When hitting the shops overseas, many credit cards will charge you additional international transaction fees. The savvy traveler needs to equip themselves with a credit card that charges low or no fees at all. Here’s the current rates for the seven credit cards with the lowest international transaction fees:
Want your credit line increased, APR lowered, or your declined credit card application approved? Begging and pleading with customer service not getting you anywhere except front row seats to your personal puddle of shame? Then give some of the “backdoor numbers” a shot.
Discover Card customers received a notice in the mail recently that the card was reducing the “Open Road” rebate on auto maintenance and gas dropped from 5% to 2%. Around the same time, customers have also received notice that the terms and conditions for the card are basically coming in line with the CARD act ahead of schedule. Hmmm, coinkydink?
American Express and Discover will no longer bill customers who exceed their credit limits, according to company spokespeople. The creditors aren’t eliminating the fees because they care about their customers. No, they’re providing what American Banker calls “the first concrete examples of how a new law will restrict issuers’ abilities to turn a profit.” The new CARD Act that Congress passed in May requires consumers to opt-in before they can exceed their credit limits. Since overlimit fees, which can reach $39, aren’t very profitable for creditors, they decided to ditch the fees altogether.
An anonymous reader says both his and his wife’s Discover cards—the accounts are separate—had their due dates moved up by four days in June. He called Discover, “and they stated that they sent out notices in the mail 45 days in advance warning of the change, which I don’t remember seeing. Regardless, they were able to revert my due date starting in July. You may want to have your readers closely check their Discover Card statements.”
Reader David said he called Discover Card to cancel his account — but was advised against it because canceling credit cards can hurt your credit score. He wants to know if it’s true.
When John signed up for a Discover card a few months ago, he noticed an interesting item in the fine print—he could opt out of binding arbitration if he sent in a written request that contained a few lines of necessary info and his signature. John followed the instructions, but Discover rejected it. Since then they’ve rejected his request a second time, failed to call him back when promised, and transferred him to CSRs who don’t know what the word means. The latest news: now that 30 days have passed, he’s no longer eligible to opt out. John’s thinking about canceling the card.
JD Power and Associates ranked American Express at the top of their 2008 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Customers gave the company high marks in interaction, billing and payment processes, reward programs, fees and rates, and benefits and services, with the first three factors standing out in particular. Capital One and HSBC, which target revolvers with lower credit scores, received the worst marks. Oddly, Discover got second place. People must really like their two-cycle billing (see “Two-Cycle Billing And Why It’s Evil“). Full rankings inside…
One of the tricks that seasoned travelers know is to always deny the insurance when renting a car. Why? Because the credit card that they are using already comes with insurance that they are familiar with, and because you are required to deny coverage from the rental car company in order to take advantage of your credit card’s insurance. But how do you pick a credit card that has good rental insurance?
How A Forgotten Blockbuster Video Caused A 2 1/2 Year Battle With Discover Card And Collection Agencies
“Universal Default” is when your credit card company adjusts the terms of your loan because you “defaulted” with another company. In reader P.’s case the “default” was a Blockbuster video that his friend forgot to return. Discover Card took this opportunity to double P.’s interest rate. When he tried to fight it by closing his account, it launched him into a 2 1/2 year legal battle with Discover, a collection agency, and now the credit bureaus.
A zealous Discover rep tried to get Richard to sign up for a “protection program” by speeding through the details of the agreement as fast as possible—you know, the fine print part that makes it clear you’re agreeing to a paid service. When Richard made it clear that he wanted to hear the details again and that no, he hadn’t agreed to anything, the rep hung up on him. Discover, maybe you want to have a talk with your reps about their sales techniques.
Next time you brush past your credit limit you may get hit with more than a hefty over-the-limit fee. The Red Tape Chronicles reports that credit card companies are starting to slap exuberant spenders with penalty interest rates. Compounding the danger to consumers, creditors are simultaneously rushing to slash credit limits.
Liveblogging The Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations Hearing On Arbitrary Credit Card Rate Increases
Today at 9:30 a.m., Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) will continue his investigation into the unfair and deceptive practices of the credit card industry. Today’s topic: arbitrary rate increases for cardholders in good standing. The hearing picks up where Senator Levin left off in March, when he questioned the use of excessive fees, interest charges, and the abuse of grace periods.
“I took your advice a while ago on asking your credit card company politely for a lower APR. I asked Discover Card to give me just that.
Discover card holders, check your bills. You may be one of 400,000 lucky members getting their interest rates significantly increased for no apparent reason.
We received a “Love Note” separately from our statement from Discover stating that our APR will be rising from 12.74% to 19.99% . While I do carry a small balance on the card sometimes, it has never been one that I use much because I have cards that are below 8% APR and still offer rewards. Now, my credit isn’t bad (744 FICO – just checked after getting off the phone with Discover). I have no past dues, never pay late, etc. I also noticed that the statement said “this decision to change your terms was NOT based upon information in your credit file”.
“ConsumerMan” Herb Weisbaum over at MSNBC says that banks have messing around with their late fee structure lately—adding a third tier of pricing, raising fees, etc. Those of you with higher balances might be paying more if you’re late. We think that’s not cool, so we’re posting a round-up of current fees.
Blueprint for Financial Prosperity reminds us that savvy consumers can take advantage of credit card companies hellbent on turning a profit. Most credit card companies will go to great lengths to keep their customers happily spending away. Use these tips to make them cater to your every financial desire: