Hi everyone,Paid bills this week so I'll (hopefully) have a report for the board on where we stand before the end of the weekend. The good news? We got smart about snowballing and concentrated on the HELOC, paying another $2,000 extra to the balance. The bad? This: http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/general/2007/01/19/the-easiest-way-to-lose-money.aspxAnyway, I'm writing this post because I have another personal finance story due Monday. This time, I'm going to write about what I consider to be the worst credit card ever. But I'd like to involve all you wonderful Fools, too, if you don't mind.My questions are simple: What's the worst credit card ever and why? Be as specific as you can in terms of the gotchas that infuriate you. If, that is, you'd like to be quoted in the story.Thanks much, enjoy the weekend, and Foolish best,TimTMFMileHigh
My worst credit card: The now defunct AT&T Universal Card. It was both a calling card and a credit card! It was great until they were bought out by Citibank. All of a sudden after the buyout my 5.9% fixed for life interest rate ballooned to 31%. I called them up demanding an explanation for this insanity, as I had always paid my card on time, and been a faithful customer for 5+ years, etc. (In my pre-Foolish days, I didn't realize that this was the advent of the "universal default clause"). The customer service rep explained that I had received notice of this 5 months ago with my statement in a terms and conditions addendum and that I did not reject the change. (Like anyone reads that stuff?)Still not understanding this, I demanded what information specifically led to this interest rate change. Well, it seems that now their computers had access to the information on my Citibank card, and because I had a balance on that card utilizing more than 50% of my credit limit (a 0% offer I had used), I was "overutilizing" my credit. Hence, the obscene penalty rate. I hemmed and hawed and protested some more, demanding a supervisor, etc, and they refused to lower the rate. I told them I was taking my business elsewhere. It still didn't phase them. So I closed the account right then and there. I immediately balance transfered the Citibank card and closed that one also. I haven't done business with either of those entities since then (although DH has 2 citibank cards that I am chomping at the bit to get rid of).--eko
My animadversion for MBNA is well known. The fact that the legal entity known as Maryland Bank is now part of BofA doesn't change my animus for the firm in any respect; it just changes the focus. :)We were going through a rough patch. Back to the wall, we'd been on the trip through the CCCS "tunnel of love" once, and now we didn't qualify (for one reason or another, I forget the exact reason. I remember the date that CCCS told us we didn't qualify, however: it was September 11, 2001. On my way to work after meeting with them I listened to the radio as the Towers fell. But I digress.I said to myself, "Self," I said, "We can do this on our own." So I take up the cudgel and call the companies. MBNA was number 1 at a (then) usurious 24% penalty rate. They were extremely cheerful. Sure, we could get on their hardship plan. All we needed to do was maintain 12 months of on-time payments and we'd be off of it again. OK, I think. This is easy.In a week we had a letter confirming the hardship rate (18%) and the suspension of the credit privileges, which is a little detail that the cheerful "service" rep did not mention. But oh well, we weren't using the card anyway, but it really stuck in my craw that we were cut off without even notifying us that we were about to be chopped.So we made this adjustment - and others. Citibank, for example, who someone else denigrated, dropped our rate to 5% and kept us there for over 24 months. They are now our best card company, so everyone's experience is different. But this is about the hosing I got from MBNA.We grimly paid on time, faithfully, for the year (and of course for longer, as we're still dribbling it down.) However, after a year elapsed and we were off the hardship rate, and after making a year of on-time payments, MBNA rewarded us. How? By raising the rate from the hardship rate BACK up to 24%. And did they restore all our credit privileges? Hell no. "We will have to re-evaluate our credit extension to you," or something like that. So in the available credit box on the statement, there's a big blank spot where "available credit" should be.I called and pitched a fit about the rate. Got a VP on the line eventually and they promised to reduce me back to 18% and leave it there as long as we stay current. And I look every month at that statement to make sure they keep their word...Jerks.
I really think you should pay us to do your work for you, but I can't resist the opportunity to tell everyone (again) about U.S. Bank.I applied for and received a U.S. Bank Visa card. There was an offer for a 0% balance transfer, and I requested one. The transfer was made, and when the first statement came, U.S. Bank had charged interest at the purchase rate.I requested that this be corrected, which U.S. Bank did by issuing a credit for the interest and transferring the entire balance to another charge on the same card. That's right: they did a circular balance transfer.The next month, exactly the same thing happened. I protested again and they again credited the interest and did a circular balance transfer.After that, they no longer charged interest on the balance transfer, but they continued to charge interest on the interest charges that they had billed (at the purchase rate) and then credited. The credits of the previous erroneous charges were treated as payments rather than as reversals.After a while I got tired of dealing with people at U.S. Bank, who were all polite and cheerful, but completely useless, and started filing complaints with the Comptroller of the Currency. It was only the second time I had ever had to file a regulatory complaint against a bank, but I had to file complaints four straight months in a row before everything was credited correctly, and by that time I had paid off the original balance.
I can't resist the opportunity to tell everyone (again) about U.S. Bank. Too bad this thread is limited to credit card stories from you know where--I have some really choice stories about US Bank's banking service, or lack thereof. Needless to say, I feel your pain.--eko
From that link it sounds like you'd be best served getting a $5 tire pressure gauge and some cheap Costco tires than spending over $1,000 on tires that you'll just abuse again.
