Watch out for new credit card "policies" - CHASE card holders already hit with fees

By Lynn Truong. Last updated 28 November 2009. 155 comments
Photo: istockphoto

Update: Chase has reversed the maintenance fee charges!

The other day as I was going through my monthly process of paying bills, I noticed one of my credit cards (which I have had a 3.99% APR on an old balance transfer I've been slowly paying off) suddenly had an increase in the minimum payment by double.  Additionally, I saw a "SERVICE CHARGE *FINANCE CHARGE" line item for $10!  I immediately called the bank (Chase) and asked about both of these things. 

Turns out, their latest policy changes include upping the minimum payment from 2% to 5% of the balance, and charging a monthly maintenance fee for "processing payment and statements."  So I asked if the fee would go away if I closed the account.  The customer service representative said, no.  Closing the account would make no difference.  She did give me two options that would remove the charge:

  • Give up the 3.99% APR and pay the normal APR (I forgot what she said specifically, but the consensus around the web is that they're offering 7.99%)
  • Pay off the entire balance within 30 days of when the $10 fee was first charged (which was about 20 days ago)

Great options.

It's not just me. There's plenty of complaints from Chase card holders.  But this is just one of the many changes that credit card companies are doing to accounts. Some people might suddenly see that their available balance got cut by half or more.  Others will see these sort of "maintenance fees" pop up suddenly.  Back in December, The Federal Reserve Board voted for new rules to protect credit card customers from exactly these types of fees, but the rules don't take into effect until 2010. Unfortunately with the current downturn, it looks like banks are seizing the opportunity to charge while they can. 

For me, I'm looking into whether I can fight the fees (doesn't look like it so far) or find another credit card that will allow me to transfer this balance (all my balance transfer offers that used to come by the truckload in the mail have all suddenly decided to honor my request for no more mail). 

Has anyone else faced similiar new "policy changes" from their credit cards?

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Guest's picture

The only change I've seen recently is that some of my cards raised my credit limit, oddly enough.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is the same thing all over. I have two Chase cards, one for personal and one for business and they both got hit me with the same bolony. This is just wrong. The economy is bad enough, and it is already hard enough just to survive, let alone to be able to handle such payments. I am convinces to not use credit cards again. You can only have trust and faith in yourself. I will not be at the mercy of credit cards companies again.
I also experienced American Express games as did my wife. American Express cut my credit limit by 1/3 and I didn't kniow this until I went to purchase something, only to be turned down at the retailer. I thought the clerk did something wrong. The nexy day I called Amercain Express and found they cut my credit limit. MY wife got her American Express bill only to find that they increase her interest rate to 14.99%.
There credit card companies are taking advantage of good citizens and the government needs to step in and help us Americans. You work hard, and acheive a good credit standing only to be treated as you are bad customer. Kind of makes you fell like defaulting on your payment and forget credit scores all together.

God Bless!

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Guest

Lynn

Exactly the same thing happened to me. I could not believe that if I paid off my balance that the fee would remain. I am furious.
I asked if I took the 7.99 rate option - then paid off my balance - if the fee would go away-- the very nice customer service rep said yes.

so, that is what I am going to do-- from reading other forums Chase is going to receive a lot of backlash from this.

I am also writing my Congressman, Senator, CEO of the company and plan on telling everyone I meet about this ridiculous practice.

edieb in KY

I have had this credit card for 25 years and the customer service representative said I had one of the highest rankings (meaning I was considered a good customer) -- They aren't making enough money from my account and are treating me shabbily.

I believe I will pester them and close my account. I hate to think how they are treating their "unpreferred" customers.

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Guest

I just finished reading my "change in terms" notice from Chase and I am furious. My rate was changed from a 7.99% fixed to a Prime plus 9.99% variable!! It also read that this was due to maintaining profitability on my account. My God, how much more profitable do these people need to be? The Fed funds rate is lower than at anytime in history, they have burdened the country with crap loans that WE have to bail them out of, and these bloodsuckers still want more! I have never missed a payment in over 10 years and many months pay the balance in full. I guess being responsible with ones' credit isn't profitable enough. These banks and credit card companies will need the American consumer again one day and I for one am keeping score!

Guest's picture
Guest

Exactly the same thing happend to me. I hear all this things about credit card company and I thought it is not true or is probably they are not paying them on time.
I am a cardmember since 1998 and paid my bills on time and have a good credit score. I wonder how can they do it without sending a notice to customers! Can they do this to the old balances? I am so upset. Paying 5% min. vs. 2% without notice and $10.00 a month on the top of it. It is funny that they send me few more check for balance transfers for 4.99% fixed for the life of the Balance. I am transfering most of the balance to other cards and try to manage it but we cannot sit silent and have to do something!!!
I cannot stop thinking about the ones who lost their jobs or cannot afford a 5% min. on their balance. What are they supposed to do!!

Guest's picture
Paul

The exact same thing happened to me down to the hundredth place. They used this little gimmick to get me to give up my 3.99% interest rate for the life of the loan and trade it in for 7.99% for eight months.

Bank of America, on the other hand, simply took our bailout and ran. They accepted my balance transfer in full from Discover card and then closed both of my accounts when I called in a month later to do a new balance transfer to one of their cards. Closed them right over the phone. Was never late on a single payment the entire ten years I had them. Was paying my cards down, plus interest, in fact. Didn't matter to them. They just closed my accounts, even though my financial situation remained the same from when they deemed it acceptable to extend me the line of credit four years ago. Now that the winds of the economy have changed (due to no fault of mine and no thanks to them), they're closing accounts with no warning for customers who have "more than 30% of their annual income tied up in debt" (according to a BofA representative I spoke to in India). But that number is ludicrous because it's even more conservative than traditional mortgages. Now, due to absolutely no fault of my own other than that the economy has changed (the second Senior Credit Analyst at BofA I spoke to admitted that they are "doing a lot more account reviews because of the ailing economy-" remember, my financial picture had not changed from when they deemed me creditworthy a few years ago) I've suddenly lost a line of credit that, before, was okay with them to extend. I lost a critical line of credit that I was using to keep my rates manageable. Now, not only do I have an involuntarily closed card on my credit report, but my debt-to-creditline ratio has gone through the roof. My interest rates with Discover and Chase are only going to suffer as a result of this, and my advice to customers who have BofA balances is this: Don't pay them off first. You'll only be penalized for it, because instead of deeming you responsible with your credit, they'll use the paid off account as an excuse to say "thanks, see you later." BofA is fully aware that they're stiffing other credit card companies who are authorizing balance transfers to pay off BofA accounts from their own funds. In my case, they stiffed Discover.

Guest's picture
MILLIE

I'm looking to close/cancel Chase. I have been a preferred customer for 7 to 10 years at 7.99% I've consitently paid them off each month before the bill is due. 2 to 3 times I've carried a balance in this time frame...paying off each within 6 to 12 mos(lg bal say of 5k) 2 days ago I receive a letter from Chase...basically DOUBLING my interest rate...and oh..not to woprry since I pay them off each month and you can ask for them to look at it again in about 6 months to review" per customer service mgt. I told them that I feel as if I'm being punished...for being a good paying custoemr!! Anyone else out there with this proble?

