Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Credit Card Shenanigans


Two years ago, my DH did a little Christmas Shopping at Sears.  He wanted to charge an item on his Sears card but the clerk suggested he sign up for a new Sears Citibank Gold Master Card and would get 20% off his first purchase.  DH thought that was a good deal and signed up.  The clerk also said that this new  Sears Citibank Gold Master Card would eventually be replacing the old Sears card.  So, he now had 2 Sears charge cards!

We have never used that Sears Gold Master Card since then and in fact, when we got a new card in the mail this past July, we did not activate it and we cut it up and threw it away.

Then yesterday, we got a letter in the mail from Sears Credit Card Services and it said “Due to this challenging business and economic climate, the cost of doing business has dramatically increased.  As a result, we are making rate and fee changes …”

Sears is now going to charge $45 a year as a “membership fee” for that Sears Citibank Gold Master Card.  $45 for what – to have the privilege of buying something and charging it on their card?  I don’t think so.

So, we called today to cancel the card.  BUT, our credit score will probably be affected by the canceling of a credit card. 

How are the credit card companies getting away with this?  Cancel a card and they subtract points from your credit score?

Didn’t those banks get money from the government?  Why do they now need to charge service fees for their cards?  Aren’t the current percentage rates they are now charging enough to cover their expenses and then some?

The $20 savings that DH had on that initial purchase sure wasn’t the bargain he thought it was.  He signed up for that credit card in good faith.

Oh, boy, people … be careful out there!


Sunnie said...

I just got a letter fom my credit card company explaining how they have changed the interest rates....and they are double from previously figured! It's OK if you keep the balance paid off, but one slip (like a late payment, which is still paying...) and the rate can be almost 20%!
We all have to be watchful for new tricky business.
That $45 fee is outrageous!That's like 5 yards of fabric! And if you had not cancelled, it would have been charged right onto that very same card.

Wayne said...

My letter I received last week was asking for a $15 a year annual fee so it looks like Sears is charging different customers varying rates. Needless to say, I cashing in my 15,000 reward points and canceled the card. I urge others to do the same.