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  1. B says:

    Good for BoA. Everybody should call, ask about their rate, get the account closed, then switch to a less sucktaclular company.

  2. AstroPig7 says:

    But if they close the account, then they can’t charge exorbitant fees!

  3. hypnotik_jello says:

    30k in balances? damn!

  4. Taed says:

    I think we’re safe in blaming the consumer on this one… He clearly brought it on himself.

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Huge favor. There are plenty of credit unions that will be more than happy to have your buisiness.

  6. cmdrsass says:

    If I were BoA and a customer called with a 30k balance inquiring about their rate, I would be a little bit worried, too – perhaps even worried enough to close the account.

  7. Wow. So what happens to the debt?

    If BoA doen’t want his or her interest anymore, I’m sure he or she would be glad not to pay it.

  8. henrygates says:

    Maybe they figure anyone who knows enough about credit cards to bother inquiring about this bizarre ‘rate’ thing is a customer too educated to fleece effectively. Next thing you know, Todd will be asking for a copy of his “terms” and questioning fees on his bill (clearly any customer who looks at their bill before paying it is someone BoA could do without).

  9. Coelacanth says:

    Good thing I refrained from calling to have them renegotiate my rates. At least they were decent before the intended rate-hike, which I dutifully declined.

    I really hope BofA receives the “Worst Company of 2007″ award.

  10. basket548 says:

    @cmdrsass:

    I’d hope not, since the customer has been around for ten years. This is beyond ridiculous…though I do use BofA for its ATMs (which, let’s face it, are everywhere) and online account management, I would NEVER get involved with a credit card or loan with them. Speaking to its customer service is like having my teeth pulled, and the frontline people know close to nothing about actual finance.

  11. Truthie says:

    Is this even legal? One would think that being quoted the current interest rate on the account would be required as part of FTC disclosure laws and the bank couldn’t penalize you for it.

    But more importantly, why would anyone wait 40 minutes on the phone to find out something one can easily get from your most recent statement or online?

  12. egoebelbecker says:

    Maybe someone decided that the only reason you would ask for a lower rate is because you are having problems paying? Sort of a preemptive universal default?

  13. Parting says:

    @cmdrsass: If the customer pays balance in full every month, then it doesn’t make sense.

  14. puffyshirt says:

    @FrankGrimesJr: The account remains in a “closed” status, but the OP is still liable to pay the balance. No charges can be added to the account, but it can be paid off within the same terms agreed upon before it was closed.

  15. ionerox says:

    Wierd, I have a BoA card that I never used and can’t for the life of me get through to anyone in customer service to cancel it. (And I’ve tried every few months for the last couple years.) Maybe this is their new strategy?

  16. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    This has got to be illegal, right?

  17. William Mize says:

    I see it like this – the consumer carries a $30k balance, always makes his minimum payment, even more. BofA is living high off his interest. The consumer didn’t state that he paid his balance off in full each month.
    Consumer calls BofA, inquires about his interest rate, they close his account. This means that he can’t use the card any more, but he IS on the hook for the $30k balance, and needs to keep making his payments.
    Why is BofA doing this?
    I bet it’s because most people, after hearing their rate, immediately start shopping around for a better balance transfer rate. They find one, pay off BofA in full, thereby taking away BofA’s interest income.
    If BofA closes his account, then he can’t do the balance transfer and they keep their income while alienating and pissing off many many customers.

  18. johnva says:

    @cmdrsass: From the post we can’t tell if he actually carries that balance forward or whether he churns that much through the account and pays it off every month. The latter is very possible, especially if you are running a small business and using the credit card as a cash management tool.

  19. olegna says:

    The only thing that bother me about this — and it’s a big thing — is that the bank is in complete control of screwing up your credit score by simply closing your account. That’s not right.

    ALSO: I have three credit cards and ZERO balance. But one of the cards (Chase) has only lowered my APR from 29.99 percent to 28.99 percent and I haven’t carried a balance with Chase since JANUARY.

    That makes no sense. Four months without a balance (on any card) and Chase decides to “reward” me with a drop from 29.99 to 28.99?

    THAT’S F**KING NUTS! F.U. CHASE! I will NEVER use this card, but I will make sure to keep the account open if I can, you bastards.

    And I am afraid to call them and ask why, because I’m afraid they will close my account and screw up my credit score. NOT FAIR! NOT FAIR!