Guest's picture
Guest

This is the first time I have ever responded to an on-line post so please forgive me if I don't get this quite right. But my story goes like this: My husband and I set a goal to pay off all of our credit card balances by the end of 2010. So, we consolidated and transferred our balances to our Chase credit card during one of their promotional offers in which they offered a transfer balance of 3.99% for the life of the transfer. We thought, "great"! That will help us pay the debt off quicker. At any rate, I do on-line banking and normally, once I set up a payment there is no need for me to make any adjustments. Well, one month, Chase decided to double my minimum payment and I did not catch it before the payment was due. When I received my next statement, I noticed that I had a late charge. I immediately called and was told that the minimum payment had increased and that my payment was short. I immediately paid the difference and increased my on-line payment. The representative waived the late fee and I thought the situation was closed. Well, my next months statement showed my interest rate had increased from the 3.99% to 19.99%. When I called to inquire, they stated that because the last payment was late that the transfer balance was no longer effective. I was outraged considering I had been an excellent customer for 15 years. The rep stated that the only way I could get the 3.99% back was to close my account which I did immediately. I figured, since I closed my own account I could reopen it later. Well, less than a week later, I received a letter stating that my credit limit had been decreased to what was owed. Well, any prudent person knows that means my credit card limit was now maxed out which also means my credit score would be affected. I have written several letters to know avail. I don't quite understand why, since I closed my account, that the bank decided to lower my credit limit to the balance owed. I take great pride in my credit score and this move definitely affected it. I'm so angry. At any rate, I'm tired of writing letters to their customer service department. My next letter will be to the CEO of Chase, CEO of Marriott, to my Congressman and Senator. If you happen to have the address of the CEO of Chase, please pass it on. I haven't been able to find it as of yet.

Just wanted to share.

Guest's picture
Guest

After 20 plus years just finished closing out my accounts; They changed me to paperless and I never recieved email or letter explaining. Missed one payment because of this and then they decided to change my rates. Called them several times and last person at Chase said they did not care about this issue and could not help me. Amazing customer service thats it for me.

Guest's picture
FrugalZen

ongoing monthly or a once a year like the "Membership Fee" ripoff???

Guest's picture
Jerry

Yes, me too. Got a recorded "courtesy call" a few weeks ago about the minimum hike and $10 Monthly fee. I'm glad to learn from edieb in KY that there may be an option of accepting a higher interest rate and then paying it off. (My only option is to ask my 92 year-old dad for a loan to do that as the transfer fees to another card would be prohibitive and I am taking Suze O's advice to keep my hands off my retirement acct.
Jerry

Guest's picture
wyndwalkr

I just jumped to my chase account online. Whew, no $10 charge. I have zero balance on the card and didn't use it this past month. I have no idea what interest rate I am at because I never pay any interest so maybe I am in the (7.99%) or more and so I won't ever get the maintenance charge.

I don't care about minimum payments or interest rates. I have 2 charge cards and whatever I charge gets paid in full each month. When either of those cards starts adding on a yearly fee because they don't make any money off me in any other way...Zzzzzzzt, that card will go through the shredder.

Chase bugs the crap out of me because they are always telemarketing with offers for this and that add-on feature, "How may we better serve you?" and Chase is close to getting the boot from me just for that aggravation level.

Guest's picture
Peggy

We as people need to bring it on home. We need to organize a protest that will hit the media.

Any ideas like picketing the local branches which get immedite coverage?

Peggy

PegBuke@live.com

The public has to know how we feel

Guest's picture
KB

I canceled my Nordstrom carded because of the changes they made. They are now making all interest rates variable with a minimum rate of prime +17% (if I recall correctly). They also said any payments made would not clear for 21 days. Well, their points are not worth that, so I snipped the card.

Guest's picture
KB

I forgot to add...
the interest rate will be prime +17%, with a minimum rate of 22%

Guest's picture
Guest

HSBC the Best Buy's payment company sent a flyer one page folded piece of paper to announce their interest increase. This is to all customers even with good payment history. You must write them if you do not agree to the price increase and they will cancel future purchases. The interest will be almost 25% on all purchases, even old ones. How many people missed that piece of paper that looked like a fast food menu?

You must also call the HSBC Customer Service Dept. every month to let them know how to apply you payment. If you do not call they will not apply the payment correctly to the Interest Free Promotion and you will end up owing the full amount of the interest!

Guest's picture
Angie

I received notice last week that they had purchased WAMU and as a result, my WAMU credit card with now have an interest rate of a little over 30%. Are you kidding me? A few months ago I had a problem with WAMU's online payment and my payment didn't go through when I made it, so it was considered late and they bumped my interest rate up to the max, so apparently Chase's max is over 30%. This card has a higher balance as we've had to use it for some household emergencies lately, and a good portion of the balance when originally a balance transfer that was at 3.99%. I've also had two others bump up my interest rate, I'm assuming b/c of the "late" payment with WAMU. Where's the protection for the borrowers here? I know we've gotten ourselves in trouble because of the debt, but we've been digging our way out of the hole. Now I feel like the walls have all caved in and buried us...

Guest's picture
Guest

There is no major credit card companies that charge over 29.99% and even if you get to that rate you did something that ca be easily avoided. Try things like autopay that will make sure your never late...its a "FREE" service. Stop making excuses, we all get ourselves in these situation and expect to play the blame game after...stop living out of your means and learn to handle debt you can actually pay bag as agreed to beging with. These whining stories are getting old, you expect rates next to nothing and when ur rates stay low, but the min pay goes up you cry for help. Why would you have a $30,000 debt and not be able to make a $500 min pay???

Guest's picture
Guest

Dude - what is your problem? You must be a Chase employee....probably a former Bank One since you apparently can't spell and an a-hole. Drop the holier than thou attitude. Have you ever considered that perhaps someone may have cancer and even with insurance the medical bills are unbelievable. Did you ever consider that someone has been laid off and cannot find a job making what they were? Do you have a clue how much Jamie Dimon and his cronies make? I do and it is disgusting. Interesting that some of the CEOs of the large banks that received TARP money dropped their pay to $1. Not Jamie, oh hell no - seriously, how much money do you need Jamie? Is anyone's contribution worth that much? Do some research dude and you will find out that Executives compensation has become out of control. If this continues, we will become a socialist country. I hope you don't get cancer or get laid off because you would probably be the biggest "whiner."

Guest's picture
Susan

I have had the similar experience. Now that Chase has taken over the WAMU cards, Chase has decided to up my interest rate by 10%! They did not give a lot of notice on this decision so that I could try to pay my balance off. No wonder the economy has tanked! It's banks like this that are the root of the evil! They are just a legal loan shark! I'm going to pay off my card, and cancel my account with Chase.

Guest's picture
MSJNT

Another WAMU/CHASE casualty. I normally schedule my payment with WAMU. Had the card for a year and a half,paid over the minimum and before the due date. Why is that I got a phone call from India through a New Jersey number telling me that I am late? I had to pay $244 (Feb and March). There is no trail of my January or February transactions that I know I had schedule. My FICO took a hit from 720 to 688. I am looking at rapidly paying off this card or at least half of it. Oh..and I had a $4500 credit limit reduced to $4297. WTF!!

