Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chased Away

I am now petitioning anyone and everyone to avoid getting a credit card through Chase. Before Melanie and I got married, we both had our own Chase cards. During our engagement Chase suddenly catapulted Melanie’s annual percentage rate (APR) through the roof, even though she’s always had great credit. She closed her account and was unimpressed that the company did not even ask her reasons for doing so. They took no action to potentially save their customer and seemed completely indifferent as to why they were losing her business.

Flash forward a bit, and here I am with an almost identical experience. I opened my Chase account with an outstanding offer of a fixed 7.99% APR. As we all know, “fixed” means absolutely nothing, but I was confident it would last long enough to make it worthwhile. I’ve now had the card for two years, but last month my APR shot up to a staggering 29.99%. I have never been late on a payment and I have never exceeded my credit limit, not with Chase or with anyone else. So I called Chase and asked why my APR had been changed, and they said it was because my credit report shows me carrying too high of balances on other cards. This doesn’t really make sense to me as I’m not anywhere near the credit line on the other cards I have, and my cumulative debt has done nothing but steadily decrease over the years. But what irks me the most is that I was given absolutely zero notice of the change. Sure, there was probably some fine print somewhere in my initial application that said no such notice would necessarily be given, but you’d think they’d give you the courtesy. I’m offended. And we’re not talking a minor increase to my APR. It almost quadrupled!

Needless to say, I closed the account and paid the balance off in full. As was the case with Melanie, Chase did not try to stop me from closing my account whatsoever. It’s their loss—had the APR stayed the same, we would have been paying them interest for several more months, I’m sure. The only pity is that Melanie and I were hoping to put all of our extra money toward our MBNA card, which was, and now is again, our highest APR. I haven’t been overly impressed with them, either, but we’ll see how they react when I try to close my account with them. They had given me an unbelievable 5.9% “fixed” APR, which lasted about three or four months before shooting into the low 20’s as a variable rate. What a scam. And that increase had nothing to do with my payment history, credit report, or anything else. They simply decided to change to a variable rate. But at least they sent me a letter ahead of time…


  1. I hate credit card companies.. arrrgghh! You might want to check your credit, just in case these might be the early warning signs of identity theft. You can get one free credit check a year from Annual Credit Report. (You probably already know this but just in case you didn't).

  2. Credit cards are the tool of the devil.