  20. johnva says:

    @William Mize: Your account being closed does not stop you from performing a balance transfer to somewhere else. Most credit card companies will gladly issue a BT check to pay off your old account.

  21. anarcurt says:

    Why does anyone bank with them…really.
    I avoid them and ShitiBank like the plague. Somehow it seems whatever bank I am using gets bought out by one of these leeches and its time to shop around again. Their branches have the most undertrained staff in the industry. Their call centers are impossible to get through to. If they contact you for anything you get ‘Steve’ from Bangalapor. BofA just go out of business please and stop merging with the banks I like!!!

  22. Tremblor says:

    I had a craptastic 24% (rounded up) rate on my BOA credit card. About 6 months ago I asked them to lower it, after a few minutes they brought me down to 17%. I also have a chase card that has 0% for 2 years (back when you could get credit like that) and a 9.99% thereafter. 3 months ago I called BOA again and asked if they could lower my rate closer to the Chase card, or I was just going to move my balance over. I was polite, waited a few minutes and they took it down to 12%. I don’t have big balances, but they did it for me, and I’ve had their card for 10 years or so now.

    I’m not a big fan of BOA, I had BankBoston, which turned into Fleet Boston, which turned into BOA, and they screwed up all my checking and savings accounts (which I have since moved), but they haven’t tortured me with the credit card… yet

  23. Norcross says:

    Wow. Recently, my wife’s Victoria’s Secret card had her credit line lowered from $1,550 to $200 because of a late payment. Since we just got an insurance settlement and paying off (and closing) cards, they helped make the decision for us!

  24. Chongo says:

    Boy if only this would happen to me! I closed my account but somehow keep getting mysterious statements from them.

  25. stephenjames716 says:

    boa = retarded

  26. Bladefist says:

    This was discussed back in a credit card secrets article. That if they aren’t making money on you, they dont mind closing your account.

  27. MyPetFly says:

    @FrankGrimesJr:

    Oh, the debt is still there and still has to be paid off, with interest. But you can’t charge anything else.

  28. kc2idf says:

    @truthie:

    But more importantly, why would anyone wait 40 minutes on the phone to find out something one can easily get from your most recent statement or online?

    The question wasn’t “what is the rate” but rather “why did you raise my rate”. Good luck finding that — at all — never mind on your statement or on line.

  29. kc2idf says:

    @ionerox:

    Wierd, I have a BoA card that I never used and can’t for the life of me get through to anyone in customer service to cancel it. (And I’ve tried every few months for the last couple years.) Maybe this is their new strategy?

    Right! So now, all you need to do is call them and ask them to explain why your rate is too high, and voilà! Your card is finally cancelled!

  30. kc2idf says:

    @William Mize:

    If BofA closes his account, then he can’t do the balance transfer

    Why not?

  31. darkryd says:

    I’m extremely glad I dont havae a credit card with these guys, although it does make me want to close my checking account with them.

  32. There’s a lot of “Adverse Action” being taken by Credit Card companies to reduce their credit exposure. FatWallet has been talking about it a lot on their forums.

    Basically, if they think they’ve given you too much credit, based on your credit score, income, etc. they’ll either greatly reduce your credit line, or close your account.

  33. AaronZ says:

    @Bladefist: ” That if they aren’t making money on you, they dont mind closing your account.”

    Everyone always assumes that if you don’t carry a balance, the CC doesn’t make them any money.

    That’s completely bogus. The CC makes money even if you pay your card off in full each month. They get 5 cents per transaction and .02 percent of the total.
    So for a guy making 30K worth of transactions a month, the CC makes a several hundred bucks without haveing to do anything! It’s free money to them.

    So yeah, it is retarded to kick him out over this.
    I’d be curious to see if anyone else can get this result? If I had a BoA card, I’d call them up this second to try it out.

  34. johnva says:

    @kc2idf: You can. He’s simply wrong on that point.

  35. I called BofA asking about rates on all of my cards, to make sure the rates haven’t gone up (I don’t alway read the notices they send me) roughly two months ago when I read a horror story on here about someones rates getting jacked up, and guess what…
    None of them went up! I had a 7.9, 8.9, and a 12.9. Believe it or not, I actually got my 12.9 dropped to 8.9. I’ve never had a late payment with them though.