Guest's picture
Susan Holmes

Hi,
I read your concern about the changes Chase (bully company) made when they bought WAMU.. I too had a wamu credit card which was opened at 9.9%. I ALWAYS paid triple or quadruple the minimal monthly payment due by the due date. Since Chase acquired it, they raised it to 21.99% stating it was based on my credit score!! WAMU had raised my credit line due to good credit and payment history and I did not even request the increase!!! I have very good credit and low debt to income ratio. If anything, my credit score has gone up since I opened the account. I will no longer use Chase, the big corporate bully. Theyu told me They sent me a aletter in January indicating rate changes and the option to opt out - I never even got the letter!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

Chase's floor rates are 29.99% the lowest of the 3 major banks in the US. WAMU accounts were being repriced like yours before Chase actually purchased the company. There are many reasons that can result in a higher APR. Late payments is one of them. Try writing to the Correspondence Dept to request a lower rate.

Guest's picture

This is exactly the reason that all of my cards are in the porcess of being paid off and closed. They do not charge intereest and outrageous fees for using cash.

Guest's picture
Guest

I declared chapter 13 bankruptcy about two years ago and filed a three-year plan. I accept that my own irresponsibility led to high balances. But, I was paying them off - all of them - regularly and on time. I had automated payments drawn from my checking account to make sure.

But then the companies started changing the terms - on existing balances. I hadn't made new charges for over a year on most of the accounts. My automated payments had been sent regularly. Then the minimum payment was raised on a few accounts. Fortunately I was paying attention and adjusted my payments upward.

Then the minimum payment went up again on some of the same accounts. Yeah, they probably notified me. I'm sure it was burried in the fine print somewhere. This time, I didn't catch it, and two accounts ended up being late because the payment sent was insufficient to cover the new minimum. This started a race among all but one of the issuing banks to raise my interest rates based on the late payment on another company's account. It's called universal default.

I discovered that all of this is legal, at least in the states where their credit card operations are based. I certainly don't think it's moral or fair. Chase was the worst of the lot. The raised interest rates in turn raised the minimum payments until the whole thing snowballed to the extent that I could no longer make the required minimum payments.

So is my filing bankruptcy an immoral act in response to what I feel are other immoral acts? You may think so, but I don't. Essentially, I feel that the credit card companies, by changing their terms unilaterally, forced my bankruptcy and exaggerated my balances far beyond what I had originally charged. While I had the ability to do so I was paying all of them. My plan was to zero all of the balances, and I was working my plan. When they demanded more, I just couldn't keep up.

My creditors will receive through the bankruptcy trustee a percentage of the total amount they claimed. For most of them, I do not feel a moral obligation to make up the difference between what they claim and what they will receive. I don't feel usurious gain validity simply because they have the audacity to unilaterally demand it.

One company was different. For one company, I feel a moral obligation to pay all of the principal and interest from before I filed chapter 13 because this company did not join the race toward bankruptcy with the rest of them. My interest rate with them remained reasonable. Also, when I was no longer able to meet my obligations they did not resort to using debt collectors who employed illegal practices. Some of the others did.

The company that was different was Citibank.

After my debts are discharged under chapter 13 in a little over a year from now, I will be making an additional voluntary payment to Citibank to make up the difference. Partly because I feel morally obligated to do so. Partly because I feel grateful to a company that treated me decently when others didn't.

But, so long as credit card companies can unilaterally change the terms on existing balances, I refuse to ever again hold a revolving credit account.

Guest's picture
Guest

My chase card rate went up 17.99% from 8.99%.and this is with good payment history . make the story short, I called them and all I heard is Sorry we really cant do anything about the rate hike,but he said because you been our good client since 1998,you can call us back in a year and we will review your account and we MAY be able to reduce your rate than.
I guess that bail out wasn't enough for them.

Guest's picture
Guest

I would not feel guilty whatsoever and I would just stop paying them, they have already ruined your credit and whether you pay them or not in seven years it won't matter so tell them to p--s off and keep your money thats what I did and many others I know, don't sweat it and don't feel obligated to keep the company jet ready to fly with a full tank of fuel good luck

Guest's picture
madjayhawk

I have a line of credit with the Credit Union that I use to level off my spending habits. I always pay off the credit card each month. I take advantage of their 1-3% rewards (Chase's is particularly sweet - build up $200 in rewards and they give you another $50. $500 in my pocket in the past year.) and pay them off sometimes with line of credit money. With good budget planning and doing without I keep our heads above water and the credit card companies' hands out of our pocket.

Paying 17% interest is not an option. That means I would pay 17% more for everything I buy. That is stupid. Instead we always pay 10-20% less because we only buy stuff that is on sale or that we can negotiate down so people buying things on credit cards, usually not on sale, are paying 20-40% more than we are for everything they buy. That is not the way to get ahead.

Linsey Knerl's picture

I just doubled checked all correspondence from my Chase card, and nothing so far.  I do carry a balance, but I noticed that my credit limit was just raised again.  (I keep a very low 10% debt to available ratio if at all possible) and try to pay my balance down every couple months or so on this card.  (It's my business card and sometimes it takes more than 60 days for reimburseable business expenses to be returned to me.)

I'll be keeping a better eye on all my cards from now on. 

Linsey Knerl

Linsey Knerl's picture

I agree with Mad Jay Hawk that paying more is stupid.  This is exactly why I do use my credit card from time to time on purchases and let it carry a balance for a time.  Why?  Even with a 17% interest rate, letting it sit for 30-60 days doesn't mean I pay a straight 17% more (because it's compounded daily, only after my 20-day grace period, and the 17% is an Annual rate, not a straight inflation fee tacked on in the beginning.)  So even if it sits for one billing cycle, I'll usually pay a little over 1.5-2% more.  If I bought something on deep discount (30% or more) with my credit card, I'm still saving at least 27% or so.

But this only works if you can control your credit spending and can pay your balances off within a reasonable time.

Linsey Knerl

Guest's picture

I think a lot of credit card companies are trying to up their fees whenever possible. I always pay off my balance in full, so I don't get fees for that, but last month American Express slapped me with a finance charge for processing my payment a day AFTER it was due. Now, I pay electronically, and my bank had a record of the payment being processed by AmEx before my payment was due.

They previously had a history of double charging fees, incorrectly calculating my statement, etc. And when I called in to rectify those problems, they'd always take off the charges and apologize for their error. This time, they wouldn't refund me the charge since they said I'd already had too many adjustments on my account, never mind that they were due to THEIR errors. Anyways, it took a couple weeks, 3 levels of supervisors, and a fax from my bank to get the charge cleared. Even though it was $20, it's the principle-- I'm not paying it if I don't owe it. They wasted a ton of my time in the process as well.

Frankly, I think it's disgusting that large corporations see consumers as their own bailout solution.

Guest's picture
S. Carvalho

Yep,same here on Amex Blue Cash, got slapped with finance charges for bills paid a day or so late... Amex people, check your statements.

This had never happened before. I always pay in full so now I've set up automatic minimum payment, just in case I don't make the payment in time. Every month I pay in full before the autopay goes through, or I pay full - min if the autopay went through already.

Annoying, to say the least, but I did get back a chunk of change with their cash back so I guess I'll stick with it, until it stops being worth it.

Guest's picture
Amy

I got an American Express Blue card back in 2006 and never had any issues. I never got charged interest in the 2 years I had a balance. I did, however get some "periodic finance charge" popping up once in a while. I found info about it on the back of my statement, but it was pretty hard to understand--instead of explaining WHAT it was, they just said how they assessed it. I just decided since the charge was WAY less than what the interest would be, I wouldn't be to angry about it.

