All Presidential candidates should have a plan to wean America off its credit card dependence. We collectively owe almost $1 trillion to credit card companies, but only the Democratic candidates have written plans to reform the credit card industry. Alpha Consumer wrote an excellent summary of their competing plans to strike at some of the industry’s most harmful practices.
A 23-year-old gas station attendant in Massachusetts has been charged with identity theft after a customer noticed that her card was used to make additional purchases a few hours after she’d been at the station.
Check your statements. Fraudulent charges of $429 for “ID Safe” are showing up on some people’s credit card bills. Which is odd, because usually these places use tiny charges so they’re more likely to go unnoticed. If you see a suspicious charge on your credit card, call your card company immediately to check it out and get it reversed if need be. On the credit card statement, the phone number listed for ID safe is 888-261-6045. After the jump, what happened to one consumer when he called the number and got through to the mastermind, who sounded like she was banging pots around in her kitchen…
More about Bank of America’s inexplicable rate hikes against good customers who never pay late: the Charlotte Observer talks to some recent recipients of BoA’s infamous rate-increase letters from the past few weeks. The first person they talk to is a 60-year-old woman who “had never been late on a credit card payment, just refinanced her home at a lower interest rate, and just been rewarded by her credit union with a lower rate on her credit card there.” Bank of America just raised her card from 13% to 24.99%.
Capital One Account Supervisors: 1-800-707-0489. They have full access and powers to fix any account problems. They’re probably even so smart that they can tell what’s in your wallet without even asking.
Here’s a great credit card that will allow you to express how awesome you are at a variable APR between 7.75% and 26.95%. Yes, kids, it’s the Hooters MasterCard, and according to their website, it’s been “rated #1 by some fake award.”
The Credit Card Bill Of Rights Act, which was introduced on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would limit interest rate hikes and late fee penalties that credit card companies use to unfairly squeeze profits from customers.
Consumers are not being as big sluts with their credit cards as they slowly discover that they have no money. [WSJ]
BusinessWeek has just published an article about Bank of America’s recent surprise mailings in January to some of its customers, announcing “that it would more than double their rates to as high as 28%, without giving an explanation for the increase.” These customers have good credit scores and hadn’t made any late payments, and those who called Bank of America to ask why this was happening weren’t given clear reasons. Industry experts say Bank of America has reached a “new level” of “lack of transparency in raising rates,” beyond anything Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase currently practice, because BoA is apparently using some undisclosed internal metric to determine who gets the rate hike.
“We live in a small town, and everybody looks at your clothes and what you drive and where you have your hair done,” said Ms. Gamble, who earns about $2,600 a month as a grievance counselor at a local prison.
800-889-9939 is the number for Capitol One’s U.S.-based Senior Customer Service reps. They take escalated calls for credit limit increases, fee waivers, account term changes, or interest rate decreases.
The notoriously easy to hack NYC taxi credit card machines are now slightly more secure. [Gothamist]
When Capital One “closes” your credit card account, they’ll continue to allow automatic withdrawals even though the account is closed. But they won’t send you a statement—you know, because it’s closed!—so that you’ll end up with late fees. Quenten experienced this first hand when he closed his account recently, and now Capital One has sent his account to collections over a $38.00 late fee for two 38-cent charges that he never knew about.
Rising defaults and people behind on their payments have credit card companies retreating from the marketing and lending orgy of the past few years. Here’s what the different banks are doing to shore up their positions:
Egg, a Citibank-owned online bank in the UK, announced this past weekend that it’s canceling the accounts of 161,000 of its customers after “conducting a one-off, extensive risk review.”
We know that technically it’s a great thing that you have multiple options to pay for your food at Burger King, but this is just a little too sign-of-the-times, and it makes us sad. Somewhere out there is a guy who’s still paying off the Whopper he ate in June.
Dawn writes to tell us that she and her husband both received the $100 iPhone credits last fall, but when she tried to use them on December 4th she discovered one of the credits had a zero balance. An Apple CSR told her to go ahead and make her purchase without it, and the $100 would be credited immediately to her Visa. Unfortunately, she took his advice.
There’s all sorts of advice online about how to disable RFID chips and tags, and now that they’re starting to show up uninvited on credit cards, you might be tempted to try some of those tactics. But as a reader found out, many credit card issuers will simply swap out your newfangled RFID-enabled card for a traditional one if you just ask.