Dear Capital One

By Andrea Karim. Last updated 9 June 2007. 6 comments

Dear Capital One,

I think we need to have a talk.

My beef with you has been documented here. Readers know that I tried, many a time, to get lower interest rates from you so I could pay down my debt faster. I have a good income. I have good credit. I had been using your credit card for a long time - you owed me that.

But you didn't give me what I needed, so I dumped you. I transferred my balance to another card with zero interest for the first year. I'm paying it off rapidly. I'm not saving a lot of money, but the idea that a few hundred less will end up in YOUR coffers is enough to make me happy.

I'm also really happy that you are happy for me. It's touching. You noticed that I paid off my balance, although clearly you have no idea that the balance is still out there. Like the lousy boyfriend who only decides that he loves a woman after she leaves him for someone else, you are behaving pathetically - calling, writing, sending emails. You want me back, I know. I was a good customer.

But you can't have me back.

I don't mind the offers for a home loan, although if you did a little research, you'd know that I already have a home with a mortgage and a decent rate. You'd know that I'm in the process of paying down debt accumulated over a couple of years of unemployment. You'd know that I don't really need you right now.

But what I find really, well, outrageous, is your offer to simply hand me over some more debt. Yes, I received your blank checks in the mail - thank you so much! I like the thoughtful message on the front: ...for your fresh start. Inside, you offer suggestions as to how I can spend this newfound debt. I find it weird that you don't know about my mortgage, but you have determined that I need to landscape my yard!

It's nice of you to worry about me as I Enjoy new beginnings, but did it ever occur to you what "beginning", in this context, really means? In this case, a new beginning means being free of debt, or at least, free of the debt accompanied by the high interest rates that you hoisted upon me. Oh, I know - I brought my debt problems upon myself. I should have been more responsible. But you see how I'm taking the reins now? You see how I'm working my butt off to shed this debt, save for retirement, and make my life more financially secure?

THAT is what my new beginning is. So why are you trying to force new debt upon me as soon as I managed to get out from underneath you?

I'm beginning to think that maybe you don't really care about me that much. Maybe, just maybe, you don't have my best interests at heart.

Am I being too harsh? Maybe you do really care about my landscaping, or worry that I might not have enough for those "out of the blue" expenses that you mentioned. But maybe you could do something more constructive for me? Like, send me coupons to a garden store? I wouldn't be so bold as to ask you to come over and help me remove this 500 cubic feet of top soil, but that's what friends do for each other.

So let's just be honest. We are not friends. I stopped loving you a long time ago. Let it go. Let me go. Stop trying to "help" me. I'm a big girl now.

I've moved on. I think it's time you did the same.

You jerk.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Sarah Winfrey's picture

After WaMu finally let Dave and I pay off our credit card, they did the same thing to us!

Right now, work feels like, "The reward for a job well done?  Another job!"  And this is similar--"The reward for paying off all your debt?  More debt!" 

Guest's picture

THAT was good comedy!! And it rang so true, I have TWO capitol one cards, what do they call them..NO HASSLE...what a joke! It's a huge hassle trying to get them to reduce my interest rate so I can pay them off!!

Guest's picture


It is simply time to switch credit cards and do a balance transfer. Although there are a lot of ways you could go about it, something that lets you transfer the balance out at a marginal introductory interest rate while you continue to pay down debt sounds like the best bet. At the end of the day Capitol One's target consumer is someone with less than savory credit, and they aren't incented to help you get out of that.

I hope your situation turns around soon!


Guest's picture

This is the best come back, I'm-dumping-you-get-away-from me-before-I-call-the-police letter I've ever read! Great prose! Mind if I use it on my next credit card company dump?

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Carrie. As is mentioned several times in the letter and elsewhere, I have done exactly that. That's actually kind of the POINT of the letter, see? I left Capital One, but they won't leave me.

And I have great credit. Just an FYI.

AmishSteve - by all means - use away. Just make sure to link to us!

Guest's picture

After my experience with them..I totally agree that its good to be done with them.