I'm thankful I managed to pay it off before the housing market collapsed and creditors all went into damage control mode.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just had the same thing happen. Was charged 2 months in a row with a "periodic finance charge" The 1st month, I expected it because I carried a small balance... the next month, I had paid the card down to zero, and was hit with an additional "finance charge".

When I called to ask why this happened, they couldn't really explain it. And then insulted my intelligence by telling me that all banks operated this way?? I've never had a credit card that when you paid it to $0 before the due date, you are hit with additional finance charges?

It was a very small amount, like $10, but it's the principle of it that bothers me.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is a standard fee, nothing new there. If you carry a balance and incur finance charges, there is no grace period the next period before bringing the balance down to zero.

However, thank you to the person from the prior post mentioning having to opt out with each new rate increase. Having not opted out of earlier cards' rate increases this year, by the way the practices seem totally systemic not limited to Chase, I am still determining whether to opt out on two other card rate increases coming up.

I'm prepped for the minimum payment increases but hadn't considered continually having to opt out...

I was on this post hoping to find out when I opt out whether my balance will act as a negative amount on my debt to credit limit. Say 10K on account when opting out with 20K current limit. A current debt to credit would be 50%, after opting out, will I be at 100% 10K/10K or will I be in negative territory 10K/$O and that missing 10K will go against any other available credit I may still have?

Insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,K

Guest's picture
Abigail

No $10 fees here. But, before the end of the year, we did get a nice little notice saying the APR could vary as high as 31% starting 1/1/09. That did wonders for my blood pressure, let me tell you.

But, as of last night, I'm still at 15% for both Chase and WaMu.

Like Chris, we've actually had our credit limit raised since the whole "crisis" began in earnest. I guess because we carry a hefty balance (we're working on it) but also pay regularly, we're seen as a good risk?

Either way, while the balance transfer offers are a lot fewer, we are still getting them. So we're going to go ahead and lock in a low rate for awhile to help avoid fun APR hikes.

Guest's picture
SHARONA

I USED A CHECK FROM ONE CREDIT CARD COMPANY (CHASE) TO PAY OFF ANOTHER CREDIT CARD. I HAD PLENTY OF AVAILABLE CREDIT AND AM IN GOOD STANDINGS WITH BOTH. THEY(CHASE) RETURNED MY COURTESY CHECK, CUT MY AVAILABLE BALANCE IN HALF. NOW THE OTHER CREDIT CARD COMPANY HAS JACKED MY RATE TO 27% BECAUSE OF THAT CONVIENENCE CHECK THAT WAS RETURNED. NOBODY FROM EITHER COMPANY WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT EITHER. I AM PISSED OFF!!!!! BE VERY CAREFUL, THIS SHOULD NOT BE LEGAL!!!!!

Guest's picture
SHARONA

I USED A CHECK FROM ONE CREDIT CARD COMPANY (CHASE) TO PAY OFF ANOTHER CREDIT CARD. I HAD PLENTY OF AVAILABLE CREDIT AND AM IN GOOD STANDINGS WITH BOTH. THEY(CHASE) RETURNED MY COURTESY CHECK, CUT MY AVAILABLE BALANCE IN HALF. NOW THE OTHER CREDIT CARD COMPANY HAS JACKED MY RATE TO 27% BECAUSE OF THAT CONVIENENCE CHECK THAT WAS RETURNED. NOBODY FROM EITHER COMPANY WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT EITHER. I AM PISSED OFF!!!!! BE VERY CAREFUL, THIS SHOULD NOT BE LEGAL!!!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

You have to read the fine print of using a credit card check. It's been a long time since I used one, but I think I recall a line that states the check cannot be used on another credit card.

Guest's picture

I have 3-4 Chase cards, but only one I use regularly. I don't bother with APR since I pay in full every month. The only change I've experienced is they closed an inactive account and upped my available credit on the account I use most. I LOVE Chase Freedom rewards, 1-3% back is worth it if you pay your balance every month.

Guest's picture
Guest

As madjayhawk noted, it's usually cheaper to borrow on a personal line of credit at your local bank or credit union.

Use that personal line to pay off the credit card balance if you can't pay off the latter in full.

I've never seen a (non-promotional) interest rate lower than 10% on any of my credit cards.

The interest rate on my personal line of credit has varied from 7% to 11% over the last 10 years (back to 7% now)

Guest's picture
sandra

Hello,
Thank you for your comments on personal line of credit. Is there a company or a bank that you could reccommend? I have high interest rate on credit cards and I need to do something quick. Smile.

sandra

Guest's picture
Courtney

I periodically call my credit card companies to see if they will reduce my rates. I called Wells Fargo last month and the girl on the phone said, "Hmmm there are no offers to let me reduce your rate, which is odd because you've never been late or gone over your limit."

Shockingly, the next week I received a letter from Wells Fargo Credit Cards stating they were changing the terms on my card and upping my rate from 8% to 18.99%! Ridiculous. Same thing as Chase... pay the balance in full within 30 days and close my account or deal with it.

The minimum APR for my USAA card went up 1% - not bad, but you're all right - its the principle. These "unfair practices" were bad enough for Congress to put a stop to them, but not soon enough and now the CC companies are "unfairly' trying to get their kicks in while they can. It's bologna!

Guest's picture
kf

I think it's Chase customers who have those low interest teaser rate balances. Even with the $10 a month fee, my APR is still under 4%. And the 5% minimum payment means I'll just pay things off faster. As Dave Ramsey says, playing the low rate balance transfer game is like playing with snakes. You will get bit.

Don't we the taxpayers own Chase now? Or did we just give them money so they could pay executive bonuses? Where is that government oversight?

Guest's picture
dePriest

Chase raised the credit limit on my business card, then sent me a letter two months later giving me until February 20 of this year to either: 1)start paying almost double my interest rate or 2)cancel my card. I normally don't carry a balance, but 2008 was the worst year of my financial and personal life. I'll call them and see if they'll hold to my original rate, if not, bye-bye Chase business card. I have to make sure I get my Chase rewards first, though.

Guest's picture
Guest

I also got a notice and had it set aside a few minutes ago and then accidently shredded it with some other papers.
What happens to the interest rate if your card is closed because you reject the changes?
Also what is the address to reject the change of terms?

Thanks

Guest's picture
Guest

I had so many problems with fees at Chase Bank/Bank One I switched to a credit union. I still have one of their credit cards, but it's a 9.9 percent with no balance. My Capital One card has the same rate and does carry a balance that I'm slowly paying off, and so far they have been good about everything and not added any surprise fees. Like other comments I read, Capital One yesterday also sent me a letter raising my limit?? I also pay them online and usually send money twice a month when I get a paycheck, that way I avoid late payments/fees. Hopefully it will stay that way, but I won't hold my breath...they are a credit card company after all.

Guest's picture
Rudfus

After reading this yesterday it just happened that I needed to go to the bank. I bank with Chase and have credit cards with them.

I questioned this as I do not want any surprises, and was told that this is only happening to those who are dragging out their payments and to get those to folks to get the debt paid off sooner.

We always make more than the minimum payment and was told we didn't have to worry about any extra fees.

Guest's picture
Guest

I recieved the $10 thievery fee on the card I had used to consolidate several other balances.

I had paid approximately 2/3 of the starting balance in 2 years, and averaged paying triple(often more than) the newly raised minimum payment. It actually was less costly to double my interest rate from 3.99% to 7.99% than to pay the additional $10/month.

