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Chase Increases Credit Card Rates and Adds New Fees

Written by admin - 246 Comments

A reader named Patty pointed me to a Wall Street Journal article reporting that Chase is raising rates and adding fees for some cardholders:

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s Chase unit is raising its rates on credit-card cash advances and overdraft protection, as well as its default rate, which is triggered when cardholders exceed their credit limit or are late on their payments. The bank will also start charging a new $10 monthly service fee to some cardholders who have been carrying large balances for at least two years, while raising their monthly minimum payments to 5% of their outstanding balance, from 2%.

[...]

Chase’s new monthly fees and higher minimum payments will mainly affect customers who have been carrying large balances on cards with low promotional rates for at least two years, says spokeswoman Stephanie Jacobson.

“The total number of customers is relatively low, but the balances that these customers carry amount to billions of unsecured debt,” she says. While these customers cannot opt out of the new terms, she says, they can pay off their balances or maintain their current minimum payments in exchange for giving up their promotional rates. A higher rate, however, means that more of a customer’s monthly payment goes for interest and less to repay the loan.

So… It’s a $10 monthly service fee, plus the minimum payments are more than doubling. Plus it looks like you can’t opt out without giving up your promotional rates. Makes me wonder if they’re not targeting people who are taking advantage of long-term balance transfer offers.

Source: WSJ.com

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I’m a little glad my laziness prevented me from playing the game…. :D

    Comment by Eric N. — Dec 4th 2008 @ 1:16 am
  2. i disagree, it doesn’t seem they are targeting 0% bt folks, b/c bt carries are normally max of 12 months. they are applying $10 maint fee for people carrying large balances over 2 years.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 4th 2008 @ 5:18 am
  3. Tim: I should have been more clear, but it was very late when I wrote this. There are a number of people that have old 0% or 1.99% for life offers that they are milking. The terms of these offers typically require at least one purchase per month to keep them alive. While the purchases are subject to interest, you can just buy a few cents worth of gas every month. I’ll clarify.

    Comment by admin — Dec 4th 2008 @ 8:19 am
  4. That would be horrible. I love my 0% lifetime interest from them. No minimum purchases required for mine. A 5% minimum payment rather than 1.5% (current) won’t kill me, but a $10 monthly fee would be roughly the same as a 4.8% interest rate at this point. I don’t think the terms of my account allow them to make a change and not let me opt out at my current terms. I certainly don’t need the $8000 credit line that I can’t use anyway (without losing my permanent 0%).

    Comment by Matthew — Dec 4th 2008 @ 4:26 pm
  5. @admin: in that case, they are targeting both. that’s good either way. folks who were doing the 0% bt arbitrage knew free money wasn’t going to last forever.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 4th 2008 @ 7:02 pm
  6. This is the first mention of this tactic by Chase (and Discover) that I have seen so far besides my blog comment postings about my recent experience with it.

    Chase has done this to my account as well, as has Discover, which has done the same thing but by increasing the minimum payment for these type of customers (the “balance transfer rate” milkers–yep! that’s me!) to 4% from an earlier 2%. Discover is currently not charging a $10 monthly fee to me but chase is.

    Effectively it is accelerating the repayment schedule quite a bit.

    Comment by steve — Dec 5th 2008 @ 1:13 am
  7. I have had to reduce my spending *quite* a bit to more than double my existing credit card payments. I’m not currently complaining, as it just means I will be paying the debt off almost twice as fast as I was. Other areas of my budget –like nearly all discretionary spending, including clothing and food at restaurants, have been basically eliminated in order to make these increased payments. I figure I have enough clothes, except maybe underwear and socks, to last the next 5 years, and eating out is not a necessity at all, so I am not crying about not spending in those categories.

    As there are many people around the world who would be glad to have a roof over their head, food on their plate (cooked at home–lots of people can’t afford even that too well) and maybe two pairs of pants and a couple shirts and some sandals, I figure I am doing well and have no cause for severe complaint as of yet. I do regret the foolish purchases for comsumables that resulted in this debt and my lack of financial awareness in my 20s and early 30s, but that’s water under the bridge and right now it is just satisfying to keep on my financial plan successfully from month to month and meet my obligations. I have plenty to feel blessed about.

    Comment by steve — Dec 5th 2008 @ 1:32 am
  8. @steve, good job. keep at it.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 5th 2008 @ 4:21 pm
  9. @ tim

    Thanks!

    Comment by steve — Dec 5th 2008 @ 7:23 pm
  10. I urge Chase customers faced with the imposition of the arbitrary $10 MONTHLY fee to organize a highly visible protest. Realize that translates into $120 per year. Outrageous. And what is to stop Chase from charging $20, $30, or even more a month rather than just $10. Chase is being totally devious and unfair in their action. Of course, the added payment is bad, but the principle of being subjected to such treatment without the ability to opt out by closing the card and paying the balance over time, is the real issue!

    Comment by Jim — Dec 9th 2008 @ 8:52 am
  11. I received this notice, I am milking a long-term balance trnsfer promotional offer, and I agree that this charge should be challenged. In Chase’s notice, they even indicate that the $10/month service fee will be charged as a finance charge. In other words, they are raising the rate on a long-term promotional offer even though the terms of the offer have been met. It is like the lender arbitrarily raising the interest rate on a loan even though payments have been made as originally agreed. If the money was borrowed on the terms of simple revolving credit without any special offer, that’s another story. What they are doing now, I don’t think they can do it legally, and they know it, and so they are to do it creatively but the end result is the same to me, especially if they aren’t doing it to all customers.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 9th 2008 @ 4:36 pm
  12. If someone on the post has the legal skill to clarify the legality or illegality of what they are doing, I will participate if it is actually illegal for them to do this.

    Comment by steve — Dec 9th 2008 @ 5:10 pm
  13. “Milking long-term balance transfer promotional offers” is legal. Chase (and some other credit card companies, such as Citibank) gave out promotional balance transfer offers several years ago like 3.99% until paid, provided the minimum payment due is paid by the due date every month. Okay, so when the interest rate on bank accounts is (was) over 3.99%, why would a shrewd person pay more than the minimum due on a balance subject to this offer at Chase? Instead, pay the minimum to keep the offer in effect, put the rest in the savings account to earn excess interest, and if you need to borrow money in the future, don’t take a cash advance but instead borrow again off that same outstanding balance from the savings account. Chase’s $10/month fee is unfair because it is effectively raising the interest rate, and the higher minimum payment due is accellerating the repayment schedule. While the higher minimum payment Chase probably can justify since the balance transfer offer didn’t specify it would be different than the card’s overall terms (although if they aren’t applying it uniform to all cardholders, that could be a problem for them), changing the interest rate on the promotional offer by imposing this new “service fee” on exactly the same accounts still benefiting from such an offer is outright fraudulent if you ask me. Chase is going need the $10/month to fight and settle the lawsuits that should be coming its way…

    Comment by Chris — Dec 9th 2008 @ 5:28 pm
  14. why are you all upset by this? i simply don’t get it. if you don’t like it, close the account or pay off the account. since when did keeping a running balance become an entitlement?

    my god, i think the basic premise of getting credit is to pay it off, isn’t it? how dare Chase or any other credit card company try to force you to pay a debt that you owe them? my god, how dare they.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 9th 2008 @ 5:34 pm
  15. How about if your mortgage company sent you a notice saying your mortgage is now due immediately or subject to a higher interest rate? As a borrower on a lending contract, you are entitled to keep the money for the full term of the loan at the originally agreed upon interest rate if you choose. In fact, for some mortgages, there is a prepayment penalty if you as the borrower choose to pay it off early.

    Chase has got it backwards, as do you: yes, having good credit and borrowing money with it means you are entitled to keep the money and do with it whatever you want, so long as you repay the amount with agreed upon interest as the lending agreement provides. Yes, how dare Chase or any other credit card company change the terms of a loan retroactively to try to force borrowers with good credit and excellent payment histories to repay their balance early like a borrower with bad debt would be required. Some borrowers on these offers also may not be able to repay the full balance in order to opt out (probably most are like that, actually), and so there is no effective opt-out option on this offer like there is required to be, and those cardholders are perhaps being fraudulently induced to accept a higher interest rate. That’s a lot to be angry about, if you ask me.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 9th 2008 @ 5:41 pm
  16. People, people, people… There is nothing illegal going on here. When you apply for a card, you are told (in the fine print) that by using the card, you are agreeing to the terms of the Cardmember agreement. And in that agreement, they explicitly state that they can change the terms of the agreement at any time. Keep an eye out, because I’m putting together an article that spells all of this out.

    Comment by admin — Dec 9th 2008 @ 6:09 pm
  17. Yes, but the law and the card agreement also says any time the credit card company wants to change the terms, you may opt out of changes by closing the account to prevent any further borrowing. Closing an account does not mean the full balance is due, BTW, if also read the terms of the same card agreement. With this notice of change in terms, however, you cannot opt out even if you close the account even though it says you can (self-contradictory). Also, the terms of the promotional balance transfer offers did not contain a provision that the interest rate on the balance transferred could be changed by later notice. So, Chase is doing something fraudulent here by targeting specific customers with these changes and not allowing them to opt out by closing their account.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 9th 2008 @ 6:19 pm
  18. Adding a fee is *not* the same thing as increasing the interest rate. It may have a similar effect, but it’s still not the same thing. I agree that it sucks to have the terms changed on you, but they go to great lengths to ensure that they can do just that.

    Comment by admin — Dec 9th 2008 @ 9:49 pm
  19. That is a good point–that opting out does not mean the balance if due at once. The question is, is it really true?

    Also not sure about the issue of them “singling out” a class of cardmembers. They normally do this anyways–like the class of cardmembers that has a late payment gets a higher interest rate and a finance charge, for example. So in this case, the class of customers that has a low rate balance transfer “good for the life of the balance” for more than 2 years gets a special treatment. Except one could (and Chase would) argue that they are not abrogating their agreement re: the balance transfer amount, rather they are applying a monthly finance charge to the entire account.

    As far as the other objections, unless there was specific language in the promotional offer that guaranteed that Chase would not charge finance charges (which probably would not be considered as “interest”, for a number of reasons), then I would guess the fact that they decided to charge $10/ month is within or allowed by their original agreement.

    Incidentally, I just talked to Chase for the 2nd time today. The first time was last night around 11PM Eastern time, and there were no supervisors there. The woman I spoke to told me that no one at the call center, supervisor or no, could waive or modify the terms of the revised letter.

    Today (tues dec 9) at 6 I called and asked for a supervisor, but ended up just talking to the woman who answered the phone when she asked for more detail. I told her it was about the 5% minimum/$10 month fc letter. Itold her I had an electronic payment scheduled to pay off my entire balance (which is true) in two days, but as I prefer to keep a large reserve fund of cash I would rather not have to go through with it and that as the $10 charge implied an ascending rate of interest greater than 7% for me, I wanted to have my original terms restated.

    She said, “We understand that the change in account terms is a hardship for some of our customers, so we are offering 2 options”

    option 1: no monthly finance charge, but a 7.99% interest rate on the balance.

    option 2: $10 finance charge, and keep your original rate (mine are at 3.99 and 4.99%)”

    I told her the 5% minimum was not a hardship in my case, but that I am not interested in paying finance charges and interest rates that equate to more than 5% interest, and the finance charge would amount to greater than 7% interest, and more like 8% for me averaged out over my intended payment period.

    At that point, I asked about clarification for the 3rd option, the opt-out:

    “option 3: opt out and pay the balance by jan 1 2009 and they will close the account and not charge you a single $10 finance charge.”

    This is the only questionable area to me re: legality on their part. I’m not sure whether they are allowed to require full payment immediately on closing the account. To me that would be the crux of the issue.

    My guess is that very few people would challenge them and, effectively, they will go along with the changes of terms even *if* there are any legal issues for Chase.

    I don’t really have any huge issues around this whole thing though. They have lent me cash at excellent terms for years. At various times they had the right to impose finance charges on me due to my late payments, and were good enough to reverse them. They were also good enough to let me maintain my low balance transfer rate and not hike it up to 18% or whatever on me. My main thing is that I want to offer them one more time the option of keeping their loan out to me and the roughly 5% interest I pay them on it, as it would increase my financial flexibility to do so and allow me to keep more cash in reserve. But if they say no one more time, I will just let me scheduled payment go in, which will pay off the account in full (including currently accruing interest) as I don’t want to pay 7% or 8% on anything.

    Comment by steve — Dec 9th 2008 @ 9:49 pm
  20. BTW, from my perspective, I don’t think Chase is trying to rake anyone over the coals here. I think that given the increased uncertainty and risk, they need to up their income to compensate. And both of the options they are giving as of today dec 9 (which I outlined above), effectively accomplish that, without unduly harming anyone. An extra $10 per month expense to a customer on an account with a balance like mine ($6100 dollars outstanding) changes my effective “interest rate” to just above 7%, which increases as the balance decreases over time. In a year it would equate to 12% or so interest I believe (that’s off the top of my head without going back and looking at my spreadsheet) and toward the end of two years, which is when I had planned to finish paying it off, it is like 29% on the last couple payments. But even though the percentage is higher, it’s still just $10 a month in cash outlay to me as an individual. For them on this entire tranche of their loan portfolio, however, the finance charge is going to make a much larger effect on them financially and compensate for some risk.

