Capital One: Waive Your Rights, Get $10 Off Your Next Overlimit Fee!

Everett says Capital One called him up and made him an offer. If he opted out of at least one of the consumer credit protections enacted by the CARD act, Capital One would drop the overlimit fees from $39 to $29! Woo!

Everett writes:

The person on the other end of the phone informed me, “due to the changes made by [the Card Act], Capital One would have to deny any charges that goes over your credit limit starting in February of 2010. However if you want to maintain the ability to go over your credit limit you could opt to have your account stay the same as it is now. Your fee for going over your credit limit would be dropped to $29 (from $39) if you chose to do this.” I find it interesting that I can waive federal law applying to my credit card account for a potential savings of ten dollars. Comparing that to everything I’d lose out on, I decided to “opt in” for the law to apply to me.

I was also told I could “change my mind at any point, and give Capital One a call to let them know.”

Actually, this is brilliant. Some people don’t need the government telling them they can’t live outside their means and they should be able to claim a discount for being a more profitable credit card customer.

I am curious whether “have your account stay the same as it is now” means that you would opt out of ALL of the CARD act provisions, or whether it’s just the overlimit fee part.

UPDATE: Turns out that this is just about getting people to opt-in to overlimit fees: Update: Capital One: Waive Your Rights, Get $10 Off Your Next Overlimit Fee!

(Photo: helgasms!)

Comments

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  1. amberlink says:

    Excellent. I’m sure if you give up your first born, you can get a variable rate PLUS only 19%, rather than the 34% they promise to enact.

    Excellent. Where do I sign up?

  2. wcnghj says:

    Is it even legal to opt out??

    • rekoil says:

      @wcnghj: See above comment, which suggests that in the case of over-limit fees, the consumer is able to explicitly opt in. It’s that opt-in that Capital One attempted to solicit.

  3. opticnrv says:

    Since this seems to be such a confusing topic for the public at large, I suggest this opt in/opt out decision would be a great topic for a Consumer Reports article. (hint hint)

    • thesadtomato says:

      @opticnrv: How you can “opt in” and sign away your rights under CARD is a very confusing topic to me.

    • ken2148 says:

      @opticnrv: See this months issue. There’s an entire article on credit cards. They have a summary info box on what the new law does and doesn’t do. I haven’t read the article yet just the info box. So I’m not sure all what in the article.

  4. thezone says:

    This can’t just be to opt in on going over your limit. They must be asking people to opt out entirely and just using going over your limit as their one example. I wonder how many people are going to fall for this trick.

  5. frank64 says:

    It is bad to even be close to your limit. That is one big reason they use to raise your rates. If you are even close to it, it should be a very short term situation, so it shouldn’t even be a consideration.

    It is kind of a fake fee too, it doesn’t costs them anything for someone to go over their self imposed limit. Many limits are artificially low because they have been reducing them and in some cases balance chasing. Really what they are saying is we can’t by law screw you anymore, but if you let us we can! And we will make it $10 less!

  6. nightshade74 says:

    [credit.about.com]

    “No over-the-limit fees unless you request (opt-in) the credit card issuer to process over-the-limit transactions. Otherwise, over-the-limit transactions would be denied and you would not incur a fee.”

    So in short it looks like he’s just opting in to have
    over the limit transactions approved.

  7. Straspey says:

    This smells fishy to me, and I’m wondering whether or not Capital One can legally allow their customers to “opt out” of a Federal Law.

    Here in NY City, we have very strict regulations regarding residential properties and leases. Any rider or additional clause added by the property owner which seeks to circumvent one of those regulations will be deemed to null and void, even if the tenant signs the lease.

    I would be very interested to have The Consumerist contact the proper government agency to see if Capital One is not violating the law by engaging in this slippery activity

  8. Ronin-Democrat says:

    those card companies have their pimp hand strong…….

  9. DangerMouth says:

    Wait, due to changes in the card act, you will no longer be able to go over your limit? But when you go over your limit which they aren’t allowed to let you do, they still charge you $39 dollars? But if you waive your rights, they’ll drop the overlimit fee by $10? (head asplodes)

    Seriously, wtf is so hard about denying a charge if it’s past the limit, that they should charge $40 for the privlege?

    Also, I thought it wasn’t possible to sign away your rights, and any contract in which you do so is lillegal and invalid?

    • mmmsoap says:

      @DangerMouth..Passed the Audition!: Ah, yes. The old “not only will we let you do something new, we let you do it cheaper” ploy, I know it well.

      I’m with you here. Clearly there’s something fishy with CaptialOne, if they’ve got some kind of fee schedule for illegally doing something, and a different fee schedule for legally doing it.

  10. PsiCop says:

    Gee, didn’t the Wall Street Journal — which of course is never wrong about these things — recently declare the recession over? How then can the bankruptcies and bank-failures be continuing? I for one don’t believe this. I suspect these stories are fabrications by the Evil Media Elite to make people think the recession is still underway, when we all ought to know that it’s not. After all, the “recession” was never real … it was merely mental, the result of the Media Elite having made the US into a nation of whiners.

    It’s all a Commie plot, I tell you! There was and is no recession; no banks have failed; and CIT is doing just fine thank you.