My account will be paid off this summer barring unforeseen calamity, and closed the instant it is paid. I honored my end of the agreement by paying on time. Chase not only wants to change the terms in the middle, but is unapologetic about it.

Chase can kiss my business goodbye.

Guest's picture

Whether or not you carry a balance, as a taxpayer you should know that your $25 billion in bail out money has gone to a company that is "playing both sides of the street." What I mean by this, is that Chase is squeezing customers, while at the same time it has been in an acquisition mode, e.g., Washington Mutual (Wa Mu).

According to an Associated Press article, “Where’d the bailout money go? Shhhh, it’s a secret,” Chase bank’s answer, was really "Priceless!": “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”

Relative to the "other side of the street" (bilking customers from their dollars, as well as taxpayers), I am one of the hundreds of thousands of cardholders that Chase has targeted in an act of deceptive "bait and switch," which involves any one of a few goals that Chase has in mind as an act of premeditated coercion: 1) get customers to switch to a new higher rate (in my case double, from 3.99% to 7.99%; 2) get customers to pay off their loans in their entirety (immediately raising more cash to further fund its shopping spree for bargain basement-priced distressed banking assets; or 3) drive customers into usurious 30-something percent default rates.

I disagree with the notion that there is nothing that one can do to fight back, however. I have created a "protest" site, devoted entirely to spreading the word about credit card company abuses, attacking them from a grassroots, consumer revolt basis, as compared to a legal basis (although I am in favor of heavily regulating credit card companies and preventing them from engaging in these sleazy practices).

If you are interested, on my site, I am creating viral anti-card marketing tools, such as a recently released (free -- this is not a gimmick -- I want you to spread the word) downloadable product entitled: “Tired of Credit Card Company Abuse? Make Your Own T-Shirt — Complete Kit With Templates.”

Who in the heck am I? In brief, I am a college entrepreneurship professor. My personal stake is that I took on debts at mid-career, after deciding to go to graduate school, to become qualified to teach (and serve others, as best I can).

From a professional point of view, I have testified before Congress about the abuses of credit card companies relative to small businesses, which tend to use credit cards heavily. I was called upon to deliver this testimony (link on my site) because of my published research on the entrepreneurial bootstrappers (the vast majority of all start-ups), who often use credit cards as a source of capital. Please! Don't berate me here before knowing me: I did not say I advised students or anyone else to use credit cards (I am only pointing out that they do).

Guest's picture
centralnjbill

Face it, the banks are trying to force the vast majority of credit card customers into default so they can justify begging for more bailouts from Washington. They saw how well it worked with home mortgages--what could be better than billions in free money without the requirement to report what you're using it for?--and figured they could do it with the nation's far larger credit card debt. Why else would they, at this dangerous time in America, RAISE fees and interest on those customers who consistently pay their bills on time? It's as evil a plan as you will ever see, and I've yet to see anyone in power call them on it.

Guest's picture
Guest

I absolutely agree with you. The question is, what is the best strategy to use to protect ourselves? If they are setting me up for failure, perhaps I should use the little credit I have left while my credit is still good, and max-out all my cards, and then send them a friendly letter stating that I will pay them each $10 a month until the economy improves.

Guest's picture
steve

Send in an opt-out letter to Chase saying you don't accept the changes in your account. You have the right to do this under the original provisions of your account agreement.

They may close the account to new charges, but they have to continue to honor their original balance transfer offer and payment schedule.

Chase was supposed to have sent you a letter announcing this sometime in the beginning of Dec and telling you that the account changes would go into effect automatically on the billing cycle that starts in January, unless you send them a letter telling them "no". maybe it got lost in the mail, or whatever, but the fact is that it would be worth it to send the letter. The letter is not to their normal payment address, but to another address. Look it up on the web, there's lots out there about this.

You are probably after their cutoff date, but it can't hurt to try. And you can say that you never got the original notice, which sound true from what you've said.

Guest's picture
Richard

Unlike with most account changes, where the customer can opt-out of the new conditions, close the account, and pay off any balance under the old rules, there is no such option with this new $10 "account service charge". The only options are: accept a higher rate of 7.99%, in which case the minimum payment goes back to 2%, with no $10 fee; close the account and pay off the balance within 30 days; or, bend over and take it.

Guest's picture

Richard,

You are correct. A Chase spokesperson said there was no "opt out" (as reported by two Wall Street Journal writers). This is the dangerous precedent I was referring to in my post just slightly above yours (No. 38). Keeping in mind that Chase executives testified before Congress stating that it treats customers "fairly" and used a discussion of opt outs to illustrate their point. Chase has now clearly taken a different direction (all of this is on my site, including links to the actual testimony).

The hearings, by the way, were about whether or not banks should be regulated more heavily. Of course, their answer was that this wasn't needed, because in effect, they were regulating themselves (by treating customers fairly). Therefore, the missing "opt out" is an absolutely critical point in terms of the implications for everybody. You can bet every credit card company is watching and if Chase is successful in pulling this off, it could very well determine how all credit card companies may treat customers in the future (the conclusion in your own post did a good job explaining that treatment).

Guest's picture
Vito Caputo

The words REGULATE and REGULATIONS have become the universally accepted description of the activities of various government agencies.

Certain people have promoted the use of these words because... in America... they are loaded words which act as thought-plants: —> regulate —> control —> not free —> unAmerican —> bad for the people. "Don't let the government tell you what you can an can't do."

Many government agencies "regulate" the activities of business and commerce. These agencies were not formed to "stifle" business from operating profitably... they were formed to PROTECT the interests of the people that could be adversely affected by specific activities.

Thanks to this absurd move by Chase... it is now obvious to a much larger group of people that when banks and credit card companies got the deregulation their highly paid lobbyists bribed your elected congressional representatives to pass... you lost the protection those regulations provided.

Commerce and Industry are regulated to protect the little people from being abused. If you're a little people... stop using the word regulation and call it what it really is — protection.

If you think this comment is nit-picking — that the particular word used to describe something is unimportant — look at what happened to the Estate Tax when Frank Luntz told republican lawmakers to refer to it as the Death Tax. Once done... the republicans gained public support to eliminate the tax. Although everyone dies... only a handful of people die rich enough to be subjected to the Estate Tax. That is... as it stood... about 99% of the population would not have been required to pay the Estate Tax. Changing the name changed public perception... and when the tax was repealed... everyone thought they benefited. In reality... it will cost the little people almost $1.3 trillion and save the really really rich people $1.3 trillion.

Whenever you hear a politician or pundit say "The American people are not stupid" — pay attention.

Guest's picture
CLD

If you send in the opt out letter, your FICO score will go down. Bad news for the FICO score.

Guest's picture

I don't think I've ever met an honest credit card company.

Guest's picture
pev

I've never really thought about keeping track of my credit cards before. Not until recently, that I've applied to see what my credit score was and surprisingly I'm at a 680, which is quite good for me because I'm barely building up my credit history. Anyway, this is very good to know. Instead of having to pay more interest on the minimum balance I can save more and put some money away in my savings account.:)

Guest's picture
Joel

Or maybe just get away from credit altogether. Dave Ramsey, baby. Dave Ramsey.

Guest's picture
Guest

Chase DID'T GIVE AN OPT-OUT on this one: They are operating under the "we can change your terms to whatever we want" loan-shark principle, EVEN IF YOU CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT.

See http://tinyurl.com/akcc9p and http://www.ChangeInTerms.com
for more info. (I'm not affiliated w/either; just passing on the links).

$350 Billion in taxpayer funds, and this is how the banks are paying it back. Time for them to get what's coming.

Guest's picture

Damn. I couldn't help but be infuriated with these new and fantastic credit card charges. What's next, force people to sign contracts? Fight for our consumer rights! I'll be digging legalities for this. Thanks for the heads-up, Lynn!

Andrea Karim's picture

It would seen like there is no rhyme or reason to it, but the banks aren't just looking at your credit score. They're looking for any reason to up your fees. This started back in July (I blogged about it then), when banks were examining your spending records to see if you were doing anything that would indicate that you might be in financial trouble.

It's unfair, it's immoral, and should be illegal. Unfortunately, these banks obviously have a major influence on our elected officials. There is always some kind of legislation in the works, but banks continue to stymie the reforms so that they can carry on behaving exactly as they want.

It's essential that we write to our Congressmen whenever this happens - seriously, inundate them with stories about the rate increases that you are experiencing. The only way to force banks to consider the little people is to make the biggest, loudest noise about it that you can.

 

Guest's picture
EB

I have an account with Chase, and I did a balance transfer to them at 2.99% "for life" a few months ago. I get the January statement tomorrow -- we'll see if I'm affected.

Reading all this, one thing strikes me: I feel so bad for the customer-service reps. They have a job they want to keep, like anybody else, and they've got to deal with all these (understandably) irate customers, and it must just be hell for them. CSR work is stressful even during good times, and with something like this -- when the CSRs are being forced to deliver news they know will anger people, and given no recourse to help those people deal with it -- it must just be awful. Poor CSRs.

(Note that I am in no way saying people shouldn't be angry! If it happens to me, I'll be angry too. I can just imagine having their job, though, being on the phone for 8 hours a day with really angry people, getting yelled at or whatever about something you have no control over, and thinking how hard that must be. I'm sure no one on this forum would ever yell at a CSR, but there are people who do!)

Guest's picture
Guest to retain employment

it is not fun to listen to valid protests by customers getting these change of terms, line decreases, rate hikes, etc.. especially knowing that the changes will quite frequently be the last financial straw for many of those customers.

however, the moral high ground does not keep a roof over the CSR's family's head or food on the CSR's family's table.

please protest politely! crying, cursing the CSR, screaming, name calling & other verbal abuse is not necessary.

Guest's picture
Susan Bartole

Just opend my Jan. bill from Chase, Called Rep. and got the same info reguarding $10.00 fee and 5% mim. requirement...
It seem apauling! We are all trying to keep up with bills these days, then they do something UN-ANERICAN as this.
I will be writting Dave Ramsey, my Congressman and Senator.
I almost cant believe it, it's out tax dollars helping to bale outs!! there forcing more people into bankrupcy,

Guest's picture
FrugalZen

But this is What they want....don't you recall the Government is talking about taking over "Toxic Debt" not just Mortgages but Credit Cards too???

If they are in Default they are Toxic and thus the banks could palm them off on the Treasury/Taxpayers.

Guest's picture

Thanks for the referral to my ChangeInTerms.com site (whoever you are).

I am fighting this as hard as I can. You are correct: the biggest issue is the precedent. If Chase manages to get away with this, it will open the door to an avalanche of copy-cats in the credit card industry. As for me, I think this is absolutely frightening, for consumers, and for small businesses. Don't want to even try to reproduce in a couple of paragraphs here, all that I have researched (and said in Congressional testimony that I delivered -- everything is linked from that site) about credit cards and small businesses, but two facts are worth noting (I am an entrepreneurship professor; and no, please don't judge me without reading my posts and my research -- I did not say entrepreneurs should use credit cards, I'm only reporting that they do).

One such fact is that about half of all businesses use credit cards as a source of capital (FED report, 2002). The other fact is that small businesses are vital to the economy. If we want a recovery, we're going to have to persuade lawmakers to do the math, and realize that one plus one equals "hope" that we'll all have a chance to come out of this, and start rebuilding our nation's future. A lot of individual consumers as well as small businesses are really close to the edge, right now, and it is the greatest disappointment in my life to see credit card companies willing to push them off, into the abyss of financial disaster.

Guest's picture
RG

I've had a Bank of America card for years, but hadn't used it for almost 2 years. I got one of promotional checks in the mail. I thought that I would send it one in to keep the account active. Thank god I had most of the money!

My promotional check was deposited into my account. I waited and waited and waited for a billing statement. I called and the representative said it was in the mail. I got a call the next day saying I was late with my payment. I was irate! I told the guy that I never got a statement and he said that they wouldn't charge me the $39.00 late fee, but I wouldn't be getting the promotional rate, but the standard rate of 19.74% instead until I made a payment. I did receive a statement 2 days later.

I couldn't log into my account online. The rep couldn't log me in either. I mailed a check in. It was never cashed. I got another call saying I was late. I was more irate this time! Same scenerio as with the first call. This person transferred me to the IT dept and the call was disconnected.

I called and finally got someone there who get me logged into my account. I got another bill in the mail. I sent a check in and this one was cashed. I paid most of it electronically.

The only way I can get a bill sent to me is to call them or make a payment on line. And I never did the get promotional rate. It's almost paid off, but it cost me more than I had planned on.

A long story short, no bills sent, this cancels the promotional rate, use the standard APR, make it difficult to log in online and not cashing checks sent for payment.

I did report them to the BBB, but I don't know if it really means anything.

I do take responsibility for not calling sooner to find out why I never received a bill, but the other problems were purposely caused (I believe) by Bank of America. I am canceling this card.

Guest's picture
Guest

No point in taking it out on the CSR's...

Gerald A. Smith, CEO - JP Morgan Chase Credit Card Services
Phone: 302-282-3100
Fax: 302-282-3939
E-Mail Address: gordon.smith@chase.com

Guest's picture
Guest

I am truly shocked at Chase's credit card behavior. Thank God I just paid off one of my balance transfers from them. I am saddened by Chase's irresponsibility and downright sneaky tactics.

Thanks for the great article. I will be sure to pass this info. on to all of my friends and anybody that will listen to me.

Guest's picture
Peter N

I'm also affected by these changes.

They're obviously unacceptable and unetical. I think they're illegal, but that will take years of litigation to determine. Most likely, complaining to elected representatives, media and regulators is the only chance that something will happen anytime soon.

Guest's picture
Dave

Chase will probably take the balances of the displeased card holders and package them into credit card receivable securities and sell them to investors. The selling point to investors will be that the balances will likely cause late payments resulting in much higher interest rates. Remember Jamie Dimon was able to buffalo the government into getting Bear Stearns for $10.00 a share. I bet there are an equal amount of Bear Stearns shareholders that feel betrayed by Dimon's tactics. He and the former Governor of Illinois need to be with each other. One idea would be for card holders to buy one share of JP Morgan (approximately $25.00) stock and then find a class action law firm that would try to take legal action against the company for their unethical actions. Go to the message board on Yahoo finance for JPM and let your feelings be heard by the stockholders. Go to JPM investor relations and complain that these tactics will cause the stock to drop and demand a reversal of the un-American acts Chase did. Write your Congressman too.

Guest's picture
Andreas Raffel

I am having the same experience with Chase and their interest rate hike and $10 service fee.