The worst credit card offer ever has been discussed on this board before. If you are better than I am at using search engines, you can likely find the thread. There may have been more than one. It's been awhile. Someone described an offer, and it may have been Providian or Fleets. Credit card with $200 limit. $100 fee for opening the card, various and sundry other fees such that the proud new owner would be over-limit just on the fees alone. 30+% interest rate, $35 over-the-limit fee. Sheesh! The discussion at that time was, does anybody actually accept those terms!?? Best wishes, Chris
Crap-et-al One gave me a hot karl in 2004. I vote for them. PW
Hi Lurker,From that link it sounds like you'd be best served getting a $5 tire pressure gauge and some cheap Costco tires than spending over $1,000 on tires that you'll just abuse again.Couldn't agree with you more. Problem is, the Siena model that has the run flats has extra storage space in the back. You know where that comes from, right? No spare tire.Stupid. Never again will I choose to purchase a vehicle without a spare tire. Fortunately, it should be many years before that choice comes before me again.Foolish best,TimTMFMileHigh
Couldn't agree with you more. Problem is, the Siena model that has the run flats has extra storage space in the back. You know where that comes from, right? No spare tire.You could just buy a cheap used wheel from Ebay (may not be as cheap since your car is newer) or a new steel wheel from Tirerack. Then you can buy 5 cheap Costco tires, likely still for less than the new run-flats will cost you.This will also allow you to do a 5 tire rotation sequence, not to mention have a real spare tire in the event you have a breakdown. Nothing quite as fun as having to change two tires on the side of the road because you have a donut and one of your drive wheels goes out..
Anyway, I'm writing this post because I have another personal finance story due Monday. Do they assign these to you on Fridays, or do you just wait until Friday to begin due dili?
Hi MrsPoppy,Do they assign these to you on Fridays, or do you just wait until Friday to begin due dili?Thanks for asking. These stories are cleared well in advance. And, as with most of the others, 90% of my research is done independently. But I find it helps readers to hear from others like them. It's also what makes the Fool unique, I think. That's why I post asking for comments.FWIW and Foolish best,TimTMFMileHigh
<< What's the worst credit card ever and why? >>Some may be surprised to read this, but my worst card ever was the Motley Fool MBNA card. I BT'd a higher rate card onto it and began faithfully paying it down as well as all the other debt. I was snowballing other accounts that eventually dropped off.The problem started when they began to raise my credit limit without my request. I wasn't charging anything on it, as I didn't want to sabotage the great BT rate. Well, a year went by and the credit limit was quite high by then. I thought this would be great, as it made my use/available ratio look quite good. Then, I got a notice from them that my total available credit was too high, and they cancelled the BT rate and increased it to a penalty rate. I called and argued that they'd been underhanded in causing the problem to begin with, but it made no difference.I BT'd off the card and cancelled it.This was the second time MBNA messed with me, and I'm not into baseball. (I don't wait around for a third strike!)I'll never go with MBNA no matter who's picture is on the front.Lesson: Refuse unrequested limit hikes immediately.PennyScr3w me once, shame on you. Scr3w me twice, shame on me.
Capital One for me!!I filled out 2 BT forms for 2 different credit cards for my Capital One balance. The first one went through so I called and cancelled my Capital One card. A week later they allowed the second BT to go through ON MY CLOSED ACCOUNT!!!! Which then put a $3000 credit on my Capital One card AND a $3000 balance on the card I BT'd to. I called customer service OVER and Over. First off no one spoke clear English so I had a rough time to begin with. Second all they kept saying was there is nothing we can do and there is no one here I can transfer you to. I told them I had a right to speak to a supervisor, told them I was going to call a lawyer, told them I was going to report them and sue them. It took my 22 straight days of calling, writing letters and threatening them to get an English speaking supervisor on the phone and another 30 days to get the problem fixed. They finally sent me a check for the $3000 owed and I had to mail it to the CC they let the BT go through on. In the meantime I had to make a payment on the other card. Their customer service center is obviously overseas somewhere and they are clueless and are taught to keep saying that there is no available to transfer you to.
I like Toyotas. That said, they made a mistake with the run flats on the Sienna and it's costing them sales. We looked hard at the Sienna a little over a year ago when, with two 2-doors, we realized that we didn't want to load our soon to arrive kid into the back seat of a little car. My wife wanted 4WD.Then I checked online and saw the horror stories about the 4WD Sienna. Time after time the owners complained about the run flats. Same problems you had - expensive and they wear out too soon. At $1000 for 15000 miles these alone about half to the cost/mile to drive a Sienna as it costs in gas. Pretty bad, and why we bought a Murano, which was the #2 choice. Also, no spare tire.I've read of some Sienna owners buying new steel wheels that take normal tires and getting rid of the run flat wheels, which won't take a conventional tire. You should get conventional tires for about half the cost of the run flats, and they should run for at least 50,000 miles - in other words, about 1/6th or less the cost of the run flats.The only vehicle I've ever been in that really needed run flats is a HMMWV in Iraq and Afghanistan. Toyota really screwed this up.
Then, I got a notice from them that my total available credit was too high, and they cancelled the BT rate and increased it to a penalty rate.This boggles my mind. Not the fact that they penalized you for the problem that they had caused. Is this standard practice to have a penalty rate for too much available credit?
