I’ve had my home rebate credit card for 7 years. It’s my one and only personal credit card I use for everything. Once a year, a rebate of 1% of total spending gets credited toward my mortgage. I was totally happy with the card and then one day, I get a letter from the bank saying they are changing it out of the blue. They didn’t ask me whether it is OK or not, they unilaterally made the decision for me.
I’m not particularly fond of credit cards which give me rewards points so I can go buy things I don’t need. Unfortunately, as a replacement card, that’s exactly what I’m getting!
It really gets my goat that a credit card issuer can just changes things at a whim. You’d think that after all that’s happened in the financial world, there would be more protection for consumers. But, as always, I’m disappointed with how my tax dollars are spent, and nothing really changes, just the people in power.
THEIR LETTER TO ME
We are pleased to inform you that we have changed your Home Rebate Platinum Select Card account to a Frequent Flier Card account that continues to offer a variety of exciting benefits. con’t”.
My first reaction is, WTF! I am perfectly happy with my existing credit card as it helps me pay down my mortgage and I have no desire to try and amass 500,000 points so I can buy a can of golf balls!
I am very disappointed that I was never asked first whether I’d like to change cards. If they just explained to me the reason for the change and asked first, I’d feel better. But, to simply cancel my card and replace it is just not right.
Here’s what I have to do:
* Call all vendors and update them with my new credit card details. I put everything on auto deduct, which means I’ve got to probably spend an hour calling/editing the club, insurance company, and various online accounts like Amazon. Time is money, and this is pissing me off with undue wasted time.
* Go online and figure out how to link the new card and cancel the old card. That’s probably going to take another 30 minutes.
* Go through the documents and understand what my new interest rate, credit limit, and any hidden fees are. Another 15-30 minutes of wasted time.
* Figure out how to get rewards and make sure the new card is linked to the Network so I get points automatically.
* Worry that I’ve missed some account and linked something inappropriately, and won’t know until I get some late charge which I have to fight, resulting in more time wasted.
* The only benefit from all this change is that if there were any hackers close to figuring out my credit card info, my information is on the run again.
TIME IS MONEY GUYS, AND YOU’RE WASTING MY TIME!
The unilateral decision by my bank is very unsettling. The CARD Act passed on Feb 22, 2010 is supposed to protect us from unfair interest rate hikes and double billing cycles. But, what about protecting the consumer from getting “gazumped” as they say in England? Apparently, there is no protection.
CREDIT CARD RECOMMENDATION
If you are an avid traveler and looking for a travel rewards credit card, you can sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with a $89 annual fee for double the points on all purchases and 40,000 signup miles ($400 value) or the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee with double the points on travel and dining and 20,000 signup miles ($200 value). I’m going with the version with the annual fee because the first year’s fee is waived. You can read a more detailed review I wrote of the Barclaycard Arrival here.