  36. @AaronZ:

    That’s completely bogus. The CC makes money even if you pay your card off in full each month. They get 5 cents per transaction and .02 percent of the total.
    S

    You’re right about transaction fees existing, but your numbers are low. Typically a CC transaction fee is between 1.5% and 3% of the transaction total (depending on the card issuer, type of card, etc.).

    There is plenty of profit made from transaction charges, like you said.

  37. MissGayle says:

    I don’t know about BoA, but WaMu doesn’t put your interest rate info anywhere on your account webpages. If you do all electronic bill paying and don’t get paper bills, I don’t see how you would ever know unless you called and asked.

  38. Jerry Vandesic says:

    File a complaint with the OCC: http://www.occ.treas.gov

    They regulate the large national banks, and are one of the few groups that a bank will fear (I work for a different large bank).

  39. rellog says:

    I just had to close my Citibank account due to fraudulent activity. I doubt I’ll get a new card from them for this reason. No loss however, since I missed one payment by one day a few months back and they jacked my interest rates up from 12% to 29%. Add to that the fact that they cut the dividends they paid on purchases down to next to nothing and there’s little reason to stay with the…

  40. Fist-o™ says:

    Oh, well, it’s worth it for all the rest of us other Americans, in spite of some “Other people” having problems with the credit cards, right? We need to have the “Safety Net” of credit… and the convenience of plastic… Not to mention those awesome Bonus Miles/Points/Bucks we get, right? WE aren’t dumb enough to EVER get behind, and we ALWAYS pay it off every month! And don’t forget– the Holy FICO Score must be maintained at all costs! Sure, the CCC’s are evil, but they’re a Necessary Evil, right? So we can maintain this convenient lifestyle!

    Fist-O(tm)

  41. BreadBoy says:

    Use credit cards wisely. Not to often. Don’t carry a balance.

  42. consumingall says:

    @kc2idf:

    “The question wasn’t “what is the rate” but rather “why did you raise my rate”. Good luck finding that — at all — never mind on your statement or on line. “

    Actually, he stated in his letter:

    “I called today, asked if I could know my current interest rate”

    so I don’t understand either why he would wait on the phone for an hour for that information.

    It’s still ridiculous that BOA would do this.

  43. kariokie says:

    How funny. I had about a $5000 balance on my BoA card (moving on very short notice, paid it all off within two months, have like a $20,000 limit, been with them 6 years).

    I’ve never been late on a payment — in fact, never been late on any credit card or loan payment, not in maybe ten years.

    Checking my bill, I noticed my APR had gone up to 20.99%. I rang them up to ask about lowering it. The woman checked and politely said she couldn’t, and that I would need to speak to a specialist about the matter. Unfortunately, all the specialists were gone for the day, so I would need to call back.

    I think it was the next day I saw the first Consumerist article on this! “It’s a trap,” I thought, and haven’t phoned them since. It’s tempting to just call and get myself canceled, but I’d prefer it be on my terms.

  44. MissTic says:

    They asked him if he had a job among other questions he didn’t reveal. He doesn’t say what the reply was. I’m assuming he is gainfully employed but if not or if he refused to answer…adverse action? They called him a “percieved risk”. Sucky and wrong but…something happened in that conversation that made the button mashing moron at BoA close his acct.

  45. QrazyQat says:

    To be fair, if you wanted to act like BofA does, you’d think a customer who wanted to know what’s going on is a risky customer to have.

  46. @MissTic: I picked up on that too – it’s possible that he either refused to answer, or didn’t reveal his answers to us – either way, something flipped the “cancel/close” switch.

  47. Sasha_Pie says:

    I wish that someone had shook some sense into me when I was in college and had taken away my credit cards. BoA still has its talons in me for $10,000 divided between two cards (one used to be MBNA). I can’t wait to pay it off.

    (Nervously looking around to make sure They aren’t listening and secretly closing my accounts because they don’t like my attitude)

  48. SacraBos says:

    @egoebelbecker: He didn’t ask for a lower interest rate, but just what his current rate way. I guess customers that are interested in their interest rate are too intelligent to risk having as customers.

  49. Raziya says:

    Hah! Second time this week I’ve been grateful for living in a small town…no big chains around us, and our local bank treats us very well!

