Beat Chase’s New 32.4% Default APR

If you’re a Chase credit card holder and you received a “Change of Terms” notice in your recently mail, congratulations.

Your default APR is going up to 32.4%, but you can opt-out if you send them a letter by November 24th. Your account will not be canceled if you reject the changes.

If you threw away your notice, we posted it inside.

Check out Mouseprint for a deciphering of the other changes listed in the notice. — BEN POPKEN



Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    By “default rate,” don’t they mean the rate that it shoots up to if you miss a payment or don’t pay your bill on time? The second bullet says the Default Rate Section lists the “events” that could cause your account to go to the default rate. That’s a little different from everyone’s rate being jacked up to 32%.

    Even for a default rate, though, 32% is pretty damn high.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Oh, good point. I will add that in.

  3. The_Truth says:

    Arent Chase the ones doing the 5% cashback card?

    I wonder if there already loosing too much money on it?

  4. junkmail says:

    If you did something to “earn” a 32% interest rate, get rid of the credit cards, NOW. You have no business owning one. Ever. Period. That being said, 32% is disgraceful, regardless of the circumstances.

    And what’s the point of the “opt out” clause? What are the consequences of doing so?

  5. acambras says:

    Maybe if you “opt out” they cancel future transactions on the account, but you still have to pay on the already-accumulated balance.

  6. thrillhouse says:

    “Arent Chase the ones doing the 5% cashback card?
    I wonder if there already loosing too much money on it?”

    That was really funny, thanks!

    Also a point to note – You’ll also need to be able to prove that they did in fact receive the letter from you as well. You’ll want to send that letter with return receipt.

  7. TheUpMyAssPlayers says:

    “If you did something to “earn” a 32% interest rate, get rid of the credit cards, NOW. You have no business owning one. Ever. Period. That being said, 32% is disgraceful, regardless of the circumstances. “

    Come on, everyone misses a payment on occasion. 32% is damn harsh I think. And does it Stay at 32% forever? Is that legal?

    And this is why I pay cash for pretty much everything. :-)

  8. Are all credit card term changes subject to opt out (effectively staying with the contract you signed originally)? I was under the impression they are not.

    By “default rate,” don’t they mean the rate that it shoots up to if you miss a payment or don’t pay your bill on time?

    Last I knew you didn’t even have to miss your payment or fail to pay your bill on time. Lets say you suddenly got approved for a mortgage, they could say “You’re too heavily leveraged” and switch you to the default rate. Credit Card companies = evil bastards.

    I hear you can use your Chase card to buy Nazi T-shirts. Consumerist should do a story on that.

  9. Ben says:

    Here’s an example of how you can “earn” such a rate.

    I once had it set up, at my bank, to automatically pay my Chase account. While I was gone on vacation, a monthly statement came in, and because of a large purchase I had made, the minimum payment changed.

    So my automatic payment (I was still on vacation) was $12 short. Earning me the default rate. I paid the difference as soon as I saw it, but was a few days past the due date.

    They reverted to my old (4.9%) interest rate when I appealed, but it was touch and go for a while.

  10. thrillhouse says:

    Dropout is right. Its called Universal Default which means they can jack your rate if they wake up in a bad mood. Its totally legal and you totally signed up for it. The borrower truely is slave to the lender.

  11. chemman says:

    What they don’t tell you is if you send a letter declining the new 32.4% default rate, your account will still be active but they will jack your rate to the current default rate of 29.99%. Like Thrillhouse said, they can do it on a whim if you piss them off! I’m just guessing here but Chase is slimy enough to do something like that!

  12. jesus. i was pretty dumb with my credit cards (two of ’em had to be paid with settlements to collections agencies), but the worst apr i got stuck with was 25%.

    mental note- when i get out of the hole and start rebuilding my credit, stay the hell away from chase. even if that’s a penalty rate, it’s still indicative of a bank that wants to f**k me.

  13. junkmail says:

    Point taken from the above posters. I guess there are always situations that aren’t within our control. Ultimately, it’s Chase that needs to be strung up on this one. 32%?!?! That’s just beyond ridiculous. It’s too bad usury laws aren’t a little more strict.

  14. thrillhouse says:

    Whats too bad is that we don’t have laws to protect consumers this scum and their horrid business practices. Rather, its much more important to pass legislation reguarding supposed “bankrupcy abuse”. Stats from before and after show no such abuse. Bankruptcy rates are still sky-high.

    And if you think 32% is high – the Pentagon is requesting limits on Payday Loan places (the half-brother of the credit card company). The effective rate on their money comes out around 390% – 900%. Nice, huh? Its so out-of-control that 12 states have laws that prohibit triple-digit rates.

  15. TheChaz says:

    The only way a smart consumer should ever use a credit card is if s/he pays it off every month. I could care less what the rate on my Chase card is because I’ve never paid them 1 cent in interest and I never will. In fact, since it’s a cash-back card, they’re paying me to let them loan me money for 30 days.

  16. Mister14 says:

    Mist14 says: I had a Bank of America card at one time with an interest rate under 6%. I received a letter from Bank of America notifying me that my interest rate on the card would be going to 21%+. I thought I had missed a payment or made a late payment. When I called, I was informed that they were raising the rate to 21%+ on everyone who had a card similar to mine. Needless to say, I paid off the balance immediately and cancelled the card sooner that that.

  17. ColoradoShark says:

    How about if you call up Chase and tell them you don’t want to deal with a usurious company and you want your card cancelled. Of course, they will get you to a retention person immediately who might actually know what the word usurious means.

    Vote with your wallet!

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I think if you read the fine print, there’s something in there about taking your first-born child and a kidney.

    That kind of interest rate is just criminal.

  19. Triteon says:

    Amen, ColoradoShark! The only difference between a 32.4% interest rate and a loan shark is that Chase is less likely to send a leg-breaker to collect. Less likely.

  20. billhelm says:

    typically “opting out” means that they cancel your account for any new transactions and you pay off any existing balance under your existing card terms.

  21. keith40228 says:

    We made a mistake and went over limit by $20.74 on our Chase card. Our rate was increased from 13% to 29% plus a $40 over limit fee. I called to close the account.

    I was transferred to a “special supervisor”. I asked to either get my rate lowered or close my account. The “gentleman” went through the charade of seeing if he could lower my rate. He said that his system would not let him see any “offers” as long as we were over limit. He said to make a payment and call back after the payment posted. I did. I spoke with a woman who “checked” and she said that rates are reviewed after six months of on time payments.

    The “gentleman” gave me false hope of getting my rate lowered in order to get a quick payment.

    I can live with the over limit fee, but the rate increase is ridiculous!

    This is a legal scam!

  22. SMRRL says:

    I hated doing business with Chase back in the early seventies! Now they have bought out several of my accounts and I in two months am already having issues after years of no problems with the previous account holders! Something needs to be done about Chase they are unscrupulous loan sharks to say the least! Hopefully people can keep getting the word out and they will get less business.

  23. Charlie47 says:

    Chase is charging me 29.99%. They will not lower the rate. This is going on about 1 year. Everytime I asked them to lower they say I’m not eligible. This originally was Providian account. Chase are loan sharks. The government is doing nothing for consumers.

  24. Charlie47 says:

    I will pay my chase credit card off. Never use Chase they are Loan Sharks.