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I was not looking to get a new card, but Household Bank insisted so much that I applied and got it. I barely used that Mastercard, and most of the time, had a zero balance on the credit card - even when I used it, I paid off the balance. In other words, I was never late on payments.
Eventually I misplaced the card inside the house, and never even bothered to call for a new one. I was surprised when I got a bill from the card issuer, with a $15.00 dollar charge, and a late payment fee of $30.00. I called them, and I confirmed the charge from an Internet service I had signed up a few months, recognizing a recurring charge. I spoke to the rep that I had never gotten the bill, and asked for waiver of the late payment, which he agreed to. We worked out an arrangement, whereby I would send the payment with the late fee, so it would not appear as if I was late again. I then inquired about the APR, and he assured me that it would not be changed.
Much to my surprise, the next month I get a bill reflecting my payment, and late fee waiver, but my APR was raised to almost 30%. I immediately called, and protested, on the grounds that I was late a single time, even the late fee was waived, and I was emphatically told the APR would not be changed. The account representatives, all of whom seemed to lack any type of authority, were adamant the 30% APR would stand.
I then asked to cancel the credit card. The one thing the rep knew how to do was insist that I should not cancel the card, that their 'specialists' would review my account, etc. I responded that either he made good on the earlier promise, right there and then, or I just wanted a cancellation. I have no time or patience for games.
In my case, no damage was done. I could simply cancel the card because I had no outstanding balance, in fact Household Bank owed me $14.00!!! Most banks, and I suppose Household, promise not to change APRs unless there are two late payments in the course of a 12-month period, which was not my case. Then the account rep tells me on the phone they can raise the APR at will.
In other words, if I owed the bank $7,500, I would be stuck with roughly a $2,500 interest bill per year, because the bank apparently does not follow its own policies. I would be quite stuck.
In time. Household Bank is part of HSBC.
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