In 2006, Chase Bank offered a balance transfer at 3.99% “until the loan is paid off”. The trick was that if you continued to use the card, you’d be paying interest on your purchases- at the regular rate- until the balance transfer was completely paid off. Since they only asked for about 3 percent a month- that could be years of paying interest on a dinner out or a sweater.
Unfortunately for Chase Bank I read the fine print. I understood that additional charges would just accumulate and incur years of finance charges. I’m sure they caught plenty of people with this ruse. But I didn’t charge anything on the card. I just made my payments on time and enjoyed my 3.99 percent loan.
Well, some computer finally caught up with me and noticed I wasn’t being gouged like the other poor saps that took this offer So this month they added a $10 per month account service finance charge. The amendment states twice that this is a finance charge. However, customer service says it’s a service fee and they are free to add service fees whenever they want.
I can’t find another Chase Bank credit card offered with a $120 annual fee. So it’s just a way to double the finance charges they are getting from this account. And since they only raised this fee on some accounts- like mine- it’s obviously always been their intention to raise the effective interest rate whenever they wanted.
So they made the offer in 2006 hoping to gouge me but secure in the knowledge that if they didn’t get me one way they’d get me another.
Apparently only the consumer is bound by the agreements. The credit card companies never intended to honor any fixed rates. It was a scheme to catch consumers and they had a Plan B in case you slipped through the net.
I think this is fraud.