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Check your Visa and Mastercard rates!

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Mike Jackson
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Check your Visa and Mastercard rates!

Post by Mike Jackson »

This is slightly off topic, but still topical. I had a balance of $400 on my Sears Mastercard from last month plus a couple of small purchases during the month. The new statement came in and it showed a finance charge of $18 on that small amount. I turned the statement over to see the new interest rate is over 25%. I checked the back of another fairly recent one and it had been 21%. They raised it 4% in just the past two months. I didn't notice it then as I had paid the balance down to $0.

I mentioned this Darla and she said she saw a little clip on one of the morning shows about the new fees some card carriers are now sticking on everyone.

I have another Visa card that is still charging 14% and has had that same rate for a long time.

So, I called Sears customer service and had one of those brutal conversations with them. I've had that card since 1974. Of course, they didn't want to see me "go". I told them I'd stay with them if they locked it back down to 14%, which they wouldn't do. Anyway, I closed the card today and will pay off the balance right away.

I am just writing this here to warn people to look at the rates they are now paying. Apparently they are slipping the notices in with all the other little slips and ads they put in with your statement....I usually throw those away immediately.


Please forgive the off topic post, but maybe it will save others some money this year.

Mike Jackosn
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons
Mark Summers
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Re: Check your Visa and Mastercard rates!

Post by Mark Summers »

With credit card companies coming under new rules
in Feb. they have decided to jam people while they still
can. Life changes for them after Feb. 1st. as I understand
it.
Now Sears is another story. I see they got to you M.J.
with their 'we are going to send you a MasterCard'
letter. I have one of their old cards and I know they
would like to change that. If you read their fine print
if you are late they can jack your rate to some obscene
amount. Mostly I just stay away from Sears because
of this. Keeping the card helps your credit rating so
I do. My philophy; Sears, just say no.

Mark
Mike Jackson
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:02 pm
Location: Jackson Hole, WY
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Re: Check your Visa and Mastercard rates!

Post by Mike Jackson »

Hi Mark,
I had that old Sears card since I graduated from high school. A while back, they converted it to a Sears Gold Mastercard. I just looked at a statement from October of 2008 and my interest rate was a tolerable 13.83% interest rate. Somewhere in the year, they bumped it up to 21% and now over 25%.

When I talked to the first rep at Sears MC, I asked the guy what triggered the increase. He looked at my records and said it was nothing to do with my payment record, but just a necessary increase to cover business costs. Sad.

At least my balance is low and I can afford to pay it off and move on. I suspect a lot of people have high balances and no means to pay it off. The news report said they were raising the fees to good customers with prompt paying records.

I checked one of my other cards and the rate is holding at 14%.

While the high new rate is my big gripe here, over the years, they have increased my credit limit to $10,000. Having a couple of cards and paying on time is good for your credit rating, but I'm told you can have troubles qualifying for a loan if you have too many cards with high credit limits. Since we all have cards, it might be worth taking a second look at the back of the statment. I don't think they did a very good job of letting me know they were raising the rates.

Mike Jackson
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons
Doug Bernhardt
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:29 am
Location: Ottawa Canada
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Re: Check your Visa and Mastercard rates!

Post by Doug Bernhardt »

Am probably too late to post anything in regards to this BUT......PBS is having a program tonight on Frontline about this very subject. Will be interesting to see their report. Frontline tends to be topnotch and in fact was just doing a quick review of the BullBoard before going to watch it. I have a personal experience I can't quite get over as well and will post it tomorrow when I get a chance.
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