    I would also reiterate that Chase has always treated me more than fairly, in fact my chase cards have been among the lowest-charging interest-wise (9.9% on purchases for years and years) and they have allowed me to keep low rate balance transfers for YEARS even though I have charged no purchases on the cards over that time.

    The landscape has changed for them, and while I am not crying for them, I understand the issues they face and don’t regard what they are doing as anything other than a fairly expected adjustment to my account terms.

    Comment by steve — Dec 9th 2008 @ 9:59 pm
  21. “And what is to stop Chase from charging $20, $30, or even more a month rather than just $10.”

    Actually, there is probably nothing stopping them from doing so. But they haven’t. Probably because they are applying the minimum charges that they need to firm up their balance sheet and keep as many paying customers as possible while doing so. Most people would probably view $20 or $30 a month as unnecessary and excessive and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to impose such charges unless absolutely necessary. After all, they want to continue to do business with their customers.

    Comment by steve — Dec 9th 2008 @ 10:06 pm
  22. @ admin–

    I am looking forward to your article!

    Comment by steve — Dec 9th 2008 @ 10:08 pm
  23. steve: I’m currently dissecting the section 7 on “CLOSING YOUR ACCOUNT.” I hope to post this tomorrow. The agreement (Chase from when we opened our card in 2004, so it may have changed slightly) is 12 pages long, so I’m picking and choosing.

    Comment by admin — Dec 9th 2008 @ 10:17 pm
  24. By the way, there is a huge Arbitration clause that essentially says that you can’t take them to court. Instead, disputes will be settled by arbitration, which replaces your right to take action against them in court. So… Good luck suing. Remember, every cardholder implicitly agrees to these terms when they choose to use their card for the first time — it specifies this during the signup process, and again in the Cardholder Agreement itself.

    Comment by admin — Dec 9th 2008 @ 10:22 pm
  25. The master card agreement says you don’t have to agree to any change that increases or imposes a new fee, and if you don’t agree, you need to stop using your account and close your account and you will remain responsible to pay the full amount owed under the existing agreement. So, I plan to tell them I don’t agree, close my account, and, once again, the changes they are trying to impose upon me are not agreed to. At that point, if they actually bill the fees like they are saying they will do, those fees are outside the effective agreement. Class action will eventually sue them royally for doing that.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 9th 2008 @ 10:59 pm
  26. Be careful, MasterCard isn’t the same as the issuing bank – or did I misunderstand your use of the term. Are you talking about the cardholder agreement (the “master” agreement)? Also, the cardholder agreement that I’m looking at explicitly forbids class action lawsuits. Almost everything goes to arbitration, and if it does go to court, it’s as an individual action. Unfortunately, you agreed to these sorts of terms when you used your card for the first time.

    Comment by admin — Dec 9th 2008 @ 11:19 pm
  27. I left some important information off my earlier post and also made a mistake on one point. Here’s the corrected and amplified version (what the cs rep told me when I talked to her at 6pm on tues dec 9) from memory:

    The first option, was that *the minimum payment could stay at 2% of the outstanding balance BUT the interest rate for the balance transfer would increase to 7.99% and you will have the $10 finance charge per month. I am presuming a fixed rate, though come to think of it I didn’t specifically ask for clarification on whether it was fixed or variable.

    option 2: $10 finance charge, and keep your original rate but pay 5% of the minimum per month (mine are at 3.99 and 4.99%)”

    If you are stuck with being unable to pay off the balance quickly, you would need to run a spreadsheet to see which scenario would cost you more according to your individual situation. The first option is clearly the better one for someone who is basically stuck with a large balance that they can’t pay off immediately, yet doesn’t have enough free cash to easily handle a 5% minimum payment.

    Comment by steve — Dec 10th 2008 @ 1:17 am
  28. Chris, it sounds like you have a very stong sense of “right and wrong,” which is something I respect.

    Also I know you are feeling wronged by and angry at Chase.

    However, I would be concerned as an individual trying to go outside of o corporation like Chase. In the first place, it is not at all clear to me that there is a strong case that Chase is doing anything illegal whatsoever, or even anything unethical or unreasonable.

    Also, even if you did take the tack that what they are doing is illegal/unethical or unreasonable , as a practical matter, in pursuing the course of action you have described, you would be putting yourself at a lot of risk, and, to my mind, for what reward??? maybe $120 per year over 2 or 3 years or even 5 years is a maximum of $600, on something that is a long shot. If you want to do it on principle fine, but first make sure you understand the potential financial costs of pursuing this route, which could far exceed the cost of the new $10 monthly finance charge on your account.

    ( I actually know people who have pursued lawsuits on principle even at relatively large costs, but the thing is, they all had the money to do it. Which a lot of people don’t have. There is a reason for the saying that rights only exist for those who have the money to enforce them.)

    If there is a lawyer out there who sees potential in this (and not just in your fee, but is willing to work for the settlement only) that is one thing, but really to me it doesn’t look like a good bet to try to insist on what you think the rules are vs what Chase says they are. While you are right to examine Chase’s legal responsibilities to you as a customer under your agreement with them, keep in mind that their entire legal department, as well as their business unit, has already vetted the ins and outs of this move and it is of very low likelihood that there is a significant vulnerability, chink or hole in their legal position regarding these new account policies and adjustments.

    Best,

    steve

    Comment by steve — Dec 10th 2008 @ 1:33 am
  29. 1) Diagreeing with a change in terms and closing the account (especially before the change in terms goes into effect) is supposed to freeze the card agreement to what it says at the time of closure. It just means I won’t be getting anymore credit card offers or change in terms notices from Chase. I note that upon closer inspection, the change in terms notice actually has lacks any language concerning opting out, must refer to the full card agreement (which is the actual controlling agreement right now) for information on how opting out works. Taking the steps to opt out is a defensive position, that’s all, even if Chase actually doesn’t respect its side of its own cardholder agreement (which remains to be seen).

    2) The $10/month fee is more than $10/month because payments are applied first to promotional balances. Therefore, the $10/month will simply be added to the balance and accrue interest at the normal purchase rate. So, it is more than $120 a year really, and will only grow in amount over time, as will the increase in the overall interest rate caused by it since the fee is always $10/month but the overal balance is declining.

    3) As for class action lawsuits, etc., those lawyers usually work on contingencies, the affected cardholders would probably would not see much of refund of $10/month they paid after the lawyers take their millions out of the settlement fund, arbitration clauses and waiver of class actions is just standard contract language, but the courts have the final say on whether those provisions are legal and/or effective in this case, bearing in mind that the Consumer Credit Protections Act and other laws has control on what cardholder rights actually are.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 10th 2008 @ 10:21 am
  30. I agree that point 1) seems strong and your line of thought there seems sound.

    Leaving aside legality, I am curious about your individual situation and how much Chase’s changes will impact you monetarily. If you feel like sharing that. I am wondering how that might be affecting how you are approaching this issue.

    Comment by steve — Dec 10th 2008 @ 11:20 am
  31. I think I made it clear in #2 that Chase’s change in terms accelerates the repayment schedule and causes an increase of more than $10/month in expenses. As I have two card accounts subject to this notice, the cost will be double too. I can’t repay the full amount owed either, so Chase is being a loan shark if they don’t allow an opt-out of this change like their card agreement says they must.

    This is off-topic now, but I guess Chase is doing what Congress was too stupid to think of doing when passing the $700 billion bailout that the Bush administration said was needed desperately and immediately—get better valuation of the toxic derivative securities (which these credit card receivables are in too) by getting as much of the underlying assets paid off and out of the pool as possible. FWIW-my take was the $700 billion should have gone into a new mortgage program to allow homeowners who can’t afford their mortgage payments to refinance, not give it to the banks in hopes they will somehow loan it out under existing programs that aren’t working.

    Chase has gone too far with this change in terms notice, and they are attacking really their best customers who are making timely payments of principal and interest.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 10th 2008 @ 11:34 am
  32. Chris: Have you carefully read your agreement? From section 9 of my agreement:

    “…The notice will describe any rights you may have with respect to any Change, and the consequences if you do or do not exercise those rights. For example, the notice may state that you may notify us in writing by a specified date that you do no want to accept certain Changes we are making.”

    This doesn’t say that you *do* have the right to opt out. Rather, it says that you *may* have that right.

    See here for further details:

    http://www.creditaddict.com/ar.....ng-up-for/

    Comment by admin — Dec 10th 2008 @ 11:47 am
  33. Yes, but as a fundamental legal principle, you cannot be forced to agree to something by an agreement. That is a clear legal nullity, i.e. an “agreement to agree” and is unenforceable.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 10th 2008 @ 11:52 am
  34. Chris: Then sue them. If you can’t get around the arbitration clause, take them to arbitration. We’re not the ones that you need to convince.

    Comment by admin — Dec 10th 2008 @ 12:02 pm
  35. @Chris: I agree with admin, then sue them if you know the law so well. you are not entitled to credit. if you took credit, it is not your money, it is borrowed money that you owe someone else. credit cards are also different than a mortgage. you are only allowed to keep the borrowed money so long as that is what is written in the contract. if there are escape clauses in the contract which you agreed to in advance, like there are for credit cards, whereby they can change the terms at any time, then that is the contract you signed. People have known about these provisions whereby cc can change rates, limits, etc at any time. this isn’t something knew, unless you were completely shut off from the entire world. moreover, you agreed to those terms when you signed up for the cc regardless of whether you chose to read the terms before applying or not.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 10th 2008 @ 6:10 pm
  36. I am paying them back what I borrowed under the terms offerred and agreed upon. I am not agreeing to their changes, that’s all. When they levy unlawful fees outside the agreement like they intend to do, the fight doesn’t really need to happen until the balance gets down to that level where those fees comprise the entire remaining balance, which will be years for me and they will probably will be discontinued and settled by that time. I’m not going to sue Chase directly, I’ll leave that to the class action lawyers in their time, but everyone here should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no legal way anyone can force you in an agreement to agree to agree in advance to an unspecific future change in an material element of the agreement. To be integral, an agreement must specify every necessary materal element. That’s why an opt-out provision *must* be present in any change in terms notice, and this is the first notice I’ve ever seen doesn’t have one and that is its fundamental flaw.

    Plain and simple: Any so-called agreement to agree in a contract is an artful legal nullity, and it is absolutely unenforceable and severable from the contract. Beware, too, if the contract also lacks a severability/savings/escape clause to save the remainder, the whole contract can possibly go void because of a defect like this, but of course Chase has one in the cardmember agreement so don’t get too excited on that one but you can still look at other contracts you might have (such as leases for example, future increases in rent must be defined in some way or they are void, such as if they are arbitrarily spelled out as “to be agreed upon” or similar language).

    Comment by Chris — Dec 10th 2008 @ 6:40 pm
  37. Ok, there is definitely a disagreement going on here, but I really don’t think it’s a good idea for any of us to be hostile to one another.

    It seems that Chris has good point about the “agreement to agree” being legally meaningless, as well as some other points.

    Personally, I would not go to the trouble that Chris seems to be outlining because there is so little at stake for me, whether or not he has a valid legal point, which he might.

    I do think that it is not worth the trouble. Every one of the other cardmembers is going to roll with Chase. They are mainly concerned about how they can keep their credit or how this is going to affect their day-to-day expenses, not a legal principle, and in most cases have neither the means, the patience, the principle, or the money to pursue an issue against a powerful corporation that is probably basically tangential to the real concerns of their life. As to Chase, they have an entire legal department of their own, as well as a business strategy team. I will not pass judgement as to whether Chase has “tripped up” by not including an opt-out clause with this announcement of change of terms, but I am pretty sure that it would be difficult if not impossible to prevail, and for what? Maybe for the principle, but this particular principle is not my personal battle.

    Chris, I do wish you good luck if you pursue this fight. Good luck to you whichever course you choose.

    Comment by steve — Dec 10th 2008 @ 10:01 pm
  38. The thing is, Chris, I think what you will find when you stand on this principle is that you will get finance charges on your bills when you don’t pay up as Chase is asking, and you will have to dispute them. Then, in effect,I think you *will* have to sue Chase directly, as they will persist in charging you and dinging your credit rating during this payment dispute. That’s what I see happening. It will be a case of “he said, she said”, but with Chase having all the power and money, plus the ability to ding your credit ratings etc, and you having none but a legal principle and the cash you can spare to mount a defense.

    That’s why it doesn’t sound promising to me, but again I might be missing something and I’m not the one with the clear and confident legal perspective on this as you seem to have.

    Comment by steve — Dec 10th 2008 @ 10:07 pm
  39. I’m not sure how long I will keep my balance with Chase, but I will continue to pay the minimum due on all Chase’s bills even though it is higher than I agreed to until I get it moved somewhere else. But Chase is going to know that they are losing the account because of their egregious change in terms, absolutely. In the end, I’ll probably make more money by dumping Chase.

    Thanks to this change in terms notice, I predict Chase is going to lose some of its very best credit customers in exchange for keeping the accounts of people with bad credit who can’t get another account but have excellent payment history on their existing balance. After all, that is what their notice is begging us to do. And then Chase is going to get sucked into a costly lawsuit to boot. This change in terms notice could be the next “New Coke” tremendous corporate blunder, that’s what I predict. Poor Chase—it just forgot how to treat its customers right.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 11th 2008 @ 12:37 am
  40. Chris:I think you may be right that they will lose many customers that can actually pay their bills. But others they will keep, at least until the balances are paid, because they have no option to leave Chase.

    I would guess that doing what you are suggesting, by following the master agreement re: opting out may in the end get you your wish, which is to pay back the balances on the terms that Chase originally offered But it it doesn’t you could be on the hook for a chunk of cash at once. Here is the sequence I imagine:

    1)Use the true opt out, sending them a certified registered letter as per the controlling account agreement.

    s)When they send you a bill expecting full payment, dispute it.

    3)Make it go to arbitration.

    The arbitration will either agree that Chase has to let you pay it down over time at the original offer rate, or they side with chase.

    If they side with Chase, though, what happens? I think you would be stuck having to pay a big lump sum that I’m guessing from your comments you can’t afford.

    For me personally, it is too latle as I just logged onto my checking account and discovered the payment I scheduled to pay the balance off was scheduled for today, not for tomorrow, and now cannot be stopped even if I wanted. So It’s bye bye Chasie Chasie for me.

    I will call them up and make sure to change their $10 finance charge setup on this account and if that is not possible I will cancel the account. I am not planning on using it for any reason in the near or distant future, but I do like to keep some credit lines open as a general rule. Plus, who knows if some of my lines might be closed involuntarily. So I will wait to see the fallout over the next year or so before I close any by myself. I don’t want to close some accounts, then have the existing ones close themselves on me, leaving me with no credit card borrowing options in the event I have a *good* reason for using them, unlike many of the *bad* reasons I have used them in the past.

    again, best wishes and keep us posted.

    Comment by steve — Dec 11th 2008 @ 2:04 am
  41. Chris–also keep in mind that if you want to “go gently into that good night” and let Chase have their way, instead of following the strategy I was discussing above, you apparently do have the option of keeping a 2% minimum payment if you accept a higher interest rate on the balances. I would suggest at least exploring that option if the cashflow situation is too tight with these more than doubled credit card minimum payments that you are faced with. I believe the $10 monthly finance charge is added to that as well, though.

    It does seem that it is possible that Chase is just using a stick and carrot approach–get people to agree to a change in their account terms by obscuring their opt-out option and then offering a way out for people who are hard pressed to make the new payments with the 2% minimum payment and higher (7.99% was quoted to me) APR and a $10 monthly finance charge. Most people will just go along with that, even if your opt-out strategy is workable, because Chase presents the options to them, and doesn’t describe the true opt-out strategy to them.

    That’s how it works many times in selling: give people 2 or 3 options and they will pick among them. Many people won’t look for a 4th option because they assume that the presented options are the only options.

    The thing to keep in mind, though, is that it is best to do what is most likely to further your own goals. Don’t be afraid of confronting a company when you know they are wrong and you can prevail, yet realize that sometimes you need to balance the effort required with the possible reward.

    Again, best wishes,

    steve

    Comment by steve — Dec 11th 2008 @ 2:13 am
  42. Hi Steve, the balance transfer offers actually say the promotional rate may end if the account is closed for any reason, and the cardmember agreement says they may require repayment of the full outstanding balance by a specified date if the account is closed, so it doesn’t matter, I just opened a new credit card account at another bank and I am now prepared to refinance the Chase balance with another bank if Chase raises my rate, insists on charging its fee, increases my minimum payment, or closes my account and demands immediate repayment. None of those possible outcomes makes Chase look good, since every one of them represents unprovoked aggression by Chase.

    If I do actually get them to drop this whole thing, then I will just have both credit lines available to me, guess I’ll have to pick another credit card to close instead. My opt-out letter is going to the address in the notice by certified mail tomorrow. Time for them to decide what’s really important to them…

    Comment by Chris — Dec 11th 2008 @ 3:12 am
  43. Chris, glad you found a workable solution. I was just going to suggest trying to find a different balance transfer offer (I have a bunch of them listed here). Assuming you can get one (sounds like you did) then just transfer away from Chase and tell them to stick it. Just curious… If you can go elsewhere, why keep this account open after all this rigamarole (even if they back down on the changes)? Is it an especially old account and you don’t want to lose it for credit score purposes?

    Comment by admin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 8:25 am
  44. Hi admin, the long-term promotional offer on this account has been very convenient since I haven’t had to shuffle money around or keep track of expiration dates, and I am disappointed and angry with what Chase is doing to that through no fault of mine. I still would like to maintain the status quo; Chase is the only one which has disturbed that and they ought to get smacked real hard for being so dishonest if they go through with the changes. Balance transfer offers are not the same today as they were just a few years ago, but I was lucky to have an acceptable one already sitting in my draw. In the end, Chase’s current promotional offer actually is a not bad deal for them right now with interest rates so low, but they are being greedy and demanding still more, and right now they are the ones who have the most to lose… Let’s see how they handle my opt-out letter, I am sticking to my guns with them on this issue but with a backup plan set in place first…

    Comment by Chris — Dec 11th 2008 @ 9:28 am
  45. First – the admin sounds like a Chase shill. Dude, calm down and try to under stand what people are saying.

    Second, several jurisdictions have ruled that the arbitration clause CANNOT apply to class actions.

    Third, many states including Delaware, REQUIRE the bank to offer an opt out if the interest rate changes. This is why the $10 service fee is couched that way.

    Fourth, Chase did this now becasue the new legislation coming would require regulators to stop these changes. Now they can do it to reacquire a few billion and pay the piper in a huge class action later.

    Chase loses bigtime in a class action suit because this is easily a change in effective APR without an opt out provision gear toward those with more ability to pay than the average customer. Chase is trying to nullify its bad bargains that lose it money by using its size and legal resources. All because the customers were smarter than them.

    Save your documentation the class action coming is an easy winner. It will be settled in about 3 years when the crisis is over.

    Comment by edwin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 2:07 pm
  46. @steve, not at all. you do agree to agree to many things, from end user licensing, to contracts, to everything. lots of times you agree to agree to arbitration, which makes things more stacked against you.

    @chris, don’t get me wrong, the conditions are stacked against the borrower. but everyone has understood this. you cannot ignore portions of what you don’t like about your agreement after the fact, even if the cc says they can change at any time. If you didn’t like this when you signed up, then you shouldn’t have signed up. Good that you found a workable solution that fits your needs; however, i highly doubt that your new credit card has any different terms than Chase’s. Now, the new cc company may not be charging maintenance fees, at this time though.

    @edwin, what legislation? there has been a lot of talk for a long time about legislation, but it ain’t coming any time soon. if there was a class action lawsuit to be made against cc agreements, they would already have been made. the fact is, the cc agreement gives the cc complete license to do whatever they want essentially, right wrong or indifferent. deleware is a very pro-cc state,that’s why so many cc companies operate from there. it isn’t a change in APR, it is a fee. this is how cc companies have gotten away with many things, is to add fees, because that is how the law works currently. you can still close the account if you don’t agree to it.

    i could care less about Chase or any other cc company. but come one, did people actually read their terms and conditions and did people actually pay attention to all the publicity about all these rules? yeah it sucks, and sucks hard…deal with it by closing the cc, paying the damn things off, and not signing up for new cc now that you are starkly aware that cc companies can change terms. sorry, i just don’t get all the complaining, when you have all the control in the world to make a choice of having debt or not.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 11th 2008 @ 6:17 pm
  47. Edwin: If I was shilling for Chase, there’s no way I would’ve written an article about these changes in the first place. The simple fact is that (as Tim has noted) the vast majority of people have never read their credit card agreement, so they have no idea what it says. As Tim also said, this situation sucks. But there are ways out of it — for example, transfer your balance to another card and tell Chase stick their changes where the sun doesn’t shine. While it’s possible that these sorts of agreements aren’t legal, much of this pain could’ve been avoided if people had simply read through them in the first place. At least then you’d know what you’re up against.

    Comment by admin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 6:25 pm
  48. Tim:

    Um the legislation passed by the House this year and denied procedurally in the Senate sure to pass before June. Google Sen Schumer and credit card. LEts get informed folks. This “fee” labeled as it must be a service charge changes the effective APR – the bank argues not the offer APR – yet Delaware law specifically sec 952 of Title V states the opt out needed for a change in APR. The language and the operation of the change will be interpretted in favor of the consumer following several similar cases due to the nature and size of the parties.

    Admin – many people DO read the agreements. And by the comments many people have read them in greater depth than the BS you are spewing back at them. Take a breath and realize it and you’ll have a clearer vision.

    Those in need and informed – look for class action info and write your Congressmen/Senators as if the uniformed and do nothing attitude of the admin on this site or others so far behind the times prevails – all other major banks will do the same in the next few months if they feel no consequences if Chase gets away with this – they’ll just sneak in before the legislation passes.

    Many great informed coments on the web to this effect, many doing their part – sorry to see this particular site is so unempowering/pro bank.

    Comment by edwin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 8:58 pm
  49. If you are reading this and have this problem move on to other google searches and do not get caught up in this unsophisticated site.

    Many of you who are smarter and more informed do have those out there who use credit responsibly and make great deal that banks are trying to get out of now. Dont get caught up in this site!!! Good luck to you.

    Comment by edwin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 9:06 pm
  50. @edwin: oh, you mean the election year posturing bill that had no meat, the credit cardholder’s bill of rights. that bill was purely symbolic. give me a break. second, i think you miss my points as somehow defending the credit card companies. third, if you charge something on your credit card you increase the effective APR, too. if you know that there is an over the limit fee or late payment fee, you increase your effective APR, too. what’s your point? bottom line is you pay increased amounts of money to continue to have a rolling balance. effectively means nothing. a fee is a fee, and interest rate is interest rate. period. bofa and amex started earlier, so it isn’t just chase, it isn’t just citi. it is across the board already. to say we are all misinformed is rather weak considering you seem to think that you can define things differently than reality and you seem to be half informed yourself. at any rate, if you believe the credit industry needs changing, then all the more power to you. protest to congress, protest by not taking out cc. be very clear though, if you don’t like cc rules, then don’t get them. simple as that.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 11th 2008 @ 9:26 pm
  51. Edwin: Attack me all you want, but many of the comments in this thread and others have referred to things like the “fact” that Chase has an opt out clause in their Cardmember Agreement, and yet… They don’t. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t, but they don’t. That’s an important point when trying to formulate an argument. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m just trying to make sure people know what they’re talking about before they threaten to open up a mis-informed can of whoop ass on their credit card issuer.

    Comment by admin — Dec 11th 2008 @ 10:25 pm
  52. Folks—I think the problem we’re having here now is that we all understand contract law to varying degrees, and none of us are lawyers. For example, when I say to Tim now something like “an agreement to agree” is not the same thing as “agreeing to an agreement”, some of you probably think I’m talking jitterish and am nuts, while others of us have the reasoning skills to understand the fundamental difference between those two statements (one is a nullity, and the other the act of acceptance). You can’t expect a complex agreement like the cardmember agreement to necessarily mean what it says, that’s because lawyers wrote it and lawyers are supposed to be the ones reading it, and that’s one possible reason why most people don’t bother reading it for themselves unless/until they have a problem.

    For example, when you look at this change of terms from the point of view of, “Has Chase credit cards engaged in predatory lending by issuing this change in terms without an opt-out provision?”, some of you may see how a judge may not give a damn what Chase says about arbitration requirements or their right according to the agreement to change it at any time however they want, fundamentally Chase is using legalise to avoid accountability for fraud, and the ruling shall therefore be, for the interests of justice to be properly served, that these contractual provisions shall set aside for the purposes of determining the charges.

    Finally, I absolutely agree with Edwin that Chase must be fought vigorously about this change in terms, because if they are allowed to get away with this abomination, other banks might be encouraged adopt similar unfair credit practices.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 11th 2008 @ 11:27 pm
  53. I am not an expert in contract law but do have a sense of how the real world works. which is that 99% of people will just roll with whatever someone says the “rules” are, and if given 3 choices, will pick among the three, never suspecting that there are actually 10 other unadvertised options out there. I see this every day. It should stop surprising me, but I guess I learn slowly.

    My sense is that Edwin and Chris are on to something fundamental and they *may* be correct.

    here’t the thing: as a practical matter, Chase does not have to advertise that customers have the right to opt out in a fashion that preserves their payment schedule and interest rate, even if they do or did have that right by either federal or state statute. it’s the customer’s job to know their rights, it’s not chase’s job to make sure the customer knows them necessarily.