The worst credit cards ever are the ones that a dentist's accountant (or other medical services provider) will set up for you to pay the part of the bill that your insurance will not cover. The rates do not reflect your own credit-worthiness, and the card is nearly impossible to cancel without incurring some rediculous fees ("Late fee? I never got a statement!"). Also, it gives the dentist a convenient way to charge well above the "usual and customary" fees, without you being immediately aware of it or in a position to negotiate -- the dentist has been paid, and the charge is already on your card! My advice: don't do it. Just like getting a loan for any other purchase, shop around, or use the credit option(s) you already have.
My AMEX card had plenty of room on it. I tried to do a BT from a higher rate card. AMEX denied the BT because my overall credit usage amongs all of my credit accounts was too high in hteir opinion. They would allow me to go to anystore in town and buy something for that amount, plus a lot more, but not to transfer that amount from another institution.
Once upon a time, I was a silly college student. I thought that the $55 annual fee for the 'privilege' of securing an American Express card with no spending limit was a good hedge against any emergency requiring more than my $1,000-limit Visa could accommodate.Luckily, I never had an emergency that tested this strategy, as it turned out to be terribly flawed. I needed to urgently replace a dead computer. I had found a good price through a mail order vendor, and although I had the cash, I needed to make the purchase with a card. As the price exceeded my Visa limit, I used the Amex and paid for two-day shipping.Two days later – no computer. I called the vendor, who indicated to me that my Amex had been declined. After chastising him for not calling me immediately, I contacted Amex to see what had gone wrong.According to the Amex associate, since my largest single charge on the card had been only $80, the $1,400 computer was 'outside my normal spending pattern.' Thus, the charge request had been denied. I immediately assumed that they had thought the charge was evidence of a stolen card and asked why they hadn't contacted me to validate theft, before rejecting the charge. The associate indicated that theft was not suspected – it was just an amount 'outside my normal spending pattern.'Shocked, I suggested that this stank of a 'limit' on my card and asked her what would have happened had this been a real emergency? She simply said that the charge would have been declined.I inquired if the purchase of a new car with my card the day after it had arrived in the mail, and before I had established a 'normal spending pattern,' would have been approved. She said yes, and enthusiastically informed me that the price of the car would have greatly helped me establish a larger 'normal spending pattern.'Disgusted, I cancelled the card on the spot.
Crap-et-al One gave me a hot karl in 2004. I vote for them. PW This is the funniest post I've read in months, maybe years. Wish I could rec it more than once!Kudos!
Due to some tough financial straights and an offer of a 0% rate on transfers I had a Discover card several years back. It had a substantial balance on it which I rolled into a home equity loan about 6 months after getting the card, and that's when things got interesting.I was paying off a car, a credit card, and some back taxes with the loan (I did say it was a tough time) and the Commerce Bank was going to handle the credit card payoff directly. Straight-forward enough, and since I knew the payoff date I was confident that I wouldn't have to worry about that card again.Then I got a bill the following month, along with late charges and a twenty-something percent rate applied to my balance. I called to see what was up and was told that no payment was received. I then called Commerce Bank and was told that the payment went out and that they had on record that it was received by Discover! I went to my local branch where I took out the loan and the CSRs were extremely helpful. It turns out that my Discover card account number was incorrectly recorded somewhere along the line.So Discover received payment without an account to apply it to, but that didn't stop them from accepting it. After a week of daily calls from both me and Commerce Bank to Discover, the folks at Commerce got the money transferred back and cut me a check for the payoff amount so I could send it myself.After that it took another 5 months to get Discover to finally cancel the card.Lesson learned, and fortunately it ended up costing me nothing but time in the end.
This was a CitiBank Visa card story from oh, twenty years ago. I bought a bed at a local store, paid with my Citibank Visa and waited delivery. Within a few weeks I got my Visa bill but not my bed. The store offered a chargeback but never processed it so I contacted CitiBank. Got my credit within the prescribed time period and everything seemed okay. Unfortunately the store went out of business before Citibank could process the their part of the refund. I don't know what happened but they recharged me. I then went through two years of harassment and hassle, the $300 grew to $2000 with interest (even though I paid everything but this charge and its related interest as it was officially under dispute.Finally, eight years later this got written off. By then I had a five inch file of paperwork and over two hours of taped threats, cajoles, offers and more threats on several cassettes. I was begging them to take me to court so I could countersue. Never happened. My lesson. Even when you are right these people will harass you to the end of time just because they can.
