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Author: FoolishVenturist Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308557  
Subject: Re: Credit card offers to college students Date: 5/17/1998 1:09 PM
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"I find this practice A LOT deceptive. It's tantamount to the tiny print that car ads use. You know, the stuff that no one can read and doesn't come to light until you're actually in the process of buying.

I agree with you. The details on credit cards should be upfront and clear. In fact, any company that doesn't follow the rules should be held seriously accountable."


The only explanation I can think of for burying the information about how long the introductory offer is good for is that they are hoping that the consumer misses it and is midled into thinking that the rate is good for a long time or permanent. There are those on here who I am sure would argue that no one forces people to accept the cards or that the consumer should contact the company to ask when the rate expires, but I think that the reality of it is that many people will just see the attractive rate and sign up without searching or inquiring further. That is apparently what the credit card companies who do this want to have happen. I have contacted MBNA myself on at least on eoccasion to ask them when the offer expires, and when I was told it was listed on the agreement, I said "where". The print they use is very fine. You almost need a magnifying glass to see it.

I also point out as I have in the past that many of the companies that do this are really doing well, and their respective stocks are growing in value. Both Providian and MBNA are prime examples of this. I certainly don't begrudge either of these companies the right to make money, I just have a problem with them burying something as important as the time period during which the special rate is applicable. In the case of the MBNA offer, which was only good until October, 1998, they really were only extending the special rate for 4 or 5 billing cycles, after which the normal double digit interest rate applies. This should be spelled out right up front. I would imagine that many people would take the cards anyway, figuring that at least they would save money on the interest rate for a short period of time over what they are now paying.
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