    </end sarcasm mode>

  11. Nighthawke says:

    I would have to see this in writing before I even start to discuss this with my card issuers. If Discover did that to me without letting me opt in or out, I’ll drop them like a hot iron, and move on. My Cirrus issued bank credit card does just well, no frills, credit limit cash withdrawals, reasonable rates, and a cinch to keep paid off.

  12. bluesred says:

    I got this call from Capital One.

    They asked me if when I charge something and I go over my limit… do I want them to deny it, or leave my account the way it is.. and process the transaction. She didn’t say anything about the fees or try to sway my decision.

    She didn’t mention anything about waiving any other rights or anything like that. Just the over-the-limit one. It seemed to me more like an option than opt-out.

    I chose to have my account stay the same. That was the only thing I authorized, to have that portion of my account “stay the same.”

    Just thought I’d post my experience, this was about 2 weeks ago.

  13. Munchie says:

    Can this be buried in fine print for other things or does this have to be explicitly agreed to by itself?

    I see other enabled features for card fine print have I wave all possible protections from the CARD act buried in the legalese.

  14. fs2k2isfun says:

    I regularly go over the limit on my AMEX, but there is no over the limit fee. I also pay my balance in full every month. While this wouldn’t affect me, I probably would waive the “protection” since I need to go over sometimes.

  15. kd5jos says:

    You forgo all of the rights that the government is enacting for a ten dollar savings on a fee, that only applies if you go over your credit limit. This allows the company to play with your interest rate. In fact, you forgo every protection enacted under this law. This is what happens if you keep your account the same as it is now.

    • frank64 says:

      @kd5jos: No, that is not what happens. It is just about going over the limit. There are many other things in the law you still get.

      This isn’t really a bad thing. Some people want the choice. I don’t think they should charge for it, but at least they are letting me decide.

  16. Duckula22 says:

    That Asian scorpion chick’s hot, I’m going to get me one like that, only mine should be blind, that way she won’t know she’s hot, because when they’re hot like that, and they know it, they’re bitches with a huge sense of entitlement.

    And as for the topic of the thread… yeah, I totally agree.

  17. ARP says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: That’s what I’m concerned about. This will end up like the arbitration issue: either you agree to it or we close your account. It will become an industry norm and it will be like the CARD act never existed.

  18. kd5jos says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: To answer all the questions, you are opting out of all of the legislation that is going to be enacted by the government in February. This means that all of the “anti-predatory” stuff they are doing, is being waived for a potential savings of $10. The irony of the entire situation is, the law does not state that credit card companies can’t allow you to go over the limit, as implied by Capital One.

    Everett

  19. Chumas says:

    @JohnDeere: with lawyers, we pay you!

  20. Michael Belisle says:

    @Chumas: What right are they asking him to waive? Sounds to me like they asked him if he wanted to opt in to an ability to go over his limit, a right offered to him by the CARD act.

  21. Straspey says:

    @frank64:

    Thanks for clarifying that point frank. I was unaware of that provision in the law, and it’s good to know because it will make me a better-informed consumer ;)

  22. amberlink says:

    @NeverLetMeDown: This might be a bad thing if in the actual language there is text that tries to sneak in “and additional protections are also waived” on page 95 of the “new” agreement you sign in 6 point type.

  23. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    @NeverLetMeDown: Anyone has a list of other federal laws I can “opt out” of? I know this doesn’t seem like a stretch after 8 years of Bush, but seriously, not even the president is supposed to be able to “opt out” of following a federal law, regardless of how Nixon felt about it.

  24. JohnDeere says:

    @Michael Belisle: i dont want to murder bad enough to get a job at an insurance company. jeez im not that evil.

  25. Michael Belisle says:

    @MostlyHarmless: Actually, I’m just trying to discourage anyone who might be tempted to bring up certain issues of which we do not speak around these parts. In other forums, like over at the world’s largest collection of arguments, I’d be more than willing to grapple mano-a-mano on tough issues.

  26. joepa1 says:

    @Persistence: it all depends on what your definition of “is” is..

  27. wickedpixel says:

    @Chumas: If you actually read the CARD Act, or even a synopsis, you’d know that’s not what they’re doing at all. The CARD Act doesn’t make allowing customers to go over their limits illegal; it makes the practice opt-in rather than opt-out. Capital One is offering an incentive for the customer to stay opted-in, which is perfectly legal and not a waiver of any rights.

  28. Buckus says:

    @joepa1: Haha. Good one. Channeling Bill Clinton there. I’d like to opt-out of homocide laws since I want to go to CitiBank and give them a piece of my mind.

  29. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @JohnDeere: That might be the best reply ever.

  30. mazzic1083 says:

    @Trai_Dep: Depends on how you market it, that’s the beauty of marketing!

    Please see tobacco industry, beer commercials, prostitutes and their pimps. All of these things are potentially bad for your health but marketed as the best thing in the world that you are most assuredly missing out on

  31. Kevin411 says:

    @thezone: Exactly. I was thinking the same thing. If there is no fee to discount then there is no discount. It may be lower than the current rate, but that rate is going away absent opting out. Sneaky indeed!

  32. lordmorgul says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock: More than a few people are confused… the comments are full of people making claims to rock solid truth that is nothing even close. I’m with you on this one… poorly done article here.

  33. sonneillon says:

    @thezone: Only if you pay the balance transfer fee.