Friday, July 22, 2011

Chase Freedom Card

I have a Chase Freedom card.  Last month I had a balance of six dollars.  I have had the card since 2005 or before.

This month the payment got to them one day late.  When I got the next statement I noticed that it had gotten there late and that they had charged me a late fee of six dollars.  As I continued to look over the bill I found that they also charged me $61.21 in interest.  That seemed high since the amount unpaid from last statement was six dollars and since I have a 30 day grace period.

The first person I talked to told me that their computer system continued to charge me interest on outstanding balance that was not late until it was paid in full.  She said she would transfer me to her supervisor to see if they could roll back the additional interest that was charged after the roll back and until I made my next payment, which was on time.  I waited on hold for twenty minutes after the person I was speaking with said she was transferring me to her supervisor.

The supervisor informed me that I was being charged for the entire balance that was there at the time the account went late.  They said that the grace period is not in play when a late payment happens, until the account goes to zero.  As I try to comprehend what he said, I now wonder if what he was meaning was that anytime there is a balance that it gets interest charged on the entire balance, even if you just charged a new amount and it has not come on a statement yet.  As if the 29.99% interest they change is not robbery enough, to tell you there is a grace period and then switch to charging you from the day you spend it, if you happen to have a previous balance is incredibly harsh.

I had paid the entire six dollars and they continued to charge me interest up until I paid the amount of the entire amount that was on the account at the time of the late payment due date.  Thus I got another $67 charge the next month.  I made sure my payment was on time the second month, even including the extra interest they rolled back, to be safe that they would not ding me as not paying in full.

In spite of the fact that I appreciate them rolling back the interest, I will be canceling this card as soon as I get one set up at my credit union.  I believe my credit union charges a lot less in interest and I don't believe I have had any other institution I have been with, charge interest on funds that were purchased in the last thirty days, even if you had a pre-existing balance.

I signed up for a credit card with my credit union.  They will only charge me 9.75% interest after the grace period.  The new card arrived last week.  I called yesterday to cancel the Chase Freedom card.

The guy on the phone wanted to know how they could keep me as a customer.  He asked why I wanted to cancel.  I related the story of the excessive interest.  He offered to remove the interest and also the $6 later fee.  The late fee I had been told previously that the late fee could not be waved.  That made me more mad, since they could only remove it once I was ready to cancel.  I told him the interest had already been reversed and that their policy that has them charge interest on charges that are not late is unacceptable.

The card has now been canceled.  Once I pay the remaining balance I am done with Chase.