No. of Recommendations: 14
It was mentioned in an earlier thread it was mentioned that you never pay fees or penalties to which you do not agree. The problem is that the credit card issuers go to great extremes to make it easier for you to mess up, or in other words, they narrow the boundries of what it takes to stay on their good side.

Consider the letter received today from MBNA which proudly announces Important Changes To YOur Credit Card Account - Take advantage of these outstanding benefits!

1) Change to Default APR Pricing. The default rate may be applied to your account earlier than under the current program. If you are late with a minimum payment or exceed your credit limit, we will increase your APR up to the default rate (from 7.65% to 24.99%) without notice and retroactive to the first date in the billing cycle for which you were late or exceeded your credit limit. Oh, and the default provisions do not preclude us from further amending this agreement to increase your APR to a rate that exceeds the default rate.

Of course, if you can reject the change in terms in writing no later than 3 weeks from now. Of course if you do, we will not reissue your card when it expires next month.

2) Change in Grace Period. You will have to pay your balance in full by the payment due date each month in order to have a grace period and avoid fianance charges on purchases, instead of paying your balance in full by the end of each billing cycle. Paid in full means payments and/or credits totalling at elast your previous billing cycle's new balance total. There is no grace period for cash advances or balance transfers.

Note: This is similar to the terms I described last month from Amex Blue where a Grace Period is something you have to earn instead of being something you risk losing as a penalty.

3) The Payment Due Date. The payment due date will be at least 20 and at most 32 days after the closing date of the statement. Since it takes up to 7 days for the statement to be delivered, and it takes up to 7 days for payment to be received, the actual grace period is less than a week.

4) Foreign Transaction Fee. There will be a new 1% foreign transaction fee for transactions outside the US or in non-US currency. This will be reflected in a reduced conversion rate.

5) Transaction Fee For Cash Equivilents. We are adding a transaction fee for money transfers, foreign currency, money orders and travellers checks purchased from a non-financial institution by classifying them as a cash advance instead of a purchase. Oh, and they won't accumulate points.

6) Late Fees. We are chaning the Late Fee balance levels to cause your late fee to increase to a higher amount more quickly: $15 for balances under $100, $29 for balances under between $100 and $250, and $39 for balances over $250.

7) Processing Payments of Checks. We are going to make our payment processing faster using Check 21 to turn your checks into an electronic ACH fund transfer. We will keep the actual check but if you are hoping it will not clear for a few days, tough luck.

Because we believe in Equal Credit Opportunity, we are making these changes for your own good.

Who wonders if this is how they treat 20yr valued customers, what do they do to their enemies...

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