DO NOT own a credit card. I have ten of the same kind of stories. I began paying them all off and using a debit. It is painful at first, but WONDERFUL later. I will NEVER be beholding to those blood-suckers again. Mike ChilandoMikeDotCom Nashville TN
In August of 2004 I moved my then 73 year old Aunt in with me. She had cared for my Grandfather, her father, until his death at the age of 103 and was now living alone in The Bronx Borough of New York; two hours away from me. She was a very OLD 73 year old with the early signs of Altzheimer's and had no family near her. She had been living off of Social Security and a Retirement Annuity for a monthly income of just under $1200.00. I moved her out of her tiny one bedroom apartment in Co-Op City and into our suburban home.In September of 2004 her bills began being forwarded to my house. Capital One Visa is a great place to start. She had two Visa Accounts. I obtained a copy of her credit report. 26 open, yes OPEN credit accounts. My Aunt does not and did not understand "credit" accounts. After her husband died in 1986 she had to take care of her own finances; badly. She told me that she was sent cards in the mail and pre-approved letters and even catalogues that let her order things and pay later. She paid as much as she could when she could. I did not understand the extent of her difficulties until I received her credit report. I contacted Capital One and requested copies of the last years worth of statements so I could ascertain just where the charges came from. They refused. I explained my Aunt's situation and had her get on the phone to give permission to speak with me. I was advised that Capital One would send out the last three statements. A week later I received them. The only fees or charges were overlimit fees and late payment fees. I called again and requested statements for as far back as possible. I advised that I was NOT going to pay off the $28,000.00 in debt until I knew exactly where the charges came from. My Aunt had NOTHING to show for such indebtedness. I had to go back and forth with Capital One for months before taking the option of paying them off for pennies on the dollar. I never received the back statements BUT within three months of my Aunt living here and before anything had been paid back, she received an Invitation for a new card from..... you guessed it.... CAPITAL ONE! After both accounts had been paid in full I waited to get statements showing a -0- balance. This took an additional two months since she was still being charged overlimit fees and late fees. I paid the balances over the phone and Capital One continued to tag on BS charges and fees. When the statement with the -0- balance arrived I called Capital One to close both accounts. I was asked a reason and I told them they were rip off artists who took advantage of an old woman who didn't understand credit. I was told they would reduce the interest rate if my Aunt continued to be a customer; I said no. I was told that my Aunt would remain on their contact list "just in case" she changed her mind. I told them no and to remove her. I was told they could not do this for at least 12 months. When I advised them that my Aunt had Altzheimer's and was no longer permitted credit they said they would close the accounts!A week after my son began college we began receiving Invitatations from Capital One for him to open an account. He continued to receive invitations on a bi-weekly basis. He called them and e-mailed them and told them to stop sending him mail. He is now in the second half of his second year and we continue to get junk mail from Capital One! I could go on and on about my Aunt's other creditors and Capital One is by far the worst. When she moved in with me she was in debt for over $60,000.00 - all due to creditors who took advantage of an old woman. What I do not understand is she has the WORST credit rating I've ever seen and to this day she receives pre-approved credit card offers for Visa and Mastercard! Please feel free to contact me if you want MORE!Hope
I could go on and on about my Aunt's other creditors and Capital One is by far the worst. When she moved in with me she was in debt for over $60,000.00 - all due to creditors who took advantage of an old woman. What I do not understand is she has the WORST credit rating I've ever seen and to this day she receives pre-approved credit card offers for Visa and Mastercard! Please feel free to contact me if you want MORE!My father has been dead for more than 30 years, and he still gets credit card offers at an address where he never lived.Nancy
Yes, but if you buy items like furniture with a credit card, it is POSSIBLE you will have some protection if the item is deficient in some way.I'm presently fighting with Visa over a lamp I bought with their credit card. I may lose, but I may win, too. At least I'll give everyone a good fight.If I had bought with a debit card, I'd be totally out of luck.
My daughter had several credit cards when she turned 18. Most of them had a limit of $200. At one point she owed $180 on one of the cards which she didn't pay. They charged a fee of $29 for not paying on the card. The next month she had been charged the regular 29% interest, plus the $29 fee that put her over the $200 limit so she had the $39 overlimit charge. By the time I became aware of the mess, she owed over $300, everything over the $180 was from fees. She never missed a payment again.
Hey crickettehkr,You can opt out of getting those &*^(#$*&%^(#*$ credit card offers by going here:https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=tAs for credit card offers, Capital One was great to my family when in 1992 I ended up in liquidation bankruptcy due to a failed business. They provided a card with decent interest rate.I would not have one with them now due to issues friends and family have had with them.MBNA was terrible during the bankruptcy hearings. I tried to set up deals with the credit card companies to snow ball down the debt. MBNA, once they received my letter, immediately sent the account to collection even though I had been making payments. I will NEVER have one of their cards again.Regards,Tim
OH BOY DO THEY! When I purchased my home I used my investment firm for the mortgage. The credit report showed a ton of credit I knew nothing about. This was credit from accounts that had been opened with my ex-husband and had been closed after our divorce. None of the three credit reporting agencies had these listed as closed - just a -0- balance with the credit available. My score was in the high 600's because of all the "available credit." I went on a letter writing campaign and was able to get the information corrected. Because I was using my own investment firm for the mortgage I was able to get a much lower rate (5.25% in the summer of 2004) without having to wait the 90 days for the changes to show up on the reports.Most people feel that they are in a good position if they have a lot of credit available to them. Hope
TMFMileHigh,The nastiest I have come across recently was from one of them and I cannot at the moment lay hands on the bit of paper that caused me to cancel it outright. But basically it said, from such and such a date, we will be charging interest from the date of the transaction not the date of posting to the account. I will try over the weekend to locate the details but I do remember this was the last straw. This sort of behaviour makes my blood boil. I'm pretty sure other Fools have come across this one so you might ask for which it is in case I have destroyed the evidence.Cheers Ken.