  50. geoffhazel says:

    @Norcross: @Norcross:

    Regarding closing paid-up-accounts:

    Pay off the account, but don’t close it.
    A paid off account will help your credit score, and the longer you have it, the better. Once you close it, it will drop your credit score.

  51. Orv says:

    @MissGayle: On BoA’s website you can see it by downloading your statement in PDF format. The PDF statements are exact replicas of the paper ones.

  52. emkiku says:

    I was the one who wrote in a couple of weeks ago. Just as a follow up, I wrote a letter to Kenneth Lewis about the matter and received phone calls from two different people – one from consumer credit and one from executive customer service. Neither one could/would help, saying that the closing of the account was “a business decision”. Because of having to sell a house at less than the mortgage value a couple of years ago, I had transferred a big chunk of debt to MBNA (now BoA). All told, BoA had extended me credit in excess of $90,000 and I was never within striking distance of that limit. I never missed a payment and I was a customer since 1990. Because of their unwillingness to help, I have now moved one account to a 3.9% lifetime interest rate with another bank. Honestly, I am at a loss as to how closing my accounts would make them more money, but that obviously wasn’t an issue. Below is my email to Ken Lewis after their final kiss off.

    Dear Mr. Lewis,

    As a follow up to my letter of two weeks ago, I am disappointed to report that no one was able to achieve a satisfactory solution to my problem. I am disheartened that Bank of America would so casually throw away such a long and profitable relationship, but I understand that no one in your company has the ability to change a decision once it has been made. Thank you for your efforts in this matter.

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: xxxx
    Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:32 PM
    To: Case, Daphne A
    Subject: RE: Credit account closure

    Daphne,

    Thank you for the quick response. Obviously, as a customer of nearly twenty years, this is not the result I wanted or expected. I will be moving my business to other accounts as soon as possible, including transferring the full balance on the Gold Option account today. Note that this will bring my debt to credit limit ratio to approximately 60% for my Bank of America accounts. If this amount of debt is of concern to BoA, then it would probably be advisable for you not to extend such high credit limits to customers in the future. Please be sure to take my name off your mailing list, as I continue to receive balance transfer offers from your company that are clearly fraudulent given the fact that you have closed my accounts to new charges. I will, of course, no longer be doing business with your company once my accounts have been paid.

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: Case, Daphne A [mailto:daphne.a.case@bankofamerica.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:02 PM
    To: xxxx
    Subject: RE: Credit account closure

    Dear Mr. xxxx,

    Regrettably, we are unable to reopen your accounts for usage due to the amount of debt on your accounts and with other creditors. The accounts are closed to charging privileges but the accounts are not reporting negatively to the national credit bureau reporting agencies. This is a business decision and will not be altered. We may review the accounts again in the future if your overall debt has substantially decreased.

    Sincerely,

    Daphne A. Case

    Bank of America

    Customer Advocate

    Card Executive Relations – Office of the Chairman

    Office: 602.597.3329

    Fax: 214.416.0848

    daphne.a.case@bankofamerica.com

  53. Breach says:

    BoA is weird to me, I see so many “I got hosed” stories about them, never had anything bad happen to me. I even asked them to raise my credit limit recently and they happily obliged. Even my business account was a pleasent experience. My only one real bitch is that my local branch almost never answers their damned phone and has no voicemail, just tells you try again later…

  54. William Mize says:

    @johnva: I did not know that.
    Thank goodness. I assumed that they couldn’t because it would make BofA even more evil.

  55. BoA hiked my APR without any reason a few months ago. I had done a balance transfer onto their card with the terms being such-and-such APR for the life of the balance. Never was late with my payments or anything. I called them, asked why, they said, “Such a deal never existed,” despite my having paperwork proving it. I told them to cancel my account and, amazingly, they did. Didn’t even TRY to keep me as a customer.

    Good job, BoA. You suck.

  56. a_brown-eyed_grrl says:

    Awesome! I’ve been meaning to close my BOA account. Now I know how!

  57. Caveat says:

    BofA has not changed in 40 years. At that time they continued to deny my aunt a credit card because she had no established credit, she was an immigrant. Still, she and her husband were working, they had $10000 on deposit with BofA, they had paid cash for their home and car, and BofA was collecting money on the mortgage for another house she and her husband had sold. What is happening now is not unique with BofA. My son’s American Express was cancelled because he asked for a credit line increase, although he had never defaulted on a single payment and has a credit score in the 700s. I was refused a credit increase by Capital One even though I also have tens of thousands on deposit with them. The banks’ credit divisions seem to be completely separate from the savings divisions and no matter how much deposit you have in savings, the credit division will ignore it.

