Hit With A Credit Card Rate Hike? Try Freezing The Account

Rosemary writes that Bank of America just increased the interest rates on her two credit cards by 12% and 15% because the balances were too high, after slashing the credit limits on both cards a month before. She’s frustrated, of course, but like everyone else who’s been hit with these increasing fees, she’s sort of stuck with their decision. But Mary Schwager at Examiner.com suggests you try placing your account on hold for six months or so, at which point your creditor may be less terrified of the economy and willing to work with you.

Here’s what happened when she called her creditor to protest a rate increase:

So I requested a supervisor. When she finally came to the phone she rattled off the same thing, but gave me a third option. “Opt out of the rate increase, keep your current lower interest rate but don’t close the card, just don’t use it.” (Closing a credit card may ding your credit rating a bit.) She said to call back in 6 months and perhaps the “economic climate” would be better and I could get a lower interest rate. Basically saying, the bank is pretty much up the creek right now, but they are hopeful things will turn around. I chose option #3 “hope”.

Think of it as temporarily closing your account, but without suffering the credit score ding that really closing it will bring.

This only works if you stop using your card, which means you’d better double-check that all automatic monthly debits against it are turned off. Otherwise the first charge that hits after you opt out will opt you right back in at the higher rate.

“New idea to fight credit card interest rate hikes: put your card on hold” [Examiner.com]
(Photo: dave_7)