Lacking experience and knowledge in the legal field, I only have common sense to base my opinion on: I feel I had entered into a contract, and I based other financial decisions on the numbers of that original agreement. I consider this unilateral revision a breach of contract on Chase's part.
About the backdoor of '...reserve the right to change the terms, blah, blah, blah...': there has to be a limit as to how far these 'adjustments' can go (?)
Has anyone spoken to legal counsel yet? I would like to get an expert opinion (other than Chase's interpretation of the matter).

Guest's picture
MAD

What is the best website for up-to-date info as to what is being done in response to Chase's outrageous increases as of January 2009?

We fall into the "3.99% for life". We both have excellent credit ratings, and have NOT used credit cards for the past two years. We have had our Chase card for probably over 15 years, and whenever we had a balance, we have ALWAYS paid on-time.

How can Chase increase our minimum payment by 150% from 2% to 5% of the balance? Then add the $10 fee, and option of 7.99% ... THIS IS LEGAL?

We are blessed to both have jobs and not be in jeopardy of losing them (at least as far as we know at this point). But, you wonder, is this going to push us over the edge? And how many other people are a lot closer to the edge than we are?

Well, it is a VERY tiny bit comforting that we are not the only ones going ballistic over this situation. I pray that our other credit card companies don't follow suit.

Guest's picture
Andreas Raffel

If you don't have the means to pay off the balance and tell Chase to go fish, and if you are contemplating what's better for you: incur the $10 fee at the current rate (3.99%), or no fee at 7.99%, here is some simple math.

If you owe $3,000, the $10 monthly fee comes to $120 annually, which is 4% of your balance (the same percentage as the increase from 3.99 to 7.99).
Therefore, if you owe less than 3,000, you are better off accepting the higher rate without the fee, if you owe more, the opposite is true: stay with the lower rate and pay the $10 fee.
(again, just an attempt at common sense, math geniuses please correct me if I'm wrong)

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes, but you are assuming that you can also incur the increase of the min. payment from 2 to 5%. If you owe $30,000 like me, your minimum payment would go from $600/month to $1,500. I have no problem paying the $600 a month and could pay a little more, but I don't have an extra $900/month in cash flow, so I'm stuck going to the 7.99% rate. Chase knows this - they are doing this to effectively raise rates although they promised fixed rates. I knew that they could do something like this, but it seemed like a good deal when I started it, and I hoped that it would stick.

Guest's picture
lynne

Great to know! I, like some others here, have a WaMu card that is now being taken over by Chase. I haven't gotten my first statement from them, so we'll see if I get hit with these as well.

Good looking out!

Guest's picture
PissedInBama

Here's a copy of the letter I'm including in my payoff to Chase to close the account:

You will close this account immediately. I am terminating this card with the balance paid in full. You will pay back the new BS $10 'Finance' (theft) monthly charge immediately. You will not solicit through mail, mortgage offer, or phone to me anymore.
Not a wonder that the banking industry is struggling when customers that have been steady income for you for years get stolen from like this. It's these kind of business practices lead customers that have used your credit liberally, paid you for that use correctly and on time for years, to other lending institutions. How stupid can you be?
I can afford to get out of this thievery, but there are a lot of people that can't. For that, you should go to jail.
I've seen some of the stories on the news programs about these kind of credit card business practices, but I didn't think it that a customer that has been around for over a decade would be treated this way. I was wrong. How do you guys sleep at night, knowing what you do to people and that your driving your business into the ground?
Here's the sad part. I'm at a stage in my life where I'm doing pretty good. I'm one of the people that might have reached to you for business or mortgage investment down the road. Now, you're bank is banned from my entire family forever. Given the current financial climate, how many other good clients with growing incomes are going to tell you to kiss their ass?

Guest's picture
Guest

Chase ripping of customers $10 finance charge. Customer Rep say's that they are not getting any profit out of my account. I am paying my bal transfer pmt's every month since past 2 years.
Customer rep admits its un ethical to charge the customers $10.But he say's it's legal. He threatens saying Chase has right to ask customer to pay the balanace in full within 30 days.
I don't how come they do these kinds of un ethical business.

I am going stop my direct depoist to Wamu(chase) & set it up with my credit union.
We should stop giving business to these cheats

Guest's picture
Guest

Same thing happen to me with my Chase MC which I have had since 1993. Imposed a $10 monthly fee and increased the monthly payment from 2% to 5%. A CLASS ACTION SUIT HAS BEE FILED AGAINST THEM REGARDING THIS FEE. See this link: http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-1383679.html
I hope Chase loses all their good customers since they don't treat them well. I'm going to Wells Fargo.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just received this message from Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP:

We are considering seeking a Court order to stop Chase from continuing these practices until the Court has an opportunity to rule on their legality. If you have suffered any real economic hardship as a result of Chase’s practices, please let us know by replying to this e-mail. Economic hardship could mean anything from not being able to pay your bills to bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Diana Wong

Paralegal

Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP

11 Broadway, Suite 2150

New York, NY 10004

dwong@gslawny.com

Guest's picture
Guest

I have a 760 fico score,never late on anything,but self-employed
in a home improvement related bz its been really hard and getting
worse.I havent been charging european vacations-lol.But I missed
the letter in oct that said my wa mu card going chase intrest rate was going to 23.99%,about 4 x what it was.When I called up
they wouldn't budge,you missed the letter,to late nothing we
can do blah blah blah.What would I have done anyway becaues I
need all the credit I can get now try'n to get through this.I
did a balance transfer for some but its a hefty balance for me.
This is the way they help the country by getting their maxium
profits putting the squeeze on everyone in these hardtimes.
Its disgracefull.Congress wrote a check real quick for these
crooks,we can't even get a square deal.I can't get work,can't
sell my house if I wanted to,lost my investments and retirement over
the last 2yrs,that took 30+ yrs to save,I'm feeling worn and
weak these days while their out playing golf...I'm writing
the goverment,bbb etc,but what are really about,do nothing
bought and paid for suck ups.I do like Obama though,but hes
gota pull a rabbitt outa his hat for this mess.....

Guest's picture
Guest

Chase are a big bunch of crooks! They did the same thing to me. My minimum payment has gone from 2% to 5% plus a $10 service charge to keep my 4.99% interest rate that I transfered back on 2004 until it is paid off.

I called chase and I have nothing but 2 options. the one above or to transfer out of the 4.99 to 7.99% until July 2011 (not until the balance is paid off). I told them I never got notice about the changes. The claim it went out in my November 2008 statement. I never saw it. They also claimed that these 2 options are my only options. In that if I close the account, I have to pay the balance in full in 30 days from the service charge which was 25 days ago. And if I do not pay then defaults apply and the APR jumps to 31%.

My response to Chase rep: I have options just not with your company. I rather let another company make money off of me than you. In the mean time, I will be writing letters and contacting the media and the government about your shadiness to good customers. I have never missed a payment with chase and have an excellent credit history. This is how they treat me. This is why I have been working so hard for years to get out of debt. I refuse to be servant to these greedy jerks. I hope chase does not go back to the government asking for more taxpayer money. They do not deserve one more dime after this.

Guest's picture
TW

http://www.gslawny.com/lawyer-attorney-1383679.html

In January 2009, Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart filed a class action lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Chase Manhattan Bank USA, N.A. (collectively, "Chase"), on behalf of a class of customers who have been charged a monthly service fee on balance transfers to their Chase credit cards that have low fixed APRs for the life of the loan.