The nastiest I have come across recently was from one of them and I cannot at the moment lay hands on the bit of paper that caused me to cancel it outright. But basically it said, from such and such a date, we will be charging interest from the date of the transaction not the date of posting to the account. I will try over the weekend to locate the details but I do remember this was the last straw. This sort of behaviour makes my blood boil. I'm pretty sure other Fools have come across this one so you might ask for which it is in case I have destroyed the evidence.This might have been Chase: several people have reported getting similar letters recently. But this only affects you if you're carrying a balance. If you pay your card in full every month they will not be charging interest. The people who carry a balance and continue to use the card are the ones who are paying extra interest.And if you ARE carrying a balance, you're very welcome to remain on the board and gain some extra ideas how to pay the debt off faster.Nancy
My most notable credit card came from CitiBank (before they became CitiCorp or just Citi). There was some type of offer made, yeah I got a card and decided 2 or 3 years later that their interest rates had got out of control. So it was paid off and canceled. One of the offers made was CitiCredit, a consumer loan that was tied into the credit card so you could actually go beyond your credit limit on purchases. I had signed up for that too.Twelve years pass.Once a year or so I would get a statement from CitiCredit (once they got the two new address changes on their own) $0 balance $0 due. So it went into the trash all the time. But I looked at them occasionally and I saw a credit balance, $134. On the desk to be called during business hours, and forgotten. Until the next bill showed I had to pay $42.ring ring their number.....What is your card number?I canceled the card ten years agoi cant help you with out a card numberI don't have a card, I just told you that.I am issued a credit, assigned a late fee which is rescinded, called again, see a different balance, And this went on and on. Finally, with a credit balance showing, I got through to someone else. "Your account is in good standing Mr jC with a credit balance of $197" - _- Good, send it to me. Send me a check for that amount and close my account. And finally, 'Of course sir'No check arrives. The scenario repeats it self. I now call an Ohio corporate number, ask the account be investigated and all activity held, no credit extended, no charges accepted.Reread the above, it happened the same way again.I start with letters. I get back form letters with out a signature, so I call That phone number, asked to be assigned an individual as an investigator and sign all letters. This has gone to certified return receipt letters now, but finally I get a signed letter of inquiry to the situation.My reply is a page and a half long with all the account numbers, quotes from letters and phone calls, lots of names from claim reps and simple statements from me. Ending with "I want my account returned to the highest credit status, the balance brought to zero with no further charges and closed at the card holders request.Six weeks later I was notified my account was closed in good standing. No apology. No reasons. I'll accept second place. It took over 4 months to resolutionBut at the end of that year I ran a Credit Report. It showed I had lived in Brooklyn NY and Seattle WA. I have never been to Seattle and I've never lived in NYC. So was this just a clerical error with a few numbers in the wrong place or was it a credit card scam to find out how good my credit rate was? Citi will not answer the question, they admit no wrong doing.jC
Nancy,Quite right, Chase. I just found the letter. Incidentally I never carry a balance on any CC unless the US post office intervenes. I have a "standing order" with the bank to send an appropriate lump of cash to all of the three cards I use every month so they can never try the late payment mug. This only doesn't work with my Wife's United Visa Card. They... get this... subtract miles if you carry a "negative" balance. Get's real interesting when you fly off using their card to book, are away when the bill comes in, then have to work out exactly when each transaction happened so you pay all (stopping their rollover interest mug) but not too much so they can't mug you for miles! No the "from transaction date" potential mugging and the brass neck of the CC company to say, "we are going to charge you usury from the moment you get something" even though the seller will have to wait months and be charged a hefty fee for our "services". That really was the last straw!At least there might be some good news eventually.. http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehybrid.aspx?storyID=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20070125:MTFH85802_2007-01-25_20-44-10_N25337004&type=comktNews&rpc=44 Sadly I have to say I think hell freezes over before anything happens where Congress is involved. I think we need Mr. Spizer to take an interest. Usury is a crime isn't it? Most of the people working for CC companies have white shirts on at least some of the time; so that makes it white collar crime pure and simple. Right up his street don't you think?Oh well... Cheers Ken
According to the Amex associate, since my largest single charge on the card had been only $80, the $1,400 computer was 'outside my normal spending pattern.' Thus, the charge request had been denied. That is their policy. It says it somewhere, I could never find it.I had heard a foreign guy bought a Maseratti on an Amex, and it turned out to be true. Some years later I myself spent $10k on a car with an Amex by calling them up the day before and assuring them it would be paid in 60 days. My loan came through the next week, payment directly to Amex.Weird they are, but they saved my @ss when I lost my wallet out of state. All credit cards canceled, hotel reservation and pocket cash till I got home.jCdoesn't leave home without it
various and sundry other fees such that the proud new owner would be over-limit just on the fees alone.It had both an annual fee (assessed on your first statement) and a monthly fee (assessed on every statement).
Discover for me. Twenty some years ago, my new wife and I allowed some retailer (Sears if memory serves) to send in a Discover application for us. We used it a few times, never ran any big or long-running balances. At some point we quit using it. Discover supplied new cards when the old one expired. We cancelled by phone.A couple of years later, new cards. We cancelled by phone. Over and over this repeated.The second most recent card was a couple of years ago. Canceling by phone, I got irate. Asked for a supervisor. Asked why we kept getting cards. Discover had no record of a cancellation. I asked if they had any record of purchases. Of course they kept records - she would check. The most recent charge was over 14 years previous. She agreed to cancel.A few months ago - another one came. Same account number. No record of cancellation. No transactions. Just a replacement card.Some things are eternal.Leon
Hello eko, I also had similar experience with the AT&T Universal Card. After being a 15+yr cardholder with good payment track record, my rate was changed to a ridiculous rate. After the usual questions why, and requesting the customer service mgr, I was unsuccessful in getting the rate lowered.Here's what I did about it: I applied for a Simmons First Visa, http://www.simmonsfirst.com/creditcards/visaplatinum.asp This card has a fixed 7.25% rate, with no membership fee, and no fee to transfer a balance from other cards. I have transferred my AT&T card balance to this card, and just like that, after 15yrs, they no longer have a customer (and they don't care).---concam
About 15 years ago,when I was younger and dumber, I had a People's Bank credit card. Rates were much higher then. I believe my rate was around 16%. At the time, I had run the balance to around $4,000 but always paid my monthly statement on time. Not paying much more than the minimum every month was keeping the balance where it was. I didn't have much money back then. After two years of timely payements, they decided to raise my interest rate to 29%!!! When I called to raise you know what, their response was that they needed to stay competitive with other companies. I simply transferred the balance to another card. I actually called the BBB to see if they could do this. They also thought this was ridiculous, but said there was nothing they could do to help me. The girl I talked to actually laughed about the "staying competitive" excuse. I can't imagine I was the only one this happened to with this particular card.
