BoA Hikes Rates On Millions Of Credit Card Customers

Last week Bank of America decided to hike rates on millions of credit card customers. They said that if you carry a balance and have an interest rate below 10%, starting in June you’re likely to see it spike into the double-digit category. BoA said it had to do it because these customers were “underpriced relative to market conditions.” But according to at least one email, Bank of America might be underrepresenting the number of customers caught in its interest rate dragnet…

Kevin got his rate hiked even though he always pays in full and his rate was 14.99%. It’s now going to be 24.99%. His FICO is in the 800’s and has never had a late payment in his life, he says. That’s odd, that doesn’t sound like he meets any of the criterion BoA says its using to explain the rate hike.

Anyone else experience something similar?

Kevin writes:

I received a letter over the weekend telling me that my APR on my credit card would be “adjusted” from 14.99% to 24.99%, for no reason whatsoever. I have never made a late payment, never used cash advance, always pay my balance in full, and have never gone over my limit so I found this to be odd. When I called I was told that this will be taking effect as a ‘company wide standard’ and that it will be put in place for all BoA credit card holders. I talked to a few friends and coworkers who have BoA and they too have received the notice with jumps ranging from 6.99%, 8.99%, etc., all to 24.99%. We were all told that we can choose to reject the APR increase in which case we would have to pay off the remaining balance and close our accounts, otherwise there is nothing we can do about it but accept the increase to 24.99%.

I am in excellent standing with all my loans and credit, I have a FICO score in the 800’s and have never been late on any payments in my life. But my credit history is still relatively new and my BoA credit card is my oldest account. If I reject the APR and close the account I will be losing a valuable line of credit and damaging my credit history and score. At this point I may just pay off my balance and only use my card for purchases every few months to keep the line open, but I’d rather have a card I can use rather than need.

If you have any ideas on this subject I’m all ears. I may start an EECB later in the day but I doubt it will make a difference since every CSR I have talked to has shot me down left and right.

Remember that you can always reject a rate hike, but it will mean that you will have to stop using the card. With consumer credit getting squeezed left and right, some people might not have a choice in staying with the higher interest rate just to make sure they still have an available line of credit.

Bank of America boosting credit card rates [Consumer Reports Money Blog] (Photo: The Cornballer)