When Wally first got his Capital One credit card, the interest rate was 12 percent. Then they raised it to 22.9 percent. Now they’re going to raise it again—the day after Christmas—to 25.9 percent.
Wally writes, “I am a good customer and pay on time every time, and right away as well,” and he adds that he pays an annual membership fee of $40, and Capital One charges him $10 to make any payments over the phone. “Like most credit card holders,” he adds, “I am 99% set on cancelling the card, but don’t want to affect my credit score.”
We don’t know your overall financial situation, Wally, but we think the message that Crap One is sending you is pretty clear: they think you suck, and they’re going to bleed you for as much cash as possible until you wise up and leave them. Sign up at a site like Billshrink (it’s free) or visit Bankrate, and start comparison shopping for another card with a better interest rate, then do a balance transfer. That way you keep the credit history and lose the punitive interest rate.
Also, remember that the only time you really need the highest credit score possible is if you’re planning on financing a home or a car. If that’s not in your near future, don’t let fear of losing a few points influence your decisions too much. It’s just a stupid number that a company invented to describe you to other companies—and unfriendly companies like Capital One like the fact that their customers are afraid to jump ship, because it means they can keep hiking rates and adding fees.