In Chase's original agreement, Chase represented to its customers that to keep the low interest rates, the customers must only make timely required payments to Chase and the customers' creditors. As set forth in the complaint, lead Plaintiffs allege, on behalf of a class of similarly-situated customers, that Chase imposes, in violation of Federal and State law, a $10 monthly service charge and an increased minimum monthly payment on customers who wish to maintain the promised low fixed APR.

To obtain more information about the lawsuit, please use the form below.

Note that Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart will handle all received information as strictly confidential.

Guest's picture
Guest

Just yesterday I closed one of my two chase cards for the same reasons of increased mos min and $10 service fee. I will be closing the second as well. Furthermore, I am in the midst of refinancing my home, which is currently with chase,and ensuring that it will be with another bank. I will also move my checking and saving accounts to another bank. After more than 15 years having accounts with them, in good standing, I resent the fact the terms of my agreement with them have changed because "we need to make a larger profit margin," as stated by the customer rep I spoke with.

Let this be a lesson learned; have only one credit card, use it only for true emergencies, and pay it off in full, if possible.

Guest's picture
Guest

Just got hit with the $10 fee on one of my Chase accounts. The rep could not explain why one card was charged and not the other, but a Supervisor told me that my other card simply hadn't been converted yet. Ultimately ALL Chase cards will be charged the $10/month fee.

It took 15 minutes and escalating the call to a Supervisor, but I did eventually confirm that they will reverse January's charge if I pay the balance and close the account within 30 days. Easy decision...closed and paid. I mostly use Amex Blue anyway.

I've been a Chase cardholder for many years and reliably pay my bill each month. Now as a result of the change my credit score could decline because I'll lose two of my long standing accounts and my available balances will decline as well.

Chase owns a TON of other cards....watch all of your accounts!!

Guest's picture
Glenda

Wake up people! I did ! I have a credit score that tips the scales. Never in my entire life have I had even 1 late payment on my credit cards, mortgage, or car loan. Since the bail out I have noticed alot of changes in credit card rules & regulations.Some from personal experience & some I've heard from other people.It seems this all has taken place since the 750 BILLION $ bail out money was dispersed.I've come to realise that the people on wall street are not willing to change their live style at all nor do they seem to have any legal or financial repercusions for being irresponsable. Basically the government, meaning tax payers gave them money & they have chosen to spend it on themselves & come down on the people on main street.Anyone with any common sense can read the writing on the wall,the rich got ahold of alot of money & they aren't going to be loaning it out. Watch TV ! Read the news ! As for myself I'm gonna take my own bail out. Reality is pretty soon a FICO score won't be worth the paper it is written on.

Guest's picture
saul

did you close your account first? would you reccomend closing account and if so does that at least stop the monthly added service fee? etc..... please fill me in...thank you

Guest's picture
Guest

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing into complain about a recent policy change for Chase credit card holders with promotional balances offers. I was offered a lifetime promotional balance of 3.99% on balance transfers which included a onetime fee for balance transfer. I have been paying the credit amount down as per the bank’s terms. Recently as you are aware there was a change in the account terms which makes people either opt for a higher APR or pay a $120 annual transaction fee. While I understand the need to the bank to raise capital, I believe it should be weighed against good corporate governance and customer relations. Hard times should not be an excuse for slapping new fees or reneging on existing agreements through underhand fees.

I strongly request to review your policies and hopefully retain longer term relationships with your customers.

Regards.

p.s. I wanted to bring to your notice some additional customer complaints with this policy.
http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-new-credit-card-policies-chase-ca...

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Guest

Do you have the contact information for Gordon Smith, CEO of Chase card services?

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Guest

Do you have the contact information for Gordon Smith, CEO of Chase card services?

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Vito Caputo

In comment #42, Dr. Lahm said "The hearings, by the way, were about whether or not banks should be regulated more heavily."

As described in my comment #71, those hearings were actually about whether or not the people needed more protection from the banks.

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Those changes to the terms are a shocker. While moving minimum from 2% to 5% may be good for new card holders to prevent them going so far into debt it is bad for existing card holders who may budget for the 2% due each month and could mean people would fall behind on repayments and damage credit score. Also, this idea of monthly admin fees is another joke. They want you to pay the bill so why charge you for it. They should at least offer a free alterntative if you take up options such an online banking (paperless statements) or direct debits for payments.

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Guest

I am sick of the fees, the greed, the abuse against consumers, the corruption, the bailout. We *still do* have the power to choose, and I chose to close my Citibank account. One of my friends has also been inspired to do so, and I am encouraging every person I know to close off their account with Citi, pay off the balance, and be done with them forever.

In supporting Citigroup, we are supporting a whole industry of greed and corruption. If enough people close their accounts, eventually Citigroup -- and others -- will get the message.

It isn't like you have to be without a credit card. There are still good cards out there; I have a great card through a credit union (of all places!) and I have moved my major purchases over to that one. It looks as if the banks who are making the biggest increases in fees are also the biggest credit card companies, who also had big bailout from the government -- which we will ALL be paying for in addition to their fee increases.

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Badtux

They choose to work for an unethical and immoral company. That is a choice they make. I don't feel sorry for them. There is more honor in walking the streets homeless but honest than in lying for a living. I have thank god never ended up homeless because of me valuing honesty over lying, but it's been close at times, like one summer where I worked census and delivered pizza all for minimum wage, barely enough for gas and food, before I remembered someone who'd called me a few months back about a job, called him, and got an honest job that didn't pay a lot but at least paid for gas for my rusty $850 Chevette with enough left over for food, auto insurance, and electricity and water for my rundown old mobile home.

So I don't feel sorry for the "poor CSRs" who choose to work for an unethical and immoral company. They choose to enable evil. So be it. I'm not going to yell at them or anything because that's not useful, but I'm not going to pretend that they're these virtuous people that I should feel sorry for either, because they're not. They chose to work for evil. So be it.

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PaidOff2008

I've had a Chase credit card since 2005 with 1 late payment in 2006 when I was laid off of IBM. Besides that, I've always paid on time. In Oct. 2008, I called because my interest rate shot to 27.24 APR on a balance less than $500. I was told that they could not reduce my rate... nothing more!
So last October, instead of purchasing Xmas gifts, (I sent my family Xmas cards) I picked up a part-time job with Macys. I paid Chase off on Dec. 18, 2008... a day that I will never forget:) It was hard working 3 jobs (I already had a fulltime and part-time job), but it was worth it when I was able to tell Chase to kick rocks and say goodbye to the p/t job and Macys after the holiday! Just in time to avoid the $10 maintenance fee! Now my fave pasttime is going into my Chase online account and seeing a $0 balance on my card:)

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Guest

The only thing I'm hearing here again and again is everyone complaining about the mess they got themselves into. The moral of the story is "DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE"!!!!

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Peter

Guest, I'm sick and tired of seeing these "live within your means and don't complain posts".

JP Morgan Chase has added fees that it failed to disclose when they solicited balance transfer offers that supposedly were for the life of the balance. They are also resorting to borderline blackmail by jacking up minimum payments at a time when credit is drying up for many consumers, only to make people "agree" to higher interest rates.

Moral: DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH JP MORGAN CHASE IF YOU HAVE ALTERNATIVES.

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Rob

I have tried complaining with polite and professional tones, and a second time with hellfire and brimstone... Were hosed. I hate Chase Bank, I hope they fail, and James Dimon their CEO and his board gets fired. I feel so violated.

(Could care less about the grammar for any grammar police)