  58. FLConsumer says:

    And this is why I keep all of my credit card accounts with Wachovia, where I have multiple other accounts with them. If they want my business (and my business’ business) they’ll treat me well. So far, so good.

    Just curious, I’ve seen the occasional article on Consumerist with near-30% interest rates but I’ve never come across those. How common are those? All of the cards I have are at 7.9%, which I find too steep to ever consider leaving a balance on. I can’t imagine paying even more than that.

  59. MatthewLolzor says:

    OK, I’m honestly going to cancel my BoA accounts soon and move over to
    SunTrust. It will be a PITA to move everything, but I can’t be with an
    organization that treat people so awfully. Hopefully, I won’t have to make
    the same move away from Sun Trust….

  60. jsttheman says:

    @William Mize: Think of it from the banks standpoint. The way that the market is going now and people aren’t paying their bills. This gentlemen is a huge liability for the bank. Yes, he may be paying his minimum payment on time but a 30k balance is high. The bank didn’t like his income and his debt to income ratio. They nipped it in the butt before they had to take a huge 30k loss because he filed bankruptcy. Why let the customer rake up more debt?

  61. jsttheman says:

    @Breach: You should have your personal bankers phone number so you can leave him/her a message directly.

  62. RobertW.TX says:

    Strange, I send letters to my banks, including BofA, every couple of years to get my rates lowered it has worked every time. I don’t really carry a balance on Credit Cards but I don’t want to be overcharged if I have the occasional large purchase I need a few months to pay off.

    Letter is normally to the effect, “I have received an offer from xxx bank for a cc at xyz APR. My APR is currently higher on my card but I enjoy your customer service and value my long account history. Would you consider lowering my rate to something similar to this rate.” Has worked with BofA, MBNA (pre merger), and Chase.

    As for BofA’s customer service the only real issues I have ever had with them are charge backs to vendors who tried to swindle me in one way or another. In every instance BofA has put the $ back in my account while I was on the phone with a rep. I receive notice that the issue has been permanently resolved a few weeks later.

  63. pal003 says:

    BofA has said that their new policy is too get rid of “risky” customers by raising their interest rates and dumping them wherever they can.

    That is their new corporate policy. These statements by BofA have been in BusinessWeek and on MSN Money online, and other financial sites. Where is Congress’ Creditcard Holders Bill of Rights???? We need it now!!

  64. meadandale says:

    30k in consumer debt?

    Yeah, BofA is at fault all right, for allowing you to run up a balance that high.

  65. mythago says:

    @meadandale, reading comprehension issues much? The OP didn’t say he had “consumer debt”. He said he had no problem paying off his balance. He called to ask what his interest rate was, not for help with his balance. There are plenty of other threads where you can blame the consumer without looking like a fool, why not post there?

  66. meadandale says:

    @mythago:

    Looks like you are the one with reading comprehension problem, to wit:

    “I typically run $30k balances”

    If he has a $30k balance on his credit cards, then that means he has 30k in consumer debt (revolving credit).

    Here’s some info since you appear to be confused….

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    He also said, “otherwise always paid on time and extra.”. I read this as he is making minimum payments plus a LITTLE extra.

    They probably concluded that he was high risk (high debt to income ratio) and didn’t want to keep his credit line open. I concur.

    Frankly, I blame BofA for waiting until the OP called before determining that he was high risk.

  67. Jmatthew says:

    Banks also get rated as investments depending on their average outstanding balances in different types of loans, their customers average credit ratings, etc…

    Right now since everyone is freaking out over the Bearstearns/housing market thing, everyone is trying to make their books look better.

    Moving a bunch of sub-prime credit customer with large balance from revolving credit to term credit would certainly help them look more investor friendly right now.

  68. freejazz38 says:

    Bank of America: Higher Fees. Why does ANYONE bank with these scumbags? Oh yea, they’re stupid

  69. etc says:

    They probably closed his account because he actually had identification and social…thus he wasn’t an illegal immigrant.

    Seems like they vastly prefer those these days anyways.