The other day I got one of those “Important: Changes to Your Account” notices in the mail. I’ll admit it, half the time I don’t read them and I’m sure you don’t either (forgive me for speculating). For some reason though, I thought I might want to skim through this one. I don’t know why, it just seemed like I should be paying more attention to these “terms and conditions.”
I have so many credit cards, I don’t know what to do with them. Macy’s, Sears, Bloomingdales, Express. That’s not even counting the Visas and Mastercards I have in my possession. I don’t use them very often, but I have been told that canceling them in this day and age is worse than keeping them. Besides, sometimes I get specials for having or using them, but it’s rare that I use the department store cards or anything other than my bank or airline miles credit card (Greece, here I come!).
In any event, I decided to read through WFNNB’s (World Financial Network National Bank) new credit card agreement for my Express charge card. As soon as I saw the few lines, I was blown away. My interest rate was increasing to like 25% and they would be charging to send a bill in the mail.
While 25% is a high APR, I don’t use this card that often and when I do, I pay in full, but what if that changed? What irked me most was WFNNB was going to start charging me for paper statements? I know this is now a “green” and “paperless” world, but I like to get a bill in the mail and see what I bought, make sure there are no mistakes; damn, I just like getting my bill that way. Am I being punished for that? No, just charged.
I do everything online. My email, my banking, hell, it seems all my communication with friends and family is done online these days. And now they want to charge me for my paper billing?!? I would understand if they charged me for a duplicate copy or something, but this seemed ludicrous to me. I called to make sure I was correct in my understanding and sure enough, I was. Between that and raising the interest rate to 25%, I was out.
So I broke up with my Express credit card. I’m sorry Express / WFNNB. Even though we had been together since I was 18, you made demands on me that are just a little too outrageous in this economy. I’m a customer, you should have done something to keep me, to bring me into your store(s), not chase me away.
Take it from me. Read these boring terms and conditions coming to a mailbox near you. Read it on your commute, at your lunch hour, while you’re bored at work, at some point. Don’t get hit with hidden fees and charges for something you clearly don’t need, want or use. Instead, save those dollars for a pretty new pair of shoes!