    So, in order to get rid of the “balance transfer fee milkers”, Chase just throws a brick in the water, ups the minimum payment, and adds a monthly finance charge to these accounts. Most customers freak out because they are overextended to at least some degree and can’t easily afford the changes in fees, and also know they have fewer escape options in the current lending climate. They read Chase’s letter, and assume that the only options they have are the ones Chase outlines.

    Then when they call Chase, Chase offers the customers a softening agreement; “Hey, that 5% minimum scared you? It’s ok. We know it’s a hardship for some people. That’s why we’re nice enough to allow you to KEEP the 2% minimum (because that’s all you can afford to pay per month) in exchange for accepting a new agreement: 7.99% per month and a $10 finance charge. Of course, dear customer, if you want you can cancel the account you will have to pay the full balance at one whack.”

    Most people will breathe a sigh of relief, assume that’s the whole universe of options available to them, and either suck it up and agree to pay the 5% minimum per month, or agree to pay the 2% minimum with an increased interest rate etc if that’s all their cash flow situation will allow. Some, who have enough cash to pay off their balances, will do that, to avoid the higher interest rate and because it’s easy to do for them.

    The very few will contest it go to arbitration or, possibly, court, and in the end even if judged against Chase just loses some legal fees–there is no penalty for them because the whole time, these customers’ fees etc were held in abeyance because of the dispute process.

    As to the 97% of people who assent to the new charges, they no longer have a right to any judgement because by assenting they have replaced their previous agreement with Chase with a new one.

    I think if I had waited a day or two before scheduling my payment, I would have strongly considered not accepting the new agreement and not accepting their “requirement” to pay off the balance in full immediately and gone to arbitration. The only thing is, I don’t have a lot of time for such things and might have decided it wasn’t worth the effort. But I do agree that it is important that there are people willing to stand up for their rights, and I think Edwin and Chris are making good sense on some points.

    As it is, it’s too late for me to go that route, because I missed cancelling my electronic payment and the card is paid off as of today.

    Again, “Bye Bye Chasie”.

    Now I just have to call them up and make sure to switch the account terms so that I don’t get hit with a $10 finance charge if I ever use the card again.

    Comment by steve — Dec 12th 2008 @ 1:24 am
  54. I do happen to disagree that Chase is wide open to class action suit damages based upon “upping the interest rate”. The fact is, the interest rate is different from finance charges, it is long established in usage in the credit card industry, and the c.c. agreements are written to preserve that difference.

    What I do think is that Chase may have no legal right to require immediate payment of the entire balance, but that the whole issue will become largely moot for them because the number of people who will stand on that right is so small. Again, 99% or more will just roll with Chase.

    I am interested in what everyone has to say on that point in particular, the “immediate payment of the entire balance” part.

    Comment by steve — Dec 12th 2008 @ 1:33 am
  55. @Chris, you obviously don’t read end user license agreements or any other consumer purchase or credit “contracts” if you think that the wording of agreeing to an agreement is somehow nullity. I would suggest you typing in agreeing to agreement and see just how many consumer contracts are null under your power of reasoning.

    just because you personally think a fee makes an APR effectively increased doesn’t make it so. The fact is that laws and interpretations of those laws make separate distinctions between fees and interest. Unfortunately, Smiley v Citi (517US735, 1996) removed caps on level of fees banks could charge, so regardless of effective rate, it doesn’t matter. there is an opt-out clause, close the account. I don’t buy adding the monthly fee as the effective interest rate argument, and given precedence it doesn’t matter. every time you take a cash advance, then, you are changing the effective interest rate. is an annual credit fee predatory lending? if not, then neither is a monthly maintenance fee.

    @Steve: the terms stipulate Chase could demand, doesn’t mean that they will. it really isn’t in the best interest to demand the entire amount if the person can’t pay it back all at once. but, it is there in black and white, and is in every other credit card agreement whoever the issuer.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 12th 2008 @ 8:47 am
  56. @Steve, there is also the judicial concept of being fraudulently induced to accept an agreement based on misleading or misinformation from the lender. In fact, that is partially how we have this mortgage crisis right now, mortgage brokers didn’t make sure the borrowers fully understood the loans they were getting like they were required to do.

    @Tim, as I predicted, you completely missed the points of my last post. As for the monthly fee vs. interest rate, the monthly fee cannot be paid at all until the outstanding balance under promotion is paid in full, so it just compounds at the standard rate as 100% finance charges. The fee is more than $10/month and represents entirely finance charges if it is being asserted only customers against who carry a balance, even though the notice says it isn’t.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 12th 2008 @ 9:45 am
  57. Thanks for the perspective on the “full payment of balance close” issue, Tim. My point above was that the threat of such a demand is a powerful motivator for people.

    I talked to Chase today to find out about whether they will be applying the $10 finance fee to my account after it has been paid off, and the CS rep said, “as long as you pay off the balance before the new service contract begins, the $10 finance charge will not be levied.”

    Then I said, “how does this affect my ongoing purchase rate?”

    She said, “it doesn’t affect your ongoing rates at all, only the existing balance transfer rates”.

    I am still not clear whether the 5% minimum payment clause will apply, I will ask about this later.

    Tim, you have a good point from precedent that courts would not side against Chase on their issuance of levying finance charges as de facto interest rate increases. That is certainly how it has played out in the past.

    But in this current political environment will that still hold? and also, based upon my above conversation with the CS rep, couldn’t one argue that, because they are apprlying these charges ONLY to those who are holding the balance transfers, yet if those people pay up in full even without informing Chase that they would like to opt out, Chase will not levy the charges against them, that that IS in fact a defacto abrogation of their original agreement?.

    This forum conversation in general has gotten a little heated at times. At this point, I would like to say thanks for all the perspective to everyone who is participating. I am getting an education from you all. Also, please remember that our purpose here is to help each other out and to gain perspective on the issues.

    Comment by steve — Dec 12th 2008 @ 12:21 pm
  58. @Steve, please let us know if they actually do drop the $10/month service charge because you paid off your balance in full. The notice said the non-refundable service fee would apply regardless of whether you use your account or not, and could only be stopped by closing the account and paying the full outstanding balance.

    Also, even though you now paid your balance off in full as a result of this notice of change in terms, I think you still may have incurred damages as a result of it. As a measure how immensely stupid this new policy is for Chase, imagine you might be able to hold Chase liable to cover the difference between the promotional rate you had with Chase and the new interest rate you now must pay another bank (or lost interest income if you had been enjoying that benefit) as a result of their notice which you did not agree with? (in your case, you expressed your disagreement by paying the outstanding balance) The unlimited liability aspect of the smack Chase has coming its way is truely unimaginable, and their defenses seem to keep getting weaker as we learn more about what they actually are doing.

    Comment by Chris — Dec 12th 2008 @ 1:09 pm
  59. @Steve, I don’t think so. It would be the same thing as an over limit fee. You only get hit with an over the limit fee if you carry a balance over your credit limit, after which time it goes away. As the laws are written now and reinforcement by the Supreme Court on certain aspects, there is no such thing as effective rate. As far as political climate, I would think that if congress wanted to do so under the new Congress in light of the economic situation, more aggressive regulations have a higher probability of passing. However, even as you can see by the Credit cardholder’s act that was passed in this climate, much remains fluffy and allows wide discretion and interpretation. I mean what does “reasonable” mean? I wouldn’t expect anything different. figure this in, if credit remains tight, you are probably going to get the exact opposite in order to get creditors to lend again. if congress clamps down hard, then creditors are simply not going to give credit, so it’s a fine line congress has to play.

    in regards to the $10/month fee, some cc charge a non-refundable annual fee, various accts charge non-refundable maintenance fees, all are perfectly legal. If you pay the card off and the notice states that the $10/mo fee will continue, then I guess I would be closing the account and finding some other cc. however, if you choose to keep the card open, then why can’t the cc charge a monthly or annual fee? it isn’t the first time banks or credit card companies charge a maintenance fee.

    @Chris, I didn’t miss your point at all. The cc terms also denote that the lowest balances with lowest interest rates are paid off first when you send a payment. At least this is what I have read in every single cc terms and conditions which I have received. Effective rate or whatever you want to call it, i call it the cost of borrowing or maintaining an account, will cost $10/mo if you want to keep open the credit card, just as other cards charge other maintenance fees. That fee will then be subject to regular interest. This would apply for other fees like over limit fees, late fees, etc. The main terms specifically state that payments will be applied to the lowest interest rate. Given this, there is even more incentive to pay off your revolving debt. Are there those who are trying to make money off of arbitrage and will be pissed off by this? of course, but then again, we all know the rules. Are there those who pay on time, but carry revolving debt and are pissed off by this? Yes they are and they should be pissed, but they should be pissed at the irresponsible ones who aren’t paying on time, who aren’t paying down their debt.

    I could be wrong, but I see no opening here and if there is one and it succeeds, then all the more power to those who want to pursue it. My fundamental argument, though, is that people have all the control in the world to avoid the credit card game and terms by closing their accounts and/or not signing up for new credit cards or changing to another card provider (although, i don’t know you are getting any different terms). I also think that the post was designed to highlight the fact that there are very few people who read their terms and conditions and really understand what they are agreeing to when they sign up for credit cards. Last, it is evident by how overextended americans have become on credit that they cannot reduce debt on their own. It has been painful already to carry debt, and we still don’t learn. It is very apparent that instead of putting so much effort on being able to keep your rolling balance from the Alf doll you bought 5 years ago, that more effort ought to be done on paying the damn thing off. I’m speaking generally, and not specifically to any one case.

    Comment by Tim — Dec 12th 2008 @ 4:43 pm
  60. When I first heard of this, I was mad. Steaming. I haven’t seen anything come in the mail yet, but I’m waiting. After I had some time to think about how I was going to ‘let Chase have it,’ I thought, whatever. You want your stinkin’ money? Fine. I have money in the bank that would cover the debt, but that is my cushion. So, I’ll transfer it to another card with another low, fixed transfer offer with a group that has proven its commitment to its customers. (I’ve never been late in my life and always add a little more than what is due.)

    I also have another card with Chase that is active. That one is going bye-bye, too. Be greedy, Chase. Now, you’re going to lose my business – no new activity. They get the best of both worlds with that card. I pay a generous amount each month, but they earn a little interest, too (11.5% ?). If everyone takes a similar stance, how profitable will your credit card sector be? And, let’s not forget about their other offerings, either. That’s what is equally important.

    Knowing you are so greedy and inconsiderate, I’ll never bank with you (and, to reiterate, I have a fair amount of money just sitting in my accounts), and I’ll never look to you for a mortgage or loan. (And my credit rating is very near the top of the scale – an ideal candidate.)

    I’m not sure how many people can – or will – commit to such a stance, but that’s how I plan to retaliate. For me, this nasty economy may be one of the best things that’s happened to me – at least with respect to watching my spending habits. Cash is now King in my book. Need to pay for something online? Debit card.

    And Santa? Well, he’s reverting to the good, old-fashioned holidays of yore. Gifting photo collages with funny commentary. Baked goods wrapped in colorful cellophane. Singing carols, dusting off musical instruments, and playing cards/games. I refuse to let Chase or the economy get me down. We can still reap holiday enjoyment while sticking it to those jerks.

    Ironic, isn’t it? We need to spend money to boost the economy, but we don’t have hard cash to spend. So, we pay for things with plastic, which is just what they’ve been encouraging everyone to do for the last umpteen years and, viola – this is what you get….

    Don’t even get me started on people being extended credit or getting mortgages who have NO business having either. Nothing is a ‘right’. Everything is to be earned. Nice mess we’re in. Thanks.

    Anyway, to end on a positive note, hang in there, everyone. And, Happy Holidays…..

    Comment by Lisa — Dec 18th 2008 @ 9:39 am
  61. I have the Chase 3.99% promo also, I also recieved the notice that the change would be 5% minimum payment and 10.00 monthly fee effective 01/09 but I am looking at my statement online for the 1/09 payment and nothing has changed, no 10.00 fee and still 2% payment what gives?

    Comment by Nick — Dec 23rd 2008 @ 2:00 am
  62. What’s going on is it won’t be until the billing cycle that starts in jan, not the one that started in dec, that the new terms take effect. That’s because people have until dec 31 2008 to opt out.

    So look for the change with your next statement.

    Comment by steve — Dec 23rd 2008 @ 3:10 pm
  63. I have followed comments regarding this issue since leaving message #10 on December 9th. Today I mailed a complaint to the Comptroller of Currency which regulates national banks such as Chase. A few days ago I paid off the balance on my affected Chase credit card account, transferring the balance to Citi and incurring a transaction fee to get a 9 month 0% rate. I also took enough money to pay off a Chase car loan which had nine months remaining. I contacted Chase eight times over the past two weeks arguing our case. They would not budge and indicated that they had carefully considered their decision. I indicated to Chase that I was closing the credit card and the car loan and that they had lost a customer for life. Nothing they offer could attract me since they have violated the most basic principle of all: trust. I have one remaining Chase credit card fixed at 4.25% interest for life with a very large balance that I cannot pay off for at least two years. The terms on that card have not been changed; however, I expect Chase will soon change the terms and extort more money. I don’t expect that my formal complaint with the federal government will change anything; however, I urge others to also formalize their complaints. We should not stand by idly and allow Chase’s unprecedented, unjust, and arrogant action take effect without complaint. Now I will put this very sad matter behind me. I have become sadder and wiser from the experience.