I also (still) have the AT&T Universal Card. It used to be a 'rewards' card but they canceled that feature, so got a Citi card directly that has the reward feature. My AT&T Universal Card has been sitting in a drawer gathering dust for 2 years now. I didn't cancel it because it would reduce my available credit and possibly lead to the problem you had with "overutilizing" my credit. (I.E. don't EVER cancel a credit card so long as it has no fee).BTW I shovel EVERYTHING I possibly can through the Citi card to reap the rewards and then pay it off every month. Free money! It also acts to level out my expenses.
<< The worst credit cards ever are the ones that a dentist's accountant (or other medical services provider) will set up for you to pay the part of the bill that your insurance will not cover. The rates do not reflect your own credit-worthiness, and the card is nearly impossible to cancel without incurring some rediculous fees ("Late fee? I never got a statement!"). Also, it gives the dentist a convenient way to charge well above the "usual and customary" fees, without you being immediately aware of it or in a position to negotiate -- the dentist has been paid, and the charge is already on your card! My advice: don't do it. Just like getting a loan for any other purchase, shop around, or use the credit option(s) you already have. >>Wow! How awful!I got one of these when I needed work done and the VA had a 2 year wait. I'd lost a large part of a molar and was having dreams of dominos toppling over in a long line. They handed me the form that I glanced at long enough to see the 13% interest rate. I made a loud, rude noise, and handed the form back. "Oh My! Your rates are obscene! I'd never pay anything like that! I should get the work done somewhere else!" They took it into the manager's office and mumbled a bit. They came back in a few minutes with another offer. 0% for a year, and if it wasn't paid off by then the regular finance charge would be figured retroactively. Well, that was nice. I did make darn sure I paid it off two months early. Now they've extended me two more BT offers since then that I've used and paid off.I think it pays to make loud rude noises in a waiting room crowded with other people filling out the same form. The line formed at the left. (grin)PennyYMMV
Please explain what a "hot karl" is. I pay in full monthly-all cards except the rare 6 month no payment no interest spiel from HomeDepot. (Property manager) I won't even carry a mortgage. I just plain WON'T PAY INTEREST!Back to the original-what is a "hot karl"?Interested to hear...cab
A twist on the question: Best card ever?? USAA Platinum, hands down.robba
Not quite a worst CC story.....but close. I used to have a Fleet overdraft account, which was carried over from Natwest and is now BofA. I few years after the Fleet buyout, I overdrafted a check and received a letter in the mail notifying me that Fleet had paid my check and added an insufficient funds fee of some crazy amount. I never overdrafted checks.....so this was a surprise especially since that's what the overdraft protection was for. A question mark popped on top of my head and later that night I contacted Fleet and asked what was up.It seems the overdraft account had been canceled and that I needed to reapply in order to have it reinstated. They did credit my account for the "insufficient funds," but would not budge on reinstating the account without me showing up at a branch and reapplying. I was livid.I sat down at work and drew up a letter outlining the issue and printed it. I addressed the letter to the Chairmans office at Fleet and headed off to my branch for lunch. I sat down at the service associates desk and attempted to discuss my account and then handed her the letter and mentioned I'm mailing it if the issue wasn't fixed ASAP. She said there was nothing that could be done except to reapply for credit. She wouldn't even give me an explanation as to whay? I left.....still livid and mailed the letter.The letter outlined the fact my account was canceled without my knowledge and that I was being forced to reapply. It also mentioned that no one knew why my account was canceled and no one has made an attempt to rectify the situation. I had recently had a company sponsored Dale Carnegie course.....so the letter was well formed. Two weeks after mailing the letter, the account was reinstated. A letter, mostly form, was received from the Chairman's office stating the problem was fixed.A few years later, I read an article outlining how banks were attempting to pilfer additional cash from customers by giving them alternate methods of overdraft protection.....similar to my covered check and fee. I'm guessing Fleet had decided to find a way to pull more cash from customers by killing the overdraft protection.....especially on accounts rarely used. Essentially, they would just play dumb and force you to sign up for something new....and more profitable.Natwest was a great bankFleet- BlewBofA - A little better.....but still fees up the yang.FYI: My credit was perfect and no outstanding issues with any of my accounts during this ordeal.After BofA took over I again bounced a check and it was covered by my overdraft (second check in 10+ years). On my account statement a 20 dollar subscription fee was added....with no explanation. It seems BofA instituted a fee if you use the overdraft anytime during a year......I was not happy. Called Customer Service and had it credited. I recently used the account accidentally and the fee has not appeared. FYI: I use BofA only as a clearing house these days and they hold less an extremely small amount of my assets. In their eyes....I probably look like an easy sucker for these kinds of things.
