Sunday, January 24, 2010

Buh-Bye Amazon Chase

First 4 digits of a credit cardImage via Wikipedia

This was a reward card I applied for in the days when I was chasing lower interest rates. It ended up chasing me back, almost all the way to bankruptcy court. I transferred a hefty balance, was late on a payment or two, and my rate skyrocketed to close to 30%. I tried to renegotiate the rate, but got nowhere. I finally transferred the balance to another card, which, at least temporarily had a lower rate. (That's a story for another day).

For more than a year now, the card has been dormant--no charges, no payments, zero balance? Good, right? Not so much. Rate for new purchases? 28.99%. So, what the hey, my record is getting cleaned up, I figured I'd call and get them to lower my rate in case I needed to shuffle some more balances.

My Indian call center rep was very polite but firm. "We may reevalute your rate in August. We don't have a payment history on this account." (Translation: you're not using it lady). He suggested that I charge $10 to the account and then pay it on time so that they can reestablish a payment history.

No, I don't think so. How about you lower my rate first, and then I'll think about using the card again?

"Well, I'm sorry, ma'am, but if you don't use the card, the rate will not go down."

How about you cancel my card then, as it's useless to me?

"Certainly we can do that, ma'am. And please consider Chase again in the future if you need another card."

Uh, I didn't have a good experience with Chase. Why would I want another card?

"Well your experience with this account does not determine what your rates will be on future accounts."

Huh? So why don't you just lower my rate?

Oh, never mind.

So probably getting ticked off and closing the account on the spur of the moment was not the wisest move. Maybe it will even negatively affect my credit scores, since by lowering my available credit I have a higher debt/credit available ratio.

Mabye it wasn't smart. But it was so satisfying.
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