Tricks, lies, and 0% interest.

cube1067February 21, 2005

I save all the *decent* 0% offers that come through my mailboxÂyou know, just in case. Well, Saturday, I got a "0% for life" offer. No balance transfer fee. Saw the asterisk next to the "0% for life"; searched through the fine print to see the detailsÂand found out that the 0% transfer will expire in September 2005 unless I 1) use the card twice in September and 2) spend at least $50 a month on the card every month for as long as I have the card. And of course all monies I pay will be directed to the 0% balance first.

Extortion, thy name is VISA. I canÂt believe this is legal.

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Jonesy

The 3 months, 1 year, etc free interest if all misleading. If you don't have it paid for by the end of the 3 months or 1 year, you pay all of the interest. I have 0% interest on my visa, simply because I pay it off at the end of every month. I charge all purchases over $20, have a couple of bills put on my card also, never pay interest.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 11:25PM
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cube1067

Now..don't assume I'm paying interest because I'm looking at 0% cards. Those 0% cards can work for you if you use them right. I haven't paid CC interest in years and because of that I don't particularly care what the rate on a typical card is...but I am learning to use other people's money to help myself. If I use a 0% offer I always accelerate the payments so as to pay off the card no later than 1 month before the rate expiry. I don't use the offers with balance transfer fees. If my money can earn a little more interest before I fork it over ....why not do so?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 1:12PM
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joyfulguy

Hi, double-square1067,

Good idea never to sign *anything* until reading all the fine print - or, equivalent to "signing", by using a credit card.

The offer that you quoted works out to:

They are giving you 0% on balance transfers - for 6 months.

But, to forestall the plans of people who sign up for their card, then buy nothing thoughout the interest-free period - they have rules that don't let such shrewdies do that.

I seldom use my card - and (make an effort to remember to) pay off the whole balance before the expiry date of my grace period.

Credit card companies don't like us, much - for we are getting a free ride. Not often can one find one of those, these days.

They want to make it difficult for us to do that.

Learning how money works- an interesting hobby ...

... that pays well!

If you're careful.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 8:23PM
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kathy_

Want to hear another credit card ripoff?
I have a friend (really) who missed a credit card payment over the holidays of last year. Well "Tears/Mastercard" slapped her with a penalty interest rate that should be illegal. They told her if she made timely payments for 6 months the interest would go down. 6 months came and she called.
A man told her - yes the interest would drop to 14.something percent. She would have it by the next billing cycle.
She didn't and when she called again a lady told her that man was wrong - the interest would never be that low but she would see a decrease in her next payment. Made her angry and she asked to talk to a supervisor - she hung up 40 minutes later when no supervisor came.
Another lady told her that it takes 3 billing cycles before the interest rate changes but hers would. It didn't.
15 calls later and several tries at reaching a supervisor failed but her interest rate was finally changed - it went up 1/4 point.
Every call is supposed to be logged and she tells the people she speaks with that she has called 15 times but there is no record of her even complaining once. She is writing "Tears" and sending the letter certified - return receipt.
I did a search for her and read several consumer complaints that the company will not deal with any kind of offer - nor with consumer credit groups. Also read that the company is in financial trouble.
As for my friend, a personal loan she has is getting paid off in the fall and she will take out another to pay off the credit card.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 4:01PM
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cowboyind

The best way to deal with a company like this is not to mess with them. After call number one, your friend should have secured a personal loan or a different credit card with balance transfer privileges and closed this one out.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 7:11AM
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houseful

I came to this forum to post a situation that I had this morning.

I went online to check my bank account balance. I do this twice a week or so. Usually the page shows my checking first. All of a sudden this morning it shows some credit card first. The balance was zero, but the limit was 13,000. I NEVER signed up for this card and called them to remove it immediately. They put me through to their security saying it must have been a fraudulent application.

Anyway, I was thinking that they did this on purpose to entice me, knowing full well that I didn't really sign up.
I believe this even more so because they lady made sure to tell me this was a 0% blah, blah, blah. Pretty clever of them as I am sure there are many takers.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 10:25AM
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PeaBee4

The other side of the coin is that sometimes you can beat them at their own tricks. My DIL had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and only had a few months to live when she got one of those fantastic CC deals...PLUS it offered free life insurance to pay off any unpaid balance should she die. My son got on the Internet and found 8 more deals like that. All paid the balance. Some charge a small fee for the insuranc and some didn't. When she died, they had charged 26,000 of doctor bills, drug, food, EVERTHING was paid.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 4:30PM
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cowboyind

Houseful, if I'm not mistaken, it is against the law for a bank or any other credit issuer to open a credit account for you without your permission. Years ago, credit card companies used to send out actual cards to people as an enticement to begin using them, but I think the rule now is that you have to give you approval first. They can send out a fake credit card that looks real along with a "pre-approved" application, but you have to sign off on it before the actual account can be opened.

Because the account must have been opened by your own bank, possibly you unknowingly applied for it as a part of some other transaction, such as applying for overdraft protection or something such as that. One other possibility is that they converted some other credit account you had with them, such as an unused credit card with a low limit, to a new one with a high limit and different terms.

If the bank genuinely believed fraud was taking place, they should have changed all of your account numbers as well as advised you to change your online account access password, etc.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 11:45PM
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trinitytx

haha peabee.....good one. glad to see someone else turned the tides.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 1:53PM
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