I have decided to completely phase credit cards out of my life.I used to love them, overused some, got into huge debts 7 years ago, then I got wise and finished paying everything off over 4 years ago, but I kept using cards for their points and air miles. And I've been paying them off every month ever since of course to avoid fees and interests.Now I'm fed up with their stupidity. Points, cash-back, miles, perceived "benefits" of all kinds aren't worth it.So cash and debit it is.
""Please explain what a "hot karl" is. I pay in full monthly-all cards except the rare 6 month no payment no interest spiel from HomeDepot. (Property manager) I won't even carry a mortgage. I just plain WON'T PAY INTEREST!""Cab, Welcome. Talk about your serious lurker!! WOW, thanks for finally chiming in. We hope to hear from you again soon. PWPS: I pmailed your answer-almost nobody got it.
Greetings, PW, won't you say what "hot karl" is right here on the boards? I've been lurking hoping somebody would say it aloud but it hasn't happened yet. Thanks!xraymd
(DH has 2 citibank cards that I am chomping at the bit to get rid of). After reading DH's plan concerning his Citibank cards I suggest hetake a pair of scissors and cut them up. Do not call the bank or whoever really handles the cards. I made that mistake. They were very polite saying I was a good customer for paying the balance in full every month etc. When I took a look at my credit report a few months later this transaction appeared and lowered my credit rating because the bank had reported that they cancelled my card.Ocalan
I hardly ever write on posts; this one topic drove me crazy awhile back. I had a Providian Card, intro rate and all that (probably 0% for a bit) then it shot up to 18% or something. I was using it and 2 other cards to finance a kitchen remodel so I was paying a bunch of late fees because their scheme to bill you at odd times was in full force.Anyway, all that was cheap because an equity loan would've cost more and been more of a hassle. As I refinanced even the Title company couldn't get Providian to give us a closing total. We were forced to approximate the total; but since it got posted a day or two from when they gave us a closing amount we owed more, less than a dollar each time. I got two late fees that were for totals less than a dollar and finally found a really nice soul on the phones who told me what the final total would be to close out the bill with the typical mailing period; i.e. pay today and it'll be 72 cents by Friday so you'll have a credit of 12 cents. I did end up with a check (about 30 days later) for around 15 cents. This whole ordeal took over 3 months and I kept thinking that I was proficient (generally) with credit cards, think about those folks who didn't have the time to call and follow up with these folks. I always felt sorry for the phone people, they always apologized for the policy.I currently use Chase's United card and a Capital One card, both of which I periodically call when they try to raise rates or charge me fees. There are too many great cards out there that neutralize the mileage credits that these two cards provide; it's one of my primary (though not that important) values.aloha,JG
Greetings, PW, won't you say what "hot karl" is right here on the boards? I've been lurking hoping somebody would say it aloud but it hasn't happened yet. Thanks!xraymdSuch a post would almost certainly be pulled. Just Google it and don't blame me if you have to bleach your brain afterward.--Booa (who, sadly, once played on a softball team called "Hot Karl" and was told what it meant...yuck)
I guess I'm outside the norm in that I ONLY use my AMEX card. But I agree the story about ordering the computer only to have the transaction denied for being outside one's "normal spending limits" is maddening. The way I've always dealt with AMEX is to call them AHEAD of time when I plan on making a bigger-than-normal purchase. So far, after nearly 20 years of having an AMEX card, that's always worked for me. (Not that I've made that many "bigger than normal" purchases). I much prefer AMEX to any credit card!
I have heard through a work-related project that Capital One sends out more mail than any other commercial entity in the U.S. No big surprise since they seem to keep a database of every person who has ever had a credit card, either dead or alive, and continue to send out invitations to accept credit on a monthly basis to every one of them. In case you wonder how they could possibly afford the mail bill (not to mention all the nauseating commercials on TV), just look at all the posts about them.
