Contrary to any ads touting financial responsibility, banks don’t really make much money on people who pay attention to their money, and they may just kick you to the curb when they realize you won’t be a huge source of fees and interest for them.
Take, for example, the tale of Consumerist reader Jason. He’d been a Bank of America credit card holder for five years, and a year ago he had taken advantage of 0% APR on balance transfers to move over several thousand dollars to that card.
With the 12 months of 0% interest ending in June, Jason paid off the balance before it bounced up to a whopping 24% APR.
With his mind on that 24%, Jason decided to call up BofA to see if — since he had always paid his bills and had decent credit — he could get the bank to drop that number a bit:
I spoke to a customer rep that told me there were no lower APR offers available so I proceeded to ask for a supervisor. I get on the phone with the supervisor and I stated that I had no late or no missed payments and paid off the balance. I then asked the supervisor is it possible to lower the APR.
She checked my credit and proceeded to tell me that they were closing my account. Her explanation was that they were afraid that with a $8000 limit, the debt on the card would go up.
I asked, “How does that make sense? I paid my balance off, I plan on keeping the credit card active, I have a job, I always pay on time, I have never missed a payment and you’re closing my account?
“If you’re so worried about the $8000 then lower my limit to $1000. I just want to keep my account active because if you close my account it hurts my credit score.”
She went on to say “it’s our decision to close the account at this time.”
I then pointed out, “If I never miss a payment and always pay on-time, isn’t that beneficial for Bank of America to keep me as a customer? Bank of America is a financial institution that makes money on credit card interest on paying customers and yet you want to close my account? Does that make sense to you?”
Unfortunately, the bank makes more money off customers who don’t question their high APR, pay the minimum each month and forget to pay off 0% balance transfers before the interest rate goes sky high.
Jason asked the BofA supervisor, “As a person, not as an employee of Bank of America, do you think this is logical? I’ve done everything right to be in good standing with Bank of America and you blind-side me by closing my account?”
He says there were several seconds of silence before the supervisor told him, “It’s our decision to close the account at this time. Have a good day.”