendations for a good international credit card, let me know. It's too late for this trip. I leave on Tuesday next week. But I still have trips to Germany, Hong Kong and Korea coming up later this year.
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