HSBC Credit Card's Pay-By-Phone Fee Is Higher Than The Bill

Why does HSBC charge $15 to make a payment over the phone? Other, often smaller, companies charge $3 or less, as MG notes in his email below. In this case, since the alternative is so unwelcome—a possible late payment, and a corresponding hit on MG’s credit score—it seems pretty outrageous to hold him hostage to a $15 fee.

I recently paid off the bulk of a purchase from Best Buy ($450) that I made using a BB account through HSBC. But then I got a notice that I still owed about $13 dollars on the account. I called the number listed on the notification, followed the prompts and was told there would be a 15 dollar fee to pay for the $13 dollar debt over the phone from a bank account? They don’t accept any debit or credit cards either.

Why does HSBC need to charge 15 bucks to process a payment? My local utility does it for $3.00 and even smaller companies do it for free.

I’m mailing in a check at this point, but the notification says that this late payment could be listed on my credit report so I’m hoping they get it and clear it soon.

It seems clear that HSBC could charge a percentage fee based on the payment amount, with a minimum and maximum threshold. That would allow customers like MG to use the pay-by-phone option in a pinch without getting ripped off, and it would ensure that HSBC covered its costs and still made money off the transactions. Just not as much money, which we guess puts an end to the discussion.

(Photo: danchitnis)