Chase Invents $120 Annual Fee For Balance Transfer Customers

Some customers who transferred their balances to Chase were hit with a new fee this month: a $10 monthly surcharge just for having the account in the first place. This $120 annual fee is pure profit for Chase and doesn’t get applied to the balance. Oh, and they’re doubling the minimum payment as well, although the sooner you pay off your Chase credit card and close it, the happier you’ll be.

TZ tipped us to the increase, saying it happened to him. He also pointed us to this page on ConsumerAffairs.com where dozens of customers have posted complaints. A sampling:

“I have a Chase credit card that has a low fixed rate of 2.99% until paid off. Today, I found out that Chase is now charging me an additional $10.00 monthly service fee and is raising my minimum due from 2% to 5%.”

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“Change in terms of a agreement for a rate that has a added fee of $10.00 to carry the card that I did not sign up for when the orignal purchase was made.”

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“I recently got a lifetime balance transfer offer for 4.9% from Chase banks. I paid the 3% NO LIMIT fee for my $20,000 balance to lower my debt at a long term FIXED (as described in the offer) rate.

After meeting ALL their conditions, and making timely payments as required, chase has now more then DOUBLED their minimum payments and now charges a $10 monthly fee. The only way to avoid this was to take a 3% higher rate that they offered (7.9%),

If I don’t make this large increased minimum payment, I will default on the loan terms and they will increase my rate significantly….. thus making the 3% I paid a few months ago worthless.”

Where financial health is concerned, current minimum payments are really too small in the first place, so if you can at all afford to pay more than the minimum you should do it. In other words, we’re not against bigger-than-minimum monthly payments in general.

What we are against, however, are credit card companies changing their terms in such a drastic way, especially in an economic climate where most customers will not be able to easily move to a competitor.

If this has happened to you, you’ll probably save money if you cancel the card completely and pay it off under the original terms of your agreement. Closing the card will ding your credit, but it will also prevent Chase from sucking extra money out of you—money that could be used to pay off that debt, in fact.

Chase Credit Cards [ConsumerAffairs]
(Photo: DerrickT)