    Comment by Jim — Dec 23rd 2008 @ 5:46 pm
  64. Regarding post number 18 (by admin): the change in terms document does indeed specify that the new $10 monthly charge is a “finance charge”; this means that the interest rate is changed. In the past two weeks, I have been working on a Website, Change in Terms dot com, which is a response to credit card companies and their strategy (widely recognized, e.g., testimony of OCC Comptroller Dugan) of promoting one offer, with every intention of switching consumers to other terms. My letter to the CEO of Chase Card services is posted on that site (see the “About” page). In reading previous posts on this site, obviously, various submitters have differing opinions on this matter.

    Comment by Dr Robert Lahm — Dec 24th 2008 @ 11:46 am
  65. Yup, I just dumped my $3K on Chase’s “life of loan” and transfered to Charter One’s “life of loan” to save myself the $10 fee and 5% monthly minimum.

    Sure, I’m eating a 3% transfer fee, but it is worth it to me.

    No way should they get a $10 fee for doing nothing. I’m a paperless customer so they don’t need to mail anything. Funny, I would not have known about these new terms had I not checked my statement online. They still mail me all sorts of other crap-o-la, even as a paperless customer. ..But they conveniently forgot to mail this important change in terms notice.

    I’m sure the Charter One card will eventually start doing the same thing as Chase, but at least Chase won’t get my money this time.

    I starting scratching and clawing my way out of debt 4 years ago. I’m glad I got a head start and opened my eyes back then. I feel bad for the many Americans that are now just figuring out the party is over. You simply must stay one step ahead of credit card companies and read the fine print.

    I paid off $38 thousand in credit card debt in 4 years which now allows me options. But I also haven’t sat in a restaurant, seen a movie in a theater, bought clothes at a retail shop (second hand for me) or shopped at a grocery store where someone bags my groceries for me.

    I had to give up all those luxuries to pay off my debt. I’ve turned into the cheapest person in the world to pay off debt, but I’m glad I opened my eyes.

    Comment by UrbanTwang — Dec 24th 2008 @ 3:00 pm
  66. BTW – I got a response from Chase on my opt-out letter sent by Certified Mail to the P.O. Box address given in the Change In Terms notice. I did not specifically ask to have my account closed, simply I said I do not accept the proposed change in terms. Chase writes, “Please accept this letter as confirmation that your account will not reflect the change(s) in terms that you could choose not to accept. We have closed your account at your request and it will remain subject to your current terms, including, if applicable, penalty annual percentage rates (APRs) and fees. Now, the balance transfer promotional offer’s terms and conditions did say, “This special rate applies only when you make your required minimum payments by the payment due date, your account is not closed for any reason, and your Account is eligible for Preferred Customer Pricing as described in the Terms of Offer.” However, I called Chase today, and the operators are saying that my promotional interest rates remain in effect despite the fact my account is closed. We’ll have to see when my January statement closes what they actually are doing, but if I were them, to maintain damage control and preserve whatever reputation is left, I think they would want to allow the opt-out as they appear to be doing. I’m sending another letter in now for my other Chase account subject to this notice, although it is now after Dec. 19th, the usual deadline to send in opt-out notices although this change in terms offer does not state an opt-out deadline (or any ability to opt-out, in fact).

    Comment by Chris — Dec 24th 2008 @ 3:40 pm
  67. Below is the full text of the notice I received from Chase in November, 2008. I hope this will help clarify some points made above. Particularly, this change is a “finance charge” and, to cover for legal issues, in my opinion, “Important: Your APRs will not be impacted by these changes.”

    11/08

    IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CHANGES
    TO YOUR ACCOUNT
    We’re sending you this notice to advise you of some new changes to your credit card account. These changes will take place automatically and will
    be effective with your January 2009 statement.
    Here’s a summary of the key changes:
    • A new Account Service Charge of $10 per month will be applied to your account.
    • Your minimum payment due will increase from 2% to 5% of the ending balance on your monthly statement. As a result, your required monthly minimum payment will increase.
    Important: Your APRs will not be impacted by these changes.
    Remember:
    • If you are enrolled in Chase Automatic Payments and have selected the minimum payment option, your minimum payment will automatically be increased to reflect the new minimum payment due changes.
    • Also, if you have your payments sent to us automatically from another bank, remember to adjust the amount for this new minimum payment required to keep your account in good standing.
    The key factors we considered when making these changes include the current APRs and revolving balances associated with your account.
    If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact us by calling the customer service number on the back of your card.
    Below you’ll find the official amendments to the terms of your Cardmember Agreement. Please read all of the information and keep this notice for your
    records.
    1. AMENDMENTS TO YOUR AGREEMENT
    These changes will be effective on or after the first day of your billing cycle that includes January 1, 2009. They will apply automatically to current and future balances on your account. Any other terms on your account not
    described in this notice continue to apply.
    a. ACCOUNT SERVICE CHARGE. The FINANCE CHARGES section of your Agreement is amended to add the following new section:
    Account Service Charge: Your account has a service charge, which will be billed monthly (as stated in the Rates and Fees Table). This charge is owed whether or not you use your account, and you agree to pay it
    when billed. These charges are finance charges, and are added to the balance for purchases on your account. The monthly service charge is nonrefundable unless you notify us that you wish to close your account within 30 days of the date we mail your billing statement on which the service charge is imposed and at the same time, you pay your outstanding balance in full. Your payment of the service charge does not affect our
    right to close your account or limit your right to make transactions on your account. If your account is closed by you or us, we will continue to charge the service charge until you pay your outstanding balance in full and
    terminate your account relationship.
    FINANCE CHARGES AND FEES. The Finance Charges and Fees below amend your Rates and Fees Table.
    Service Charge – Finance Charge: $10 per month ($120 total annually)
    b. MINIMUM PAYMENT. The portion of the Minimum Payment section of your Agreement that shows your minimum payment calculation is amended to read as follows:
    Your billing statement shows your beginning balance and your ending balance (the “New Balance” on your billing statement). If the New Balance is $10.00 or less, your minimum payment due will be the New Balance. Otherwise, it will be the largest of the following: $10.00; 5% of the New Balance, or the sum of 1% of the New Balance, total billed periodic rate finance charges, and any billed late fees. As part of the minimum payment due, we also add any amount past due and any amount over your credit line/credit access line.
    2. ANNUAL RENEWAL NOTICE
    The account service charge is billed to your account monthly whether or not you use your account, and you agree to pay it when billed. The charge is $10 per month ($120 total annually), and it is a finance charge. The charge is non-refundable unless you notify us that you wish to close your account within 30 days of the date we mail your statement on which the charge is
    imposed and at the same time, you pay your outstanding balance in full. If you do this, you will not owe the last billed service charge; however, prior
    billed service charges are non-refundable and must be paid to pay your outstanding balance in full. Your payment of the service charge does not affect our rights to close your account and to limit your right to make transactions on your account. If your account is closed by you or us, we will continue to impose the service charge each month until you pay your outstanding balance in full and terminate your account relationship.
    3. OTHER NOTICES
    The principal factors we considered in amending your account include the APRs and revolving balances on your account. The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit
    applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The federal
    agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Customer Assistance Group,
    1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450, Houston, TX 77010-9050.
    If you have any questions about these amendments, please contact us at the number on the back of your credit card, or write to Cardmember Service, P.O. Box 15098, Wilmington DE, 19850-5098.

    Comment by Michael — Dec 30th 2008 @ 1:47 am
  68. I was finally able to shrug away my ire at Chase’s change in terms — figuring that an extra $120 a year was more practical than other options — until I was cleaning out my credit folder just now and found ANOTHER balance transfer offer from Chase that expired only 11/30/08! If their sudden decision to go back on their original terms seemed galling, it’s ESPECIALLY annoying now, when I have an offer here promising me “3.99% fixed APR until the balance is paid off” with no fine print warning of changes to come except for, “For further details about terms or conditions on your account, please refer to your Cardmember Agreement.” And by the way, the original offer I’m paying off is for 4.99%!

    Comment by Katie — Jan 4th 2009 @ 11:53 am
  69. I have been paying off entire balance each billing peroid, so I did overlooked the statement. I found that they have been charging me finace charges various amounts for last several months. in addition, I maild the full balance 18 days earlier via USPS, but they claim that they recieved just one day later than the due day and charged me $39.00 late fee. Does anyone know where I could complain against Chase Master card? They refused to refund me for these wrongful charges. I have never heard such nonsensful charges. Please advise me if any one knows the authority I could compalin against Chast Master Card.

    Comment by minimouse — Jan 5th 2009 @ 3:32 pm
  70. I’ve had the 3.99/4.99 % for years–using it like a loan. Chase has tried lowering my limits, changing due dates, and now this. I have never once made a late payment. I’m lodging complaints to governmental agencies but that will not be settled any time soon. I’ll be transferring my business elsewhere. Why wouldn’t they want at least some interest instead of none? Must be nice to be able to change the terms of a loan anytime you want. They have lost my business forever. Personal, business and otherwise. I hope it is a BIG public relations nightmare for them.

    Comment by tabbycattx — Jan 6th 2009 @ 12:37 am
  71. As I wrote before in comments here, I closed my account before the $10 monthly fee took effect by paying off the $3600 balance though a transfer to a Citibank card at 0% interest until September, 2009, at a cost of a $110 (3%) transfer fee. I also filed a complaint with the Comptroller of the Currency. Today I got a call from the executive offices of Chase and was asked if I wanted to discuss the matter any more since they had received notice of my complaint from the Comptroller. I rehashed some of the highlights of my complaint. In the complaint there was a section that asked what remedy I was seeking. I asked for an apology from Chase and a reimbursement of the $110 fee that I incurred due to their unfair change in policy. The Chase representative indicated that Chase was sorry to lose a long time and valued customer. In addition, she indicated she was issuing a check to me for the $110 expense that I had incurred. After again indicating that I would never again deal with Chase, I indicated that I appreciated her call and the refund gesture. I also urged her to let those in decision making know what a mistake they had made regarding this decision “to keep Chase profitable.” She indicated that more Chase credit card accounts that are fixed interest and not seeing further activity will be phased in with charges. She also indicated that all other credit cards will be following in Chase’s footsteps. I hope not.

    Comment by Jim — Jan 7th 2009 @ 3:32 pm
  72. The more complaints filed against Chase, the better. I think the Chase representative is bull about imposing this charge on more accounts or that other credit cards would take such a risky move too.

    Also, since there was no deadline for opting-out stated in the change in terms notice, I think you still think others can send in an opt-out letter to get out of this change (best to do so before your January closing date, though). In fact, even after the first fee is imposed on the January closing date statement, you still probably could send one in an opt-out letter and request the fee be removed from the account. After making the first payment, however, removing the 5% min. payt provision may be difficult, as you will have been deemed to have accepted that change by making your payment. As for the $10/month fee, that will be buried deep under any promotional balances being carried, so you really can’t pay it anytime soon and it will just accrue regular finance charges, but if you ignore complaining about it for too long, you could also be deemed to have accepted it and no longer able to opt-out.

    I’ll have the results of my second opt-out request on my other Chase credit card account subject to this change in terms shortly (I’m just waiting for their response letter). Has anyone who received this change in terms notice with their November statement actually seen the $10/month fee or increased 5% min. payt. appear on their January closing date statement? (assuming you didn’t close out your account or pay off your balance, of course)

    Comment by Chris Parker — Jan 7th 2009 @ 4:40 pm
  73. Jim, Chris, or anybody who has sent the opt-out and/or filed a complaint with the Comptroller of the Currency-

    Do any of you mind posting the main body of your letters? So, people who don’t have time to carefully compose the letters may copy from them. That should increase the number of complaints against Chase. Just a thought! Thanks!

    Comment by Eric — Jan 8th 2009 @ 12:42 pm
  74. @ Eric–

    all anyone needs to say in the letter to chase is their name, their account number, and that they refuse to accept/ do not agree to chase’s change of account terms (increase of minimum payment and the $10 monthly finance charge to be levied) as proposed and outlined in Chase’s letter of “xx/xx/08″.

    It’s not a letter I wrote (if I had it would have saved me $320 of so over the next year) but I hope that helps.

    Comment by steve — Jan 8th 2009 @ 1:20 pm
  75. I just received the statement with the “change in terms” on it, and I called to Chase. The cs rep just said that they can not void the charges. They put me through a lot of different persons, but nobody gave me a different answer. I never received the letter indicating the “change of terms”, so I was really surprised when I saw the charges in the statement. I strongly think that if enough customers complain against Chase, they will back off, because they received 25 billion from our money (bail out thanks to GWB) and on top of that they want to squezze more out of us.
    Does anybody have a web site where we can document and organize the complaints?

