Credit Cards And The Tricks Banks Are Coming Up With
I know that some people believed I was sounding a very negative death knell against the credit card industry last year. I went fairly easy on American Express because, after all, it’s not associated with any banks and their practices, for the most part, have been pretty fair.
But for everyone else who has a Visa or Mastercard through some bank, y’all are being jacked and very unfairly, and all of this before the credit card reform goes through in February.
In this news story from MSNBC, there are many tricks highlighted that banks are pulling on their credit card subscribers that are so unfair that they help my general premise that it’s much more advantageous for most people to just cut up and cancel their credit cards or try to find someone who offers them a better deal than what they’re presently getting.
For instance, you know all that advice usually get about paying off your credit card at the end of each month to avoid interest fees? Well, it seems Bank of America is going to get around that one by hitting up their subscribers with fees ranging from $29-$99 a year depending on what their credit limits are. Obviously they’re doing this because they can’t make money off of anybody who is paying their credit cards on time. But it punishes those people who are supposed to be the most conscientious and paying off their bills and not knowing anybody.
Of course my favorite whipping boy Citigroup isn’t all that much better. Citigroup is now going to start charging yearly fees on those subscribers who don’t spend enough on their cards every year, whether they have a balance or not. What this pretty much means is that if you have a high balance and are making monthly payments, yet you don’t have enough room so you can spend all that much money, you’re going to get a fee. And you will probably be joined by those people who hardly use their credit cards, but it held onto them because the financial gurus have told them that it would hurt their credit scores to cut those credit cards up. From where I sit, that kind of device is becoming more bogus every single day. By the way, Chase is going to be doing the same thing as Citigroup, so you folks are getting off the hook either.
I’m sorry, but what happened to the possibility that Congress was going to move up the date that this particular bill, The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act, might be going into effect? Obviously we missed that, and the banks are going to continue hitting their consumers with fees and jacked up interest rates all the way until the date this bill goes into effect, which seems to be February 22. I think that’s unfair, and I think the banks are pretty much shown everybody what they think of us.
Folks, some of you may remember that I actually wrote a post early last year called Do We Really Need Credit Cards. I think it’s time that most of you do exactly what I did, which is to make one of your cards and American Express card and your other cards a bank card with the Visa or MasterCard logo on it. True, it’s not really credit (unless you can qualify for their American Express Blue Card), but at least you can use them in those situations where you have to show some kind of identification via a credit card. Or, if you really want credit card, you can check out a site that was mentioned in the news story above, LowCards.com.
We all have to stop being victims to the banks and credit score people, and come out with strong opinions against people like the American Bankers Association, not only because they predicted this was going to happen, but because they probably worked with the banks to create all those fees in the first place. You might want to consider something like what’s recommended by a group called Move Your Money to show your displeasure with these banks. Bunch of weasels!