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Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Posted by vonrouge (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 3, 04 at 18:01

Hi, everybody, I'm new to this forum...

Has anybody recently received a letter telling them they will now be paying a $48 annual fee on their Cap 1 card? The letter states, "We want to assure you that we did not base these changes on your account history or behavior." (Likely story.)

I called customer service and got nowhere. Normally I would choose not to do business with a company that flip-flops on policy like this, but I am working on my credit scores and don't want to close the card. In the big scheme of things $48 is not so bad, but this really annoys me! Am I the only one?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

When some card offeror tells me that I have to send them a major fee, or they want permission to add it to my bill, before they'll let me continue to use that little piece of plastic that they sent me some time ago, I tell them that there are other similar pieces of such plastic that I can have come to me without any fee.

And - since their card that has been in my hand for a time is no longer of use to me - I'm cutting it up and sending it back.

I can find some cards that charge no annual fee.

That offer the same kinds of service that the fee-chargers offer.

As business organizations merge and get larger - and fewer - they are able to have increasing control of the marketplace. But a few card offering agencies don't have a corner on the market - not yet.

They're working on it - but they're not there yet.

Which makes me ...

(somewhat) joyful

P.S. A brewer of beer recently sent me offer of an affinity card.

It seems to me that if I am to sign up for an affinity card, meaning that a small percentage of my volume of buiness will be rebated to the sponsor, I'd rather sign up with a connection to a university or other educational, social or community service organization.

As more of our high quality jobs shift overseas, educational excellence and strong community and social services will take on increasing importance.

oj


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Well, I guess this annual-fee business was not a universal "business decision" for all customers, as Cap 1 told me, or there would be more postings here...


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Hi again vonrouge,

No doubt you've received various offers from credit card offerors - with various "good deals" to encourage you to sign up with them.

Maybe check out some that might interest you.

I have yet to find one that offers an 800 number that you can call to discuss various aspects of the situation.

You may be able to find further information if you ask for the company's name on a search engine, e.g. Google.

You might want to check out what cards with what variety of conditions are offered by some local financial institutions.

Read all of the fine print in offers from competitors. Some say that you'll get full record of conditions when you sign up. I'd send their reply envelope saying that you want a reply detailing all of their conditions BEFORE you sign up.

If you have some other offers, call your current carrier and tell them that you have such and such an offer from this company and such and such from that - do they want to sweeten their conditions in order to have you continue with them?

You mentioned that you didn't want to cease doing business with your current carrier, for some reasons of your own.

You may know that - but they don't.

And it would not be a good idea for you to tell them.

Have your arguments in your mind when you call, make your arguments logically, fully and concisely. Know the result that you want, make a good case for why you should get it. And ask.

If they say, "No dice", reiterate your reasons, maybe adding another, if you can think of one, and ask again. After all, you've been a good customer, have been with them for a long time, have never given them any trouble, etc., etc.

Hang tough. See what kind of condition you can work out. Be persistent, and don't give up after requesting just once or twice.

If their decision to add an annual fee to continue to use their card results in many cancelling their card, they may reconsider.

Or if it results in many clients checking with competitors, then calling them to carry out some hard bargaining before they'll be willing to continue to use their card - they may pay attention.

If you don't get a satisfactory result on your first call - call again tomorrow, and again later.

If someone is too harsh, or even rude, in discussion with you, ask to talk to their supervisor and complain.

If the first customer service representative is hard nosed, it may be more than is required. Perhaps another one may be more willing to make a better offer.

Doesn't hurt to try - if you have the time and inclination.

It could pay nicely.

Good wishes for hard bargaining.

joyful guy


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

In most cases, you can reject any change in the terms of your account by sending the credit issuer a letter stating that you do not accept the new terms. You will then no longer be able to use your card, but you will be able to pay off your existing balance under the old terms. In order to do this, there should be instructions written somewhere on the letter they sent you to inform you of this new annual fee.

Capital One, like all card issuers, will base its terms on:

1. Your credit
2. Your payment history
3. The ease with which they feel you could get a different card
4. The level of balance you carry (they will feel that if you carry a high balance, it would be harder for you to just up and cancel the account)

Capital One's letter stating that the change was not due to your personal behavior is probably technically true. They probably changed the terms of ALL account holders who have certain credit characteristics. (Probably people with less than perfect credit who have balances over a certain level.)


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Hi, cowboy, hi, joyful~

I cannot at this time get rid of the card. It is my only cc (apart from some retail cards) and I can't imagine what would happen to my credit scores if I closed it.

However, my scores can't be too bad, because I just got approved for Amex Blue (yay!). So in two years or so I'll be able to get rid of the Capitol 1 card, and its ridiculous annual fee.

I'm still hoping to get my fee at least reduced. But I'm not good on the phone so it's a long shot.


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Rejecting those new terms would not be the same as closing your account, although the account would eventually close when you no longer owed them a balance.

Closing an account would probably not have a disastrous effect on your credit score. The companies like to keep the scoring process a mystery, so I can't tell you what it would or wouldn't do, but I have a good score, and I've opened and closed many different accounts.

Capital One will probably hear from a lot of people about this new annual fee. Few if any fees will be changed. If they thought you would cancel the account (which it sounds like you won't do), then they would not have imposed the new fee on you. Remember, for better or for worse, this is these people's business, and they're good at it. They work the numbers and look at all the angles to milk every last nickel out of you.

