CHASE CREDIT CARD

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CHASE CREDIT CARD

About two years ago, I received a telephone call from a customer service representative of the Chase credit card service. She informed me that I could transfer balances to Chase for a limited period and pay a 9.9% APR for the life of the balance (provided I did not lose my credit standing). I transferred a balance and asked that she send me a letter in writing stating the terms of that offer. About two weeks later, I received the letter. I read it, put it away and made a second transfer.

Six or seven months later, Chase started charging me almost 14% interest on the balance transfers. I called them and reminded them of the terms of our agreement. I was told that Chase had never made an offer like that and the representative quite coldly added that I would have to pay the balance on their terms whether I liked it or not. I photo-copied the letter I had received and sent them the copy. After too many phone calls and about 4 months later, Chase made an adjustment on the first balance transfer, but insisted that the second transfer was not covered by the letter. They were wrong and they knew it; I was right and they knew it; but the law would have supported them. They knew it and I knew it. I paid them off, wrote them a letter detailing the amount of interest income they had lost by being greedy, and stopped using their card.

NOTE: When you get an offer like this, one that is designed to save you money by giving you a lower interest rate, the credit card company can actually be setting you up for a ripoff (intentionally or unintentionally). You should always make the company explain how the lower interest rate balance will relate to your existing balance. If you have an existing balance at a high interest rate and add a balance at a lower interest rate, the credit card company will usually apply all payments to the low interest rate balance first. Only after the low interest rate balance has been paid off will payments go toward the high interest rate balance. If fairness prevailed, it would be a case of "first bill made, first bill paid," but businesses are not about being fair when profits are concerned. The credit card companies look for ways to make as much profit as possible, and a higher interest rate balance will produce substantially more interest income if it is not paid than a low interest rate balance will produce.

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