    Comment by JS — Jan 8th 2009 @ 5:47 pm
  76. In answer to the Chris Parker question: I never saw the notice in my November statement but my January statement had the fee imposed and the increase to the 5% payment level. When I called Chase, all the phone drones and their supervisors were quite adamant that this would not be changed. They would only give me a fax number and address to complain. They would not give me their legal department phone number. I’m glad to hear the Comptroller’s Office is acting on this so soon. I’ve called the Texas Attorney General because they went after Chase before about abusive tactics.

    Comment by tabbycattx — Jan 8th 2009 @ 6:49 pm
  77. I have not yet received a reply to the opt-out letter I sent on my second Chase credit card account (they received the letter on Dec. 31), however the January statement on that account closed just 2 days ago and there was no $10/month fee, the minimum payment remained 2%, the promotional balance transfer rate remained in effect, and Chase didn’t even close this account in response to the letter like they did for the first. So, they basically just threw out the change in terms on the second account like they had never even issued it. I’m still waiting for my first account’s January statement to close, to see what effect they gave my letter and if they took away my promotional balance transfer rate due to closing my account (I note that Chase no longer includes the provision in their current promotional offers that they used to have of promotional rates ending if the account is closed for any reason).

    Don’t bother calling the customer service representatives to complain about this change in terms, they are powerless to remove the change in terms or remove this fee. You have to send a real opt-out letter, preferrably by certified mail, to Chase at the address specified in the notice and let the normal policymakers handle it directly. There was no mention of opting-out contained in the notice (a serious mistake on Chase’s part), which also means no opt-out deadline was specified, but since no agreement can force you to agree to future changes in material terms, opting out should be implicitly possible nevertheless. Even now, I think people can still opt-out, and if their January statement already closed with the charges but hasn’t been paid yet, you might even be able to demand in the opt-out letter that the charges you don’t agree with be removed from your account.

    Below is the opt-out letter I sent in to the address given at the end of the change in terms notice. Remember, this is just a suggestion based on what I used, and it should be modified by you as you see fit if you intend to do the same; the text below comes with no warranty, express or implied, does not constitute legal advice, and may be used by you only at your own sole risk as you see fit:

    Cardmember Service
    P.O. Box 15098
    Wilmington, DE 19850-5098

    *CERTIFIED MAIL*

    RE: Chase Credit Card account # xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx – Change In Terms notice

    Dear Chase Cardmember Service:

    My name is [first-last]. My billing address is [address]. My Chase credit card account # is xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx.

    This letter is my formal notice to you that I do not accept your change in terms to my account described in the notice inserted with my November 2008 credit card statement (notice code INW13465 / ADV3856) relating to the new Account Service Charge of $10 per month and increase in the Minimum Payment Due from 2% to 5% of the ending balance on my monthly statement. None of these changes described in your notice have gone into effect on my account yet. I am hereby opting-out of your change in terms, pursuant to the provisions of the existing cardmember agreement itself. Any deemed acceptance of the change in terms based on any of my recent actions or inactions shall be considered unambiguously negated by this letter.

    Accordingly, lacking my acceptance, your changes cannot become a part of my cardmember agreement with you, and you should now take appropriate action on my card account to ensure that I am not improperly assessed the new service fee or required to pay a higher minimum payment on my future bills. Any future bills that I receive from you which implement such provisions shall be considered by me to be unlawful to such extent, outside the scope of my actual cardmember agreement in effect, and subject to dispute.

    If you have questions about the meaning or intent of this letter, you may reach me at [phone number] or write to the above address.

    Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
    Sincerely,
    [signed first-last]

    Comment by Chris — Jan 8th 2009 @ 7:52 pm
  78. This is an update to my post number 64, above. I received a letter from Chase Executive offices (in response to a letter I sent certified on December 3, 2008 – a day or so after I received my notice). The Chase reply ignored a key point that I made in my December 3, 2008 letter, which was this: I hold in my possession even earlier correspondence from Chase Executive offices (from October, 2006), which assured me that the 3.99% “fixed rate” would remain fixed unless I went over the limit or missed a payment (and I’ve done neither).

    I’ve also released an eBook: “How Chase Card Services Stole Christmas.” I’ve done all of the other things (OCC, FTC, Congress, etc.); now I’ve passed DEFCON 1 — it’s time for full-blown marketing warfare.

    I’m not an attorney, but the “opt out” discussion above is even more interesting than what’s in the fine print in terms of service agreements (relative to all Chase accounts). This is because Chase Card Services executives have stated that Chase is “fair” in working with customers, and they used “opt outs” to illustrate their point in previous testimony before Congress (I have all of this documented on my site – see the tags/category marked “Testimony).”

    Comment by Dr Robert Lahm — Jan 9th 2009 @ 2:06 pm
  79. I too have fallen victim to Chase’s scam in the same way that is described. I am not an attorney but have worked in the field. I am sure that Chase has followed advice from their many lawyers, and has attempted to make this money grab as legally viable as possible.

    It is very clear that Chase entered into contracts with us, e.g., 3.99% fixed for the life of the balance, and now wants to breach those contracts because they do not like the terms that they agreed to. They came up with this creative way to effectively breach the contracts without actually technically raising the interest rate on the balances.

    Chase may have followed the letter of the law, but they have not followed the spirit of the law. I can see Chase’s $10.00 fee being interpreted as the functional equivalent to changing the APR and its 3% increase of payment amount being interpreted as an unreasonable acceleration of the repayment schedule. Also, I can see Chase’s opt out offer interpreted as being unreasonable. And Chase did make a clear opt out provision on their notice, i.e., Payment in full and closure of the account within 30 days of the date of the service charge. The question is whether the opt out clause is reasonable in light of applicable laws and the contractual provisions of the terms of service.

    The most disturbing thing is that we just gave Chase and other banks a whole sh**t load of free money in the bailout. If Chase is permitted to get away with this, what is to stop the banks that some of you transferred your balances to in order to avoid Chase’s scam from doing the same thing? What is to stop Chase from changing the terms of the 7.99% that some of you agreed to in order to get out of the $10.00 monthly fee and the accelerated repayment schedule? What is to stop Chase from increasing a 2% or 5% payment to 50%, 75% or 100%? What is to stop Chase from imposing a $100 or $1,000 monthly fee when they decide that they do not like the APR that they previously agreed to?

    This BS has to stop, and it has to stop now! This is predatory lending pure and simple, and it will have the same effect on our economy as the last predatory lending scam did. Chase is creating a crisis so they can obtain another bailout from our tax dollars.

    The only way to stop this is for all of us to follow-up with complaints with the comptroller of the currency, to our congressional representatives, and to our state and federal attorneys general. Tell your congressional representatives that they need to fix this if they want your vote. You can file these types of complaints even if you accepted one of Chase’s options. Fill out the complaint form for the Comptroller and send copies to attorneys general and congressional representatives. I would encourage those of you who cannot simply pay off your balances to take legal action. If anyone is able to file a class action, please post it here so that all of us can join or file our own.

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency can be reached as follows:

    Customer Assistance Specialists toll free number: 1-800-613-6743, Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    Email: Customer.Assistance@occ.treas.gov.
    Their websites are:

    http://www.occ.gov/index.htm
    and
    http://www.helpwithmybank.gov/index.html.

    Your State’s Attorney General website can be found at:

    http://www.naag.org

    The United States Attorney General can be contacted at:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact.html

    Your State District’s Federal congressional representatives can be found at:

    http://www.house.gov/

    I will be filing a complaint with the Comptroller of the Currency, both the federal and state attorneys general, and with my congressional representatives. I will also follow the opt out procedures by payment in full and closure of the account within 30 days, and I will never do business with Chase or any of its subsidiaries again. And I will tell everyone I know about this.

    Oh, and one last thing, up yours Chase executives–I know you are reading this.

    Comment by Brian — Jan 9th 2009 @ 4:31 pm
  80. Ok, If I had the money in the first place I wouldn’t not have needed to transfer to chase. As for milking a loan out is like what the heck are you talking about? I have lived on loans because I don’t make the money to pay cash. I cannot pay yhe 5% and make the 5% payment. I have 2.9% as said in the agreement as long as I make minmum payment rate stay 2.9. The fee is not officialy called interest but the chase people told me it was. I paid 1/2 the loan off in 3 years at the rate I was paying I would have it paid off soon. Now I have more then one chaes account so it isn’ t the only bill I have. If I go for the 7.9, they can then change it to a much higher rate anytime they want. So I am F….k no matter what. The banks screwed up they need mone, now it is on people like me who have paid loans off,never been late, paid more them min payment. I can’t pay them.

    Comment by Sue — Jan 10th 2009 @ 6:45 pm
  81. Sue, you are in a tough spot. I would suggest you send the opt out letter to them by registered mail, as outlined in a couple of the posts above (even though it is after dec 31 2008 and get a return receipt) and hopefully the result will be that your account will be closed and you can continue paying the bill off as you have been. Make sure you send the letter to the right address.

    don’t lose any time in doing this.

    Comment by steve — Jan 10th 2009 @ 7:26 pm
  82. I’ve, long been aware of the clause in credit card contracts that allow them to change the terms but thought this applied to future borrowing and that one could opt out and not have the change apply to their previous balance. Is this not the case? If not then this is like a mortgage company being able to double your house payment whenever they feel like it. I can’t believe the government isn’t protecting the public from such a scam.

    Comment by Jack Wyatt — Jan 11th 2009 @ 1:23 pm
  83. By reading the posts I concluded that most of us did not received the letter. I called chase and asked to consider lowering my minimum payment based on my good payment history, I always sent more than $400.00 my minimum was $68.00 and it went to $850.00 plus the $10. I was told that they can’t do that but they have a new promotion at 7.9% with a 2% minimum payment. It is a RIP OFF and there is no one on our side. In part they are being pushed by the government see this article http://moneycentral.msn.com/co.....117014.asp I will try the opt out letter. And I’m for the marketing wafer, I already made an other porting on MSN “ beware of Chase bank low interest promotions” the general public has to be aware of this.

    Comment by Juan — Jan 11th 2009 @ 10:30 pm
  84. This is my first post.

    I have an idea. If you should follow my suggestion, you may lose your credit line with Chase Bank. Also, I am not an attorney so that this form of protest, even though it seems ok, may not agree with something we signed when we signed our credit card agreements. Nonetheless, here it is:

    If you bank on line, make your required payment. Then, SEND THEM $.01 ADDITIONAL PAYMENT EVERY DAY. I am sure that their cost of maintaining the account will be much more than that!!!

    Call your bank and tell them what you have in mind. (You don’t want to piss them off). I already did and my bank said that there was no minimum payment they would process. Also, if you think that this protest may work, pass this idea along to others. I think that if we can get thousands of card holders to do this, it will get their attention.

    Comment by Ben — Jan 12th 2009 @ 8:16 pm
  85. Ben—I don’t really follow your reasoning, but it seems like you are advocating a form of harrassment against the credit card company. Not really worth the time or hassle, if you ask me.

    The best thing for those aggrieved to do would be to file complaints against Chase about the lack of an opt-out provision in their change in terms notice which adds a fee and changes the repayment requirements. The more complaints received, the more likely the regulators will act on the matter.

    File the complaint with a letter or paper form and include supporting documentation; don’t submit an Internet form. Include a copy of the notice November 2008 change in terms notice and your January statement with with your complaint, and also a discussion of how you are aggrieved by the change (increased minimum payment, new fee, and can’t opt-out) and what Chase has offerred you to remove the changes (7.99% promotional rate, etc.). In reality, you should have a right under law to outright opt-out of any change which adds a fee or changes your APR or minimum payment without agreeing to any alternative change, as any change in the material elements of the credit agreement requires your acceptance to go into effect.

    The appropriate regulators to contact would be your state Attorney General, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and maybe the Federal Reserve and/or FTC. The ideal resolution would be for Chase to formally announce to all cardholders the ability to opt-out of the changes which should have been included in the notice and refund the service fees and accrued finance charges from the appropriate APR tier of the accounts of those who do opt-out, in addition to any consequential damages you may have incurred (balance transfer fee to another credit card in order to payoff the Chase balance).

    Good luck to all, and make sure Chase keeps hearing about their transgression.

    Comment by Chris — Jan 13th 2009 @ 11:56 am
  86. Steve —
    You may call my idea “harrassment.” I call it a protest. There have been many times in the past where a visable protest has created some equity (Vietnam, civil rights, farm workers). They had to take to the streets. Obviously, that would not work here. Also, there probably are enough people who have or will view this website to make the protest work.

    You are advocating that we go through formal channels to persuade Chase to reverse what we both think are unfair practices. I say that we first have to get their attention.

    My plan will work if enough people participate.

    Comment by Ben — Jan 13th 2009 @ 4:07 pm
  87. Chase just raised my APR from 5.24 to 10.99 becuase of changes across the board. What dio you make of this?

