“I took your advice a while ago on asking your credit card company politely for a lower APR. I asked Discover Card to give me just that.
Things seemed peachy. I called customer service and asked a lower rate and got it without any confrontation, argument or a supervisor. Strange I thought, but OK. I got my 3.9% APR for one year. Great! When I can make those large purchases for my apartment that I need to carry a balance with. Now consider I already had about a $1200 balance to boot.
I thought every time I made a payment it would apply to my oldest charges which are the ones with the 16.24% APR. It would make sense right? Isn’t that how credit cards work? So in my first month with the new rate I made $68.53 worth of purchases and made a $548.79 payment.
So in theory, that $1238.98 balance I had last month at 16.24% APR should now be $690.19 right? Wrong!”
I started to notice over the past 2 or 3 months. That every payment that is made is applied to the lower APR purchases first. Thereby leaving the bigger balance with the 16.24% APR continue to sit while Discover laughs all the way to the bank.
Here is a shot of September’s statement:Notice how that balance at 16.24% got bigger! I just want to let other consumers not fall for this deal as I did. To me its like a trick. You think they are helping you out by giving you a lower APR. However it only creates the illusion that you are saving money in an effort to get you to spend more. I like to think of myself as savvy for reading this website however I took the bait on this one.
Not sure what recourse I have here, so in protest I have stopped using Discover for any purchases.
–RJB, Staten Island, NY
Yet another reason to always pay your credit card balances off in full each month. Guess we need to start adding the caveat that when doing a rate lowering, the new rate will probably only apply to new purchases.
3.9% fixed is pretty sweet so we wouldn’t give up on Discover yet. You could still get a new credit card with a lower interest rate and do a balance transfer. Stop buying new stuff and pay it off.