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I am guessing that the rate was an adjustable rate that could change from month to
month. If the rate was fixed during time A, then changed to a higher rate in time B --
any balance remaining from the time A part would still be at the lower rate in time B.

As I recall (this happened several years ago) it was not a variable interest rate card. It certainly isn't now. I remember talking to my mom about wanting to transfer my account to a different card, but was fairly happy with 13.99%. I don't remember that anything preceded the change other than a definitive notice (bill stuffer) that the change would be happening.

Ms Joe
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