The only way you're going to possibly get them to change it is to be willing to cancel the account over it, and to actually say so, and possibly to tell them to cancel it and then see if they transfer you to someone else. (Often companies reserve the best "secret deals" for people they think they are going to lose as customers.)

So it's a gamble, to some degree. You may say cancel, and they may say, "fine," and that'll be the end of it. But if you're getting other cards, you can probably get another one to replace this one pretty easily. If it were me, I would cancel this one to avoid this ridiculous fee, if nothing else as a matter of priniple. But that's a call only you can make.


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Have you had any recent offers to sign you up at no (or low) interest rate on transferred balances?

Should you sign up for one - after the transfer, *don't charge* anything on that card. As many require that your full monthly payment be used to reduce the transferred balance before you pay off any of the newly acquired debt. That way, after while they get the full amount of the transferred balance transferred to their high interest account. Unless - you make no further purchases on that card.

Have you had any mail offers lately (that you haven't thrown out yet)? Maybe check out a couple of offers from them.

Ask around at some local financial institutions (not too many, as too many requests over a short term raises red flags on your account at the credit agencies, as well).

So - do you have some relatives or close friends who'd make some inquiries at an institution or two for you? I like that term, "institution" - think some of them should be confined to one.

I dislike using store cards - don't like paying 25 - 28% annual interest rate, thank you very much.

Will your usual financial institution make you a loan for a substantial part of the amount owing? Most likely, even on an unsecured loan, you'd pay a lower rate of interest than currently on your "credit" (i.e. "debt") card balance.

It would help a lot if you have some, preferably easily liquidatable, assets that you can use as collateral.

Are you a member of a credit union, or are there some locally? Often, since they know their members better, they are willing to make loans to people that they have faith in, even lacking adequate collateral. If there are some, maybe join one.

Good wishes as you chart your course through troubled waters,

joyful


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

I have a Capital One credit card but have heard nothing from them about an annual fee. I also have a Chase credit card and they did try to sucker me in to a card with an annual fee by sending me a statement to sign saying that I wanted to keep my card active. I don't have that kind of a card with them and called to ask what it was all about. I was told that it was a mistake and to ignore the notice. I later received another notice that I had to send it back by a certain date to "retain my special card" I ignored that one too. I do not want and will not have a credit card that requires an annual fee.


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Hi all,

Well done, Judith.

Always read the small print before you sign anything.

ole joyful


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

FWIW, I am not charged an annual fee on my Cap1 Platinum card. I like Cap1.


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

I liked them too, until out of the blue they sent me this letter. I guess for whatever reason, they decided that a certain segment of their cardholders--and I can't imagine why I'm included, considering my perfect history (and the interest they have occasionally made off me)--could be squeezed for more money. Based on feedback here and elsewhere, I can't make any sense of who is getting stuck with the fee and who isn't.

By the way, I've found out that Cap 1 has very few satisfied customers. It is one of the more disliked subprime credit card companies out there. Search these forums for "Cap 1" "Capitol One" or "Crap 1" to see...

Here is a link that might be useful: Creditnet Credit talk forums


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Yes, I can't find much to like about this company. Here's a silver lining for you: Providian is even worse.

But there are many others you can do business with that are far more consumer-friendly. Consider checking with a local bank where you have established a business relationship to see if they'll offer you a card.

The only way to deal with a company you're not happy with is to stop doing business with them. If you don't do that, you're giving them a vote of confidence they don't deserve.


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

I guess I picked "two winners" since I have two credit cards. One with Capital one and the other was with Providian. After disagreements and many phone calls to Providian, they settled with the low fixed rate that they had promised when I applied for their card and as I paid off my balance to zero, my card was taken over by Chase. Capital one is now paid in full and Chase was too, until I had a large auto repair bill which I am trying to pay down as fast as possible. So far so good with the two of them now. I have no complaints as of now about either one of them. Judith


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

The only way to deal with a company you're not happy with is to stop doing business with them. If you don't do that, you're giving them a vote of confidence they don't deserve.

That's why this situation angers me so much. It is the oldest open account on my credit report. I'm stuck--absolutely can't close it, unless I want to wait a few years to buy a house. The whole credit-scoring system is backwards. I'm going to "waste" money (the annual fee) in order to make my creditworthiness look stronger. Ridiculous!


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RE: Capitol 1 now charging annual fee?

Vonrouge, if your goal is to buy a house, I'd strongly suggest that you consider sitting down with a good mortgage banker right now -- today.

First of all, this person can pull your credit and tell you exactly where you stand. Right now we're just shooting in the dark because we don't even know what kind of score you have. I am thinking that you are overestimating the importance of keeping this card, but someone in the business could give you a lot better information on that than I can.

Second, in fairly long experience with a lot of friends and associates, I have discovered that many people under-estimate their own credit and often as a result postpone their home purchase way too long. Getting a mortgage is not as hard as what you think.

There are so many different mortgage programs and plans available that there is literally a mortgage for practically any buyer, and I do mean ANY. I see people that I wouldn't lend $5 to getting $200,000 mortgages. These are people with repossessions, prior foreclosures, bankruptcies. And in a lot of cases, they are only paying maybe a percent over the absolute lowest rates available.

We're a long way from the time when you had to have perfect credit to get a mortgage, that's for certain.


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