Jo Rhett (jorhett) wrote,
Jo Rhett
jorhett

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Be prepared to Opt Out

I got the weirdest set of letters today. I have two credit cards with Citibank. One I use for balances I'm going to hold on to (4.9% interest rate is lower than my mortgage) and one I pay off every month (but still only 8.9%).

The latter card I've had for over 10 years now, and they are very happy with me.

What's even better is that my credit score has just jumped above 750 for the first time ever, due to some old information falling off.

2 days ago I received a letter saying my minimum interest rate on the former card was jumping to 14.99%. Today I received a letter saying that my minimum interest rate on the other card was jumping to 18.99%.

Um, no. I don't pay default-like-I-never-pay-my-card-on-time rates. Period.

So for the first time ever, I called in and had Citibank opt me out of both changes. I had always assumed that this made the entire balance due immediately. This would suck, but luckily wasn't the worst problem ever.

Turns out, it doesn't do that. In fact, it doesn't change your card at all. What it means is that your card will not renew. So, in fact, you get to keep your card with the current terms until the expiration date on the card. And even better -- the account is closed but as long as you continue to make the minimum payment, the account terms remain exactly the same until the card is payed off.

So if you have a credit card that you are floating a large balance on, and they raise your interest rate -- opt out. Opt out immediately. Because you can keep paying the current interest rate until it is paid off. NICE.
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