    Comment by Jim — Jan 13th 2009 @ 8:39 pm
  88. I think that a lot of you here are focused on the opt out clause to save yourself the dollars which I totally understand if you’re in that situation but there is still a fundamental legal issue here that the government agencies are too under manned and underfunded to fight. I don’t care that the original credit card agreement said they can raise your rates at any time–they relinquished that right when they entered into the balance transfer agreement at the promotional rate as long as you kept your account in good standing and didn’t have a late payment. It literally is a crime what they’re doing. They made a bad business decision and now they want and are being allowed to change the terms to all of our detriment. As I said before I’m transferring elsewhere and never want to deal with Chase again, ever. I wish the federal or state agencies would step up to the plate and do their job here. Some people are not going to be able to afford this and go under. Yet we keep giving money to the banks to perpetuate this type of irresponsible, sleazy behavior. This type of thing would never make it in another industry.

    Comment by tabbycattx — Jan 13th 2009 @ 9:39 pm
  89. I want to let people know that not all people that carry balances on cc do it by choice. Some just need the help at the particular time. I feel that the cc are making this maneuver at the wrong time. Self-emp. people such as myself need to have something available when unexpected things happen..Just this year two deaths in the family, my husband just got laid off and jobs are tight. I admire the rest of you that can afford these type changes and transfer so quickly. When self employed in my profession as a transcriptionist .. one never knows when the doctors will be in the office or how much work you will have to do. Had to carry balances since the ice storm that hit and power was out for nine days. I feel people speculate too much about the “class” of people that carry balances. Should not be too quick to judge.. some, like me need the credit available for business purposes. I have been a Chase member for at least nine years.. I think there should be some sort of compromise for an individuals situation. As for me, when I am not working, I am not making money..last year was a very tough one to get through and everytime I would get my card paid down, something else would happen. I know everyone has problems but why add to them in the state that the economy is in already. What I see happening here is that many people that are like me and used the card for emergencies will be too strapped to pay any of the increases, especially when one spouse lost their job. I agree that credit is borrowed money but I don’t remember asking them to send me a card to begin with. As far as credit scores go, mine was perfect and with all the changes in credit terms by lowering credit available made it look like I was sitting at the maximum of my credit line (which I was nowhere close too when I used the card); subsequently my other cards followed suit.. and now all of them are raising rates.. how do they expect to get paid. It is becoming extremely frustrating that all the articles I have read lately seem to urge people to save and reduce their credit, sure do wish I was able to do both, but with the increasing rates, min. payments, reduced credit lines, wonder how that is supposed to take place. I hate that this happened as I have always paid on time and whatever I could afford over the min. payment. I am starting to wonder how valuable the credit score will be when so many people will not be able to get a loan to begin with as everytime you turn around something is affecting your credit to lower the score. They already messed with my credit by reducing my credit line and making me look like a “charge happy fool” when I originally (like many others) only accepted the card for the reduced int. rate. What I see happening in the very near future, if things do not change somehow.. is that there will be many more people that have paid their bills religiously and start to feel hopeless about the situation and won’t really care what their score is because they feel it is already ruined. I have done more research on this issue lately than I ever have as when you find yourself down to one paycheck instead of two; things get tight really quick. Maybe I am on the wrong post as from reading most of the comments, most seem to be a lot more well off than others. Just wanted you to try and see it from someone elses point of view.

    Also you need to remember that a lot of senior citizens have to use their cc just to get by.

    Thanks for reading. Wish us luck because after last year we could use any encouragement people would have.

    Jeanine

    Comment by Jeanine — Jan 14th 2009 @ 10:04 am
  90. The government agencies need to hear complaints from a lot of people to take action. I think they will get those complaints with this change in terms, however.

    BTW – seems my fight with Chase isn’t exactly over yet. While the January statement of my second credit card account didn’t have the service fee or higher minimum payment (and the account hasn’t been closed by Chase), the reply I got from Chase didn’t confirm I was opted-out, but rather said briefly, “call us to discuss your options.” I also got a recorded phone message the end of last week reminding that my minimum due payment is increasing on my January statement (although it didn’t). Chase is now being downwright sleezy and trying to make us think we have to accept some change to the account.

    I guess it is time for me to send Chase a second opt-out notice, this time further indicating that I will not consider whatever other options Chase may be willing to offer until Chase first confirms in writing that the November 2008 changes will not be applied to any of my future statements. Bozos!

    Comment by Chris — Jan 14th 2009 @ 10:05 am
  91. Something else that needs to be considered; with so many people out of work and not able to find emp. quickly, the cost of COBRA is prohibitive and with no cc available because of the new rate increases; just think what will happen in the health care industry. I feel all of us whether we have cc or not will be paying for these changes whether one opts out or not.

    For now just trying to keep things in order and do the best I can for my family, but have never felt so discouraged. I know there are people that have it a lot worse than us, but here I am approaching 50 and all of a sudden it seems like my credit score does not belong to me at all; it belongs to the banks and cc companies that change the game mid-way. I don’t know why the new regulations don’t kick in until 2010 as in this coming year, many hard working people will suffer tremendously. I wonder how many people will be defaulting and taking whatever course of action they feel is available. Any idea on how that will change the economy?

    Jeanine

    Comment by Jeanine — Jan 14th 2009 @ 10:33 am
  92. So what is the bottom line here?
    The way I see it they cannot change the interest rate on a ‘fixed interest for life’ offer. By charging the $10 service fee they are effectively increasing the interest rate. What additional service are you getting in return for your $10? If the service you are receiving is the luxury of holding a balance, then isn’t that called interest?
    Debating the nitty gritty of the law is not going to get us anywhere. Bad publicity is what is going to resolve this issue quickly. I am going to send a letter (perhaps I will post a template on this thread) and send it to Chase with copies to:
    my state attorney general’s office
    my state’s better business bureau
    my local congressman
    my two senators
    Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby (top guys on the Senate committee on banking)
    office of the comptroller of the currency

    9 mailings in total. Stamps, envelopes and printing should total less than $6.

    Does anyone want to collaborate on the letter?

    Comment by Victor — Jan 14th 2009 @ 2:12 pm
  93. The bottom line is they can change the interest rate and any other terms of the cardmember agreement, if you agree to allow them to do it. Doing nothing and just paying your bill amounts to you being deemed by them to have accepted any changes they proposed, as described in the original cardmember agreement. This is how all changes to the cardmember agreement happen, actually, though minor changes that don’t add a fee, change an interest rate, or change repayment don’t even require your acceptance.

    Yes, I’ll help you write your letter.

    Comment by Chris — Jan 14th 2009 @ 3:18 pm
  94. Chris –

    You state that “Doing nothing and just paying your bill amounts to you being deemed by them to have accepted any changes they proposed, as described in the original cardmember agreement.”

    What do you suggest we do? If we do not pay, it hurts our credit and allows them to significantly increase the rate (as described in the original cardmember agreement). If we contact them and request that they alter their terms, we will be given the choice of either a higher interest rate of 7.9% or accepting this change.

    I think that given two unacceptable choices, they nullified the cardmember requirement that you referred to (layman’s opinion).

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Jan 14th 2009 @ 3:33 pm
  95. Ben – you are supposed to send in an opt-out letter if you do not agree with the changes. If the charges still appear, you are supposed to send in a dispute letter. There is no telephone call in these processes, but there are deadlines to make your decision.

    Chase is trying to trick you into thinking we are required to accept a change by offerring options; you are not required to agree with anything that affects the material elements of the lending agreement (fees, interest, repayment), but you do have to express your disagreement correctly and timely.

    Comment by Chris — Jan 14th 2009 @ 3:44 pm
  96. The deadline may have passed for the opt-out situation, but it is still worth sending the letter and seeing what happens.

    Note, Chase reps will use the word “opt-out” when discussing the two options they are presenting you, but that is not the kind of opt-out that we are referring to here. The opt-out is a letter that you send to them saying you do not accept the changes. By law, if you send them this letter in a timely fashion, they have to keep your old payment terms. They may, however, elect to close your account to new charges. You will still have the ability to pay on the old schedule, but you might no longer have an account that is open to new charges. That’s if they elect to choose the path of closing your account to new charges. They may decide otherwise.

    Comment by steve — Jan 14th 2009 @ 4:14 pm
  97. “By charging the $10 service fee they are effectively increasing the interest rate. ”

    no, by charging the $10 service fee they are increasing their top line by charging a service fee on top of the interest rate. They are within their rights to do so.

    Comment by steve — Jan 14th 2009 @ 4:16 pm
  98. You have another option, which is to make an offer to settle. This will also put a ding on your credit history, but really, if you can’t afford to pay, you can’t afford to pay. You might be able to settle for 60-70% of the amount outstanding if you are in risk of defaulting on the loan.

    If you have the means to do so, I would stick with paying off the balance. Send the opt-out letter NOW by certified mail and take it from there. There is a good example of one posted above in the comments. If that fails, then make a plan B.

    Comment by steve — Jan 14th 2009 @ 4:19 pm
  99. Steve –

    Please check your most recent statement. The interest rate (APR) of 2.99%-4.99% shows up on the “average daily balance”. Just below the balance is an “effective annual percentage rate (APR)” which is higher. So, yes, the $10 charge increased the rate.

    Also, if a cardholder opts-out and the bank cancels the cardholder’s credit line, his/her credit score would go down because the “credit utilization rate” would increase.

    That leaves us with 2 bad choices, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Ben — Jan 14th 2009 @ 4:54 pm
  100. Not sure about this “credit utilization rate” thing, but I will say that on my “closed account” January statement, it still indicates the same credit line and available credit on the account, along with the message, “Your account is closed. Please continue to make monthly payments by the due date until your balance is paid in full.” I think Chase’s trick is, if you use your card to tap that indicated available credit for any reason, the account gets automatically re-opened and all the changes you opted-out of get applied to the account.

    Comment by Chris — Jan 14th 2009 @ 5:08 pm
  101. Got my other statement today and Chase actually had the nerve to include a promotional balance transfer offer in it!!!! These guys are unbelievable. And for those you don’t think the $10 is an increase in the interest rate—Chase is categorizing this “fee” as a finance charge on it’s statement–just like they categorize the interest charge. That is constructively increasing the rate. For those of you who think they can do anything they want, you are wrong. I had two other cc companies do similar things and a couple of months later the interest rates or charges were reversed and a note on the face of the statement stated that the new rates and or fees were going to be reversed and not applied in the future. It appears Chase will be a harder nut to crack. Keep filing your grievances and maybe some starving lawyer will threaten a class action suit–which I think is what happened in the other cases.

    Comment by tabbycattx — Jan 14th 2009 @ 9:36 pm
  102. I also have been affected by Chases change in rates and called customer service and got the same story as everyone else on this forum. I sent the information to Nightline and my senator from Florida Mel Martinez who happens to sit in the Banking committee. I think if we concentrate on sending info the Nightline they may pick up the story since I believe they did a similar story about credit card billing practices years ago and this could be a good story for them and they could refrence the older story for comparison.

    Comment by Mark K — Jan 19th 2009 @ 3:10 am
  103. We have two Chase credit cards that are now showing the $10 fee and minimum payment increased from 2% to 5%, which we cannot pay. Called Chase and a representative said she could change it back to 2% and she would send a confirmation letter. I asked her if I should close the account but she said not to, to wait for the letter. When it came, it showed the new deal, increased rate good for two years, then market rate. That would never work for us because we would still owe enough for it to break us. Then another letter arrived, setting the minimum pay back to 5% on one of the cards with no mention of the interest rate. I called Chase again and told them I did not accept the new deal, that I had not been told the terms, and the woman said their records showed that I had accepted it. They will listen to the tape and get back to me. It hardly matters though, neither way will work in the long run. We are looking unhappily at debt management, our only, horrible, option?

    Comment by Marianne — Jan 20th 2009 @ 6:26 pm
  104. I’m stuck in this situation also. We have 3 Chase cards onto which I transferred low-interest “until paid” balances; they slapped the fee and 5% minimum on the two that were around 3.5 and 5%. They didn’t change anything on the 3rd card which has about a 6% rate.

    (Sure I deliberately took advantage of their low rates, but heck, THEY OFFERED THEM!! — AND PROMISED THEY WOULD STAY THE SAME! By breaking their promise they have poisoned the relationship and showed how dishonorable they are.)

    Since I have large balances I finally decided I didn’t want to pay the higher payments. (Especially if other banks start doing the same to me!) After arguing with various people there, I went with the 7.99% for 2 years, which goes to the variable purchase rate thereafter (which is currently 6.24% on one of my cards and 7.99% on the other).

    That 7.99% with no $10 fee isn’t all that much higher than the effective rate I’d be paying by keeping the current rate when you consider the fee.

    Also CONSIDER THIS: The $10 fee stays the same, even though the balance falls. So the EFFECTIVE APR KEEPS RISING AND RISING. In the extreme case, if you let your balance fall to $10 (at which time you have to pay it off), the EFFECTIVE APR goes to 120%.

