We regularly get letters from people who are upset that their bank “unilaterally” closed a credit account they hadn’t used in years. They’re always quite surprised that the bank can do this, and usually want to get their accounts back. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You really do have to use your account occasionally to keep the bank from closing it.
Considering the growing amount of credit card fraud, it’s not surprising that banks are becoming more and more vigilant about identifying suspicious transactions. It’s too bad they haven’t been as successful at filtering out false positives or promptly notifying customers, as James Fallows at The Atlantic recently discovered when he got his account frozen for sending files to his Kindle.
Skye is on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without any way to pay for things, because Citibank canceled his card due to a security breach and didn’t bother to warn him first. What’s worse, they’re making him call repeatedly to try to fix it, which is costing him $3.50/minute because he’s in the middle of an ocean.