Citibank is up to MORE shenanigans

Last week I got a notification that the interest rate on my credit card was about to change to 23.99% unless I did a balance transfer of no less than $3000 by December 10th, triggering that 3% fee ($90). Then I’d qualify for a 9.99% rate for a year on all balances before reverting to 23.99% – on all balances, including any portion of the transfer I failed to pay off in that time. In other words, 9.99% is some kind of introductory offer but for an existing customer with a FICO score over 800. What an unbelievable load of CRAP.

I don’t really care what they do with the rate because I pay it off in full every month and only failed to do so once in the last 5 years, which is when I discovered that you pay interest on the entire month’s balance $1800) and not just the portion you didn’t pay off ($300).  Never again. Anyway, if this is what I have to put up with to keep from paying an annual fee, fine. But as soon as my mom finishes paying off her balance on my Bank of America Visa, I may reclaim that card for daily use – it’s my oldest, and Bank of America has, to the best of my knowledge, not put the screws to their customers in the nasty ways that Chase and Citibank have. My card is still at an awesome interest rate of Prime + 1% on the transferred balance, and I just checked the purchase rate – 7.9%. I was really surprised they hadn’t messed with that, given what the other troubled banks have been pulling on their customers.

So I just dropped Bank of America customer service a thank-you note for not following in the mercenary footsteps of Chase and Citibank just because they could. I’m not really aware of anything they’ve done except cutting people’s credit limits, but I gave them props in my email for doing that – it was a mutually beneficial move and had a minimal effect on the customers they did that to.

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11 Responses

  1. Yep, everyone’s been getting the same notices from Citibank — my brother, dad and husband. Absolutely ridiculous, but at least none of them have balances — they pay in full.

  2. My wife and I got the EXACT same notice on the Citi card we use every month and pay in full. Never had a balance on it. It’s pretty obvious Citi is actually trying to get people like us to either start carrying a balance (hence the balance transfer pitch) or just cancel. As it stands we don’t make them any money.

  3. I received a very similiar letter last week! It’s the only cc that I have, and like you, I pay it off in full each month. Now, I have heard that BOA is also up to some shiggity of their own. You may not have made the cut for their little pilot program …. yet. I blogged about this very thing on 11/1 based on an article that I read about BOA (also linked in the post). All of the big brick and mortar banks deserve a one way ticket to the hall of shame.

    • Well, I mentioned in my thank-you note to BoA that switching to them exclusively depended on their behavior in the interim. I won’t be in a position to make the switch for about a year anyway.

  4. LOL, I love it “switching to them exclusively depended on their behavior.” Great clause;-)

  5. Well at least I feel better about receiving the same letter from citibank…seems as if the only people that received the letter pay it off in full each month. I actually just threw the letter away knowing that they could charge me 100% interest – it wouldn’t matter. I pay it off each month. Bring it on Citibank!!!!!

  6. This is off topic, but I wanted to help you print out coupons from the internet. Let me know if you need more people to help. I have definitive access to 1 computer, sometimes access to another. And if I can figure out an easy way to get my Mac to work with my printer, I would have access to a 3rd.

    • Sweet! – I’ll be putting up a post in the next 24 hours about printable and circular coupons that I really really want for upcoming deals. Assorted coupon sites are starting to put up Black Friday scans, so I have some idea what I’ll need.

  7. I’m impressed – over 800 credit score! Your post reminds me I need to read carefully the privacy notices and other mail from the card companies. Skimming doesn’t seem like a good idea lately with all the bank crisis and mortgage defaults.

    Maybe you can do a separate post on how you stuck with the same cc for so long and why you didn’t apply for new ones with points or deals?

  8. They’re rushing to make these measures effective before the new laws get into effect. Said laws severely hamper credit card issuers’ ability to jack up interest rates.

    It looks more and more like people are gonna have to do what it takes to get rid of their credit card debt, or else they’re just gonna get buried

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