I think I must be your oldest lurker, in terms of being an (in)active member, and in seniority. I am moved from my shy ways to screaming at the top of my lungs about the worst credit card ever. It all began when MBNA (which I learn from you all had a very dicey reputation,) joined BOA, not a shining light of courtesy either. In September, 2006, all three of my credit cards became Bank of America,and I have been peppered with INNACCURATE "late" fees ever since. I have asked,nicely , for evidence of lateness, and got a very rude letter from a supervisior saying that I had requested more credit, (WHICH I DID NOT) but they denied ANYWAY, "and furthermore I had 30 days late, 120 days late, 60 days late, 12 DAYS LATE" with no dates of "lates" or what or where were purchases made. They had also checked "other accounts" of mine and they were late too! Again, no specific information, nothing helpful. And the MBNA cards were cancelled by credit card holder!I have beaten Wal-Mart and a local hospital over an identity fraud bill by becoming the Queen of Certified Mail. Shall I try this with BOA? Since September my APRs have risen to 35%. I don't know whether to snowball these two MBNA cards with $2000 and $4000 balances and close them, or try other methods. Please , nonlurkers, give me some good ideas! I am deep into Foolish retirement, and am loathe to leave my records looking like this!My original Bank of America card I have had for 40 years. I guess they don't mine "churn".Lyn
I have beaten Wal-Mart and a local hospital over an identity fraud bill by becoming the Queen of Certified Mail. Shall I try this with BOA?It sounds like at least one of your credit reports may still be showing derogatory information from the identity theft issue, and that BoA is using that derogatory information to increase your rates and close your cards. First, you need to find out which credit report(s) that BoA based their decision on, so you can get a free copy of the credit report(s) and dispute anything that is inaccurate. Then, once the credit report(s) are cleaned up, you need to write a letter to a high-level BoA executive - I would suggest Liam E. McGee, President, Global Consumer and Small Business Banking ( http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=company_bios ) showing that your credit reports have been cleaned up, and that there are no late payments shown on your credit reports anymore, and requesting that the cards be re-opened, the previous interest rates be restored, and that any penalty interest that you paid be refunded. In the meantime, be sure to continue to make your payments on time.AJ
Many thanks AJ. I think you are on the right track. My trouble started with the identity theft. Never give BofA an excuse to make our lives miserable. I'll follow your advice and thanks for the executives name. I'll give it a try.Lyn
Leon, when you canceled the card did they send you a letter showing that they closed the account?I recently closed a couple of accounts including Discover and they all sent me a letter showing that I had closed the account.--George
My worst Credit Card was RBS. It's the new card that automatically comes with an overdraft!Let me explain. I received a 0% interest credit card offer in the mail from RBS. I sent in the application requesting a balance transfer with the application. I got a letter soon that said I had been approved! However, the amount of the balance transfer requested with the application exceeded the credit limit they approved so my account had an overdraft of $300.00and that I should send in a payment of at least three hundred dollars in order to avoid the overdraft fees! All this before i ever even got the card in the mail.Unbelievable. I paid the balance off and trashed the card when I received it. I won't knowingly do business with thieves.CB
My worst credit card experience ever was several years ago, with Providian. In nine years of credit card use, I have NEVER applied for a card with an annual fee. Therefore, I discarded their offer immediately. Over the next few months, they continued to send me offers, which I immediately shredded, without even opening. Whoops. Turns out, I had been issued a card (which I never recieved) and charged the annual fee, as well as the resulting late fees and penalty rates. It took me over a month to get the charges dropped and account closed, and the next year and a half to get my credit reports cleared up (I didn't even know I had negative remarks on my reports until I was denied a credit increase from a different card). I'll never bank with Providian.On another note, I cancelled my Bank of America card a little while back, due to a change in their Terms and Conditions. I'm paraphrasing here, but it basically said that BoA reserved the right to record any phone number I used to contact them, even my cell phone, work, etc. THEN, they also reserved the right to use an automated system (read: computer calling) to contact me at any such number. That was the last straw; I called and cancelled. When asked why, I specifically told her it was section 7.whatever that I disagreed with. She cheerfully told me that I needn't worry, they would only resort to such a thing if I was more than 60 days overdue, yada yada yada. Riiiiight. Well, that was not how it was written, and lady, if I havn't paid my credit card for over two months, do you really think I still have a cell phone? The last thing I need is a bank to start calling me on my mobile, and to distribute said number to whoever else. I just recently got all of the home phone calls to stop (thanks, Do Not Call Registry).
... when you canceled the card did they send you a letter showing that they closed the account? ...I do not remember getting any notification from Discover.Leon
An Apple Student Loan through M.B.N.A. @ 29.99%. Just plain rotten! I was Foolish enough to watch the price drop from $3100 to $2100 on an 800 mHz PowerBook G4. Still using the computer 5 years later. Still paying it off as well though :(:) 3 months later I did seek out the services of a reputable debt reduction service to lower my interest rate to 9.99%. Foolish!!! broD
Bro,Don't be so mysterious -- what is the "reputable debt reduction service"?I need all the help I can get! MBNA (now Bank of America) is charging me 32.24%! Don't ever use a credit card from Delaware. Percentages can be as usorious as they wanna be.Lyn
I hadn't checked this board for a while.http://www.debtreductionservices.org/They only have offices located in limited cities on the West Coast, New York, and Oklahoma(?). They may still be able to help you set up an account via their website. I was lucky to live in Eugene,OR which had a location and went to talk with a credit councelor. They are not a consolidation company which I heard mixed things about when researching my options. They work with your creditors to reduce your interest rates. I believe the fee was $25 to enroll and then $7 / month for life of the balance. I haven't had any problems with the company. The funds are deducted out of my account each month on the same day and I get a quarterly print out showing how much of the balance was paid off and how much is remaining.Good Luck.
It seems like CapitalOne is the target of repeated complaints - that's no surprise to me as I'll never do business with them again, ever.The funny part, and the reason I'm posting, is that CapitalOne holds itself up as the company that will save you from the marauding mongol hordes ("CapitalOne, what's in your wallet?") who want to raid your wallet, but they're just as bad if not worse than the competition in the whole raiding your wallet department.
AMEXSent me a special letter upon graduation from college telling me how wonderful it was that I was a graduate. Explained how they understood that I had no credit record and that my job may not initially provide the level of income they normally required. They looked forward to a long business relationship. Foolishly, I filled out their application. Shortly I got a credit rejection. When asked, they told me that I had no credit history and that my new job did not pay enough. Huh????I've spent the last 25 years happily leaving home without it.FessBest Card - USAA Platinum - Great service, genuine customer care. They even called my wife to verify my "strange charges" before shutting down my card when I was on a trip in Singapore (happily they did not).