Chase Raises Fees On Unsuspecting Customers

Here is a tough one to swallow. Chase just announced that they would be raising fees on credit card account holders that locked in fixed low APR terms. It seems as if cardholders that carry a balance and had the foresight to jump on low interest or 0% interest offers with the promise that if they kept their account in good standing would not be raised, will now in some cases be paying a $10 monthly fee and double the minimum payments that they are currently being charged.

There are an estimated 400,000 such accounts held with Chase at the present time. And yes, this is a direct response to the current banking and credit crisis that is wreaking havoc on the economy. The cardholders took advantage of promotional offers to transfer balances from other credit card issuers with the enticement of interest rates that were either 0% or below the market average until the transferred balance is paid off.

Do you remember those promotional offers? Before the recession kicked in they were common-place in the credit card industry as issuers competed for customers. Now that the profit margins of credit card companies have plummeted they are now grabbing cash wherever they can. Because they promised these special discount rates to their customers before the hard times hit they cannot raise them without incurring a class action lawsuit. So in lieu of charging higher rates they have decided to jack up the fees and minimum monthly payments.

Chase credit cards however, in their largess, has offered to hold the line on the increased fees if cardholders agree to pay a 7.99% APR on their balances. It is now a matter for the courts to decide as a class-action lawsuit has been filed by the effected cardholders. As you may have already heard new laws will go into effect in July 2010 that will protect consumers from theses types of activities. But until then it seems that anyone that carries a monthly balance is at the mercy of their credit card company.

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