The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 October 2005

Letter to an overly-avaricious bank

Twenty-two point four nine percent? Not with me, you don't.

The proposed new terms of the Cardmember Agreement are rejected herewith; please cancel this account. Any existing balance will be paid according to the terms as they currently exist.

It's been a good ten years. I was looking forward to ten more, but not at this price.

Yours sincerely,

[signature]

Charles G. Hill

Posted at 11:40 AM to Common Cents , Outgoing Mail


Good luck with that if you have any kind of sizable balance. Most card agreements require that if you reject new terms, you pay the entire balance immediately.

Posted by: Matt at 12:37 PM on 15 October 2005

I checked the fine print beforehand, and this is what it says:

If you give us notice that you wish to reject these terms, you may not make any more charges to your account. You will, however, be able to pay off any outstanding balances on your account in accordance with your applicable account terms.

Just the same, I'm prepared to clear the whole thing within a single statement period if I have to. Balance-shuffling is nothing new to me.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:46 PM on 15 October 2005

Arg. I'm glad so far I don't have to worry about that with my bank.

Posted by: sya at 3:37 PM on 15 October 2005

I no longer have credit cards, just AmEx and a bank debit card. Smartest thing I ever did.

Posted by: Greg Hlatky at 9:08 PM on 15 October 2005

Same here, Greg. (hey, how's lacy the Borzoj doing?) I had to open an MC for my trip abroad in addition to Amex, since not everyone in Europe takes it, but I'm thinking of cancelling it.
The only thing makes me doubt, is something I heard on Orman show: if you cancel your credit card with outstanding balance on it, it somehow lowers your credit score. I am not sure, but if I remember correctly, she advised to transfer balance to some other credit card first and then close the first card.

Posted by: Tatyana at 8:40 AM on 16 October 2005

I think this is based on the premise that you've lowered the amount of credit available to you now that you have one less card, but you still owe just as much, which means that you're so many percentage points closer to being maxed out, which presumably would cost you in FICO.

I've already transferred off a third of the balance, with another third to come this week. (Timing is always an issue.)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:57 AM on 16 October 2005

My sister did the same thing, rejected the new terms.

I have one card, an Amazon.com card. It's great. I get "frequent flier miles" except for books.

Neat.

Posted by: Julie at 11:10 PM on 18 October 2005