    I am complaining to the Comptroller of the Currency. (The Obama administration may come down on them harder than the Bush administration would.) Thanks to the others who mentioned state attorney general, congressmen, and senators, which hadn’t occurred to me (yet).

    Ironly: at the same time they notified me of these restrictions, they sent my son a 3.99%-till-paid offer! And his credit history is pretty bad.

    I considered transferring to Bank of America who has a 0.99%-till-October-2009 offer for me, but I’d have to shift all my purchases to another card and that’s a hassle changing all the online sites. Plus it’s only for a few months…..

    PLUS their fine print contains something I never saw before: “In addition, we may increase the APRs on your account up to the Default Rate (currently 28.99%) without giving you notice.” They don’t say if you default, or “if” anything. Looks like they are definitely laying the groundwork to make future APR changes, at their whim, legal for them!

    So, CAUTION TO ANYONE TRANSFERRING BALANCES ANYWHERE!!

    Comment by Warren — Jan 22nd 2009 @ 2:59 pm
  105. For those that are interested, there is a law firm in New York City investigating the $10 service charge by Chase. Here’s the link:

    [redacted]

    Comment by Jill — Jan 22nd 2009 @ 4:13 pm
  106. Jill, I wouldn’t have my hopes high with the Obama’s administration and the Comptroller of the Currency. This is the response I got from them today:

    This is in response to your Internet correspondence to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Customer Assistance Group (CAG). CAG answers questions and assists consumers in resolving complaints against national banks. A national bank is a bank that has the word National or the letters N.A. in its official name.

    The focus of the OCC’s review of consumer complaints against national banks is to determine whether the banks’ actions are consistent with banking statutes, regulations or any policies that are applicable to nationally chartered banking institutions.

    In your CardMember agreement, the bank discloses that they may change the terms of their agreement, at any time, with prior notice. Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, governs consumer credit card disclosures and recognizes bank’s ability to change the terms of credit card account agreements. The regulation does not specify the types of changes that may occur or the effect such changes may have on existing account balances. However, Regulation Z requires creditors to notify all affected customers of any substantial changes to the terms of the account. The notice must be mailed or delivered 15 days prior to the effective date of the change.

    Because the regulations governing Open-End Credit allows banks to change the terms, the OCC can only make sure that they are providing the required disclosures. It is our understanding that change in term notices were mailed to all affected account holders in November. These regulations apply to all banks – not just national banks. Any changes to the current regulations or the creation of new banking laws and regulations would have to be implemented by Congress.

    If you wish to file a complaint and receive a response regarding your specific issues, you may do so via the attached complaint form. Please reference case # 852112 . While the OCC can facilitate communication between you and the bank’s Executive Office, we cannot assure the bank will alter their terms.

    We do not process complaints by Email. Future email communications from you concerning these issues will be appropriately filed but will not generate a response.

    If you have any questions, please contact this office directly at 1-800-613-6743 Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm Central Time and refer to Case # 852112 .

    Sincerely,

    Customer Assistance Group

    ———————————————————

    Options left: Pay, Take the 7.9 %. or if you can opt out do so and damage your credit. We are alone on this.

    Comment by Juan — Jan 24th 2009 @ 11:20 am
  107. I found that filing a complaint with the Comptroller of Currency was very useful. I don’t expect that Chase has acted outside the law with their change; I’m sure their lawyers ensured that their unethical and unfair action was at least legal. I didn’t expect the Comptroller’s office to rule against their action since they are likely within the law. The Comptroller’s office, however, fowarded my complaint to Chase, and Chase did send me a check for $110, the fee I incurred in switching my $3600 balance to Citibank. Bottom line, Chase reneged on their agreement with me for the “life of the loan,” and now they have lost me as a customer “for the life of the individual.” Only one difference: they changed the terms on the life of loan; I will not change my determination to avoid Chase for the rest of my life.

    Comment by Jim — Jan 24th 2009 @ 12:12 pm
  108. Befuddled

    Well, like the rest of the posts I too received the “Notice” online in my November statement. Since I live and work in Korea I have no idea if anything was sent to my US mailing address. Not that I probably would have read it. Same/Same story as so many. Member for 16 years with never a late payment and always pay above the min. Initial reaction was screw them, “not a dime more are they getting from me” and then just resignation. I did send out some complaint letter’s but no positive responses and didn’t call Chase.

    Well, to my pleasant surprise they didn’t raise my minimum and there is no $10 fee. Has this happened to anyone else? Thanks in advance.

    Comment by richard — Jan 26th 2009 @ 2:48 am
  109. This is certainly a long thread, but I wanted to make sure that the news was announced here (and on my ChangeInTerms.com site): I have just received information from a visitor indicating that a Class Action Lawsuit has been filed against Chase Card Services. I have posted a link to the actual lawsuit on my site.

    Comment by Dr Robert Lahm — Jan 29th 2009 @ 9:27 pm
  110. Since 2005 I have had 0% interest on my chase card. I have not used this card in 4 years and have steadily paid down my “loan”. Now I have a 10 dollar monthly fee…. for what this is not a transfer fee or a finance charge….chase needs to change its bill format to find a column for what this charge is ……. illegal…. go edwin…. the admin is a shrill for chase…..just because the credit card companies say they can legally screw us …..doesn’t mean they should be able to…in other words. please do not say one more time that “I knew what I signed onto….card agreement says company can do what they want…..baloney…… sign me up for class action….not for money….we need to get the laws changed asap.

    Comment by karin tatela — Jan 31st 2009 @ 11:42 pm
  111. Seriously, I hope someone with legal expertise analyzes how chase can throw a 10 dollar fee on my account and not even have a valid description for what it is!!! It’s not a finance charge…. there is none(o%)…..transaction fee (which is what they’re calling it)…I’ve made none….If chase is going to charge me this fee they should at least find a place for it on their bills! It’s so outlandish and egregious, they don’t even have a description for it on their billing statements!!
    Give me a break! How greedy and brazen can they get!!?!

    Comment by karin tatela — Jan 31st 2009 @ 11:57 pm
  112. Greedy and brazen … sure. But the $10 fee IS properly classified as an (extra) finance charge — just like the balance transfer fee you paid was an extra finance charge.

    (The difference is that we AGREED to the balance transfer fee, but not the $10 a month.)

    Comment by Warren — Feb 1st 2009 @ 12:56 am
  113. yes, I just got off the phone with chase. The 4% for the life of the loan – became – 5% of the balance for minimum payment + $10 PER MONTH FEE. In effect .. they raised the interest rate to whatever they liked, and screwed the customers who “pay on time.”

    CHASE IS A LOUSY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION that CANNOT HONOR AN AGREEMENT.

    Once I transfer / pay off the balance (which will be within a few days) I will NEVER ever deal with Chase. CHASE IS UNRELIABLE.

    Comment by john — Feb 1st 2009 @ 2:14 pm
  114. Well, when you think about it, they’d really LIKE you to transfer that balance somewhere else. You (all of us) are tying up their funds and costing them money. They’d really enjoy getting that money back to beef up their balance sheet, and lend it to someone else that will pay high interest rates.

    Comment by Warren — Feb 1st 2009 @ 9:11 pm
  115. Chase took it a step further with me. I had a 3.99% fixed, always on time, usually paid twice minimums, etc. Balance only about 30% of my limit. Called to complain about the $10/mo fee. The CS rep tried to pitch me on the 7.99% option, which I strongly rejected. Five days later I get a letter confirming I agreed to change my 3.99% rate for the 7.99% rate. This is flat out fraud on their part. See, a change in terms can not be made orally unless by the terms the contract can be completed within one year, etc. In my case, the terms could not be completed within one year. So, they send a confirmatory letter trying to evidence a non-existing oral agreement. If the person says nothing, boom, you’re stuck. Since Chase knows I did not agree to a change in terms to 7.99%, this is fraud. I’d highly recommend anyone doing buisness with Chase only communicate with Chase via written form. Just deal with them as you would with any other criminal enterprise and protect yourselves.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Feb 9th 2009 @ 5:00 pm
  116. Hi ImaChasehater2,

    yes – since I found out that I got the Nov. 2008 change in terms notice I personally decided that I am not talking to them anymore, and I only sent my opt-outs in writing. They even wrote back in response that they wanted me to call them to discuss the options. They so sorely need everyone to accept the changes, and what goes on over the phone, while easiest for the customer, is what is the hardest to prove when they turn the tables on you like this.

    So far, my January and February statements don’t have the changes (no $10/month fee, no higher minimum, but account is still open), and I haven’t called them, and they haven’t replied to my second notice asking them to confirm that the changes will not be applied to any future statements. Don’t think I’ll ever be calling them again from what you just told me…

    Comment by Chris — Feb 9th 2009 @ 5:21 pm
  117. So after reading a great deal of these comments, what would keep Chase from charging the $10 per month and bumping up minimum payment even after they’ve forced you to agree to the 7.99%?

    I have a combined 7 Chase Cards (partly as a result of their acquisitions of other banks and a few vanity cards), and I feel fortunate that they have not made these changes on a single one of the cards. I’m less concerned about the minimum payment requirements (although it does really harm my cash flow out of my business), but more concerned about having to pay $120 x 7 per year.

    I’m curious, has anyone figured out which customers they seem to be targeting, or is it arbitrary?

    Comment by Dennis — Feb 10th 2009 @ 4:16 am
  118. Also, it would seem that Chase would be playing with possible usuary violations on certain accounts if the balances get low enough. If they’re classifying that $10 as a finance charge, then it’s possible on a low balance that an individual would be far exceeding maximum allowable legal interest rates.

    I don’t know much about law and this is just a far fetched thought, but it definitely was something that crossed my mind.

    Comment by Dennis — Feb 10th 2009 @ 4:20 am
  119. SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE. 3.99 FOR LIFE. NOW $10. FEE. AND RAISED MINIMUM. SENT CHASE A LETTER DISPUTING THESE CHANGES. AND UNDER MY RIGHTS OF DISPUTE I AM NOT OBLIGATED TO PAY THESE AMOUNTS WHILE UNDER DISPUTE. I INFORMED THEM I WOULD BE MAKING PAYMENT BASED ON THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT CONTACTED THE OCC. FILED A COMPLAINT. GOT A CALL FROM CHASE EXECUTIVE OFFICE. I WAS NOT HOME. HAVE CALLED BACK THREE TIMES WITH NO RESPONCE.

    HERE IS WHERE THINGS ARE GOING TO GET STICKY. PAYMENT IS DUE ON THE 12TH OF FEB. PAY IT AND I AGREE WITH THEIR CHANGES. DON’T PAY AND I AM IN DEFAULT. I’M SURE AT THIS POINT THEY WILL RAISE RATE TO 30%.

    JUST OF NOTE.. MY WIFE ALSO HAD A CHASE CARD WITH A LARGE BALANCE WE PAID THAT OFF A YEAR AGO. DOES NOT SEEM TO MATTER WE HAVE EXCELLANT HISTORY WITH THEM. I’M IN FOR A LONG BATTLE

    Comment by BEN — Feb 10th 2009 @ 1:09 pm
  120. BEN – You don’t really want to talk with them, do you? They are just trying to weasel out of the OCC complaint by saying they spoke with you and you settled something with them.

    Comment by Chris — Feb 10th 2009 @ 1:26 pm
  121. ONE OTHER NOTE. I DON’T THINK ANY ONE WENT TO CHASE FOR MONEY. THEY CAME TO US WITH THEIR OFFER. HAD THEY NOT MADE THE OFFER I WOULD NOT HAVE SIGNED ON WITH THEM.

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 10th 2009 @ 1:27 pm
  122. AT THIS POINT I DO NOT. I’M GOING TO SEND THE PAYMENT BASED ON THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 10th 2009 @ 1:30 pm
  123. JUST ANOTHER QUICK QUESTION. HAS ANYONE MADE A PAYMENT ON THEIR CARD WITH THE NEW PAYMENT MINIMUMS AND IF SO WHAT DID YOU PAY? NEW MINIMUM OR OLD. MY STATEMENT CLEARLY SHOWS I AM NOW AT 5% MINIMUM PAYMENT. I AM AT A LOSE ON HOW TO PROCEED. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. ANY SUGGESTIONS

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 10th 2009 @ 2:56 pm
  124. This isn’t legal advice or anything, but you always could pay more than the stated minimum (even by $1), and I don’t think that have ever meant you agreed to a higher required minimum payment. As far as paying the old minimum payment, you probably will get hit with charges and higher interest rates, which will only be reversed if and when Chase grants your billing dispute.

    Comment by Chris — Feb 10th 2009 @ 3:00 pm
  125. For Dennis: As far as I can tell by searching the internet, it looks like they are targeting people who signed up a few years ago for balance transfers at 4.99% for the life of the loan – it doesn’t seem to be arbitrary.

    I am one of these people. My minimum payment has almost tripled and I am stuck with the $10/month fee (on my statement, the $10/month is called a “SERVICE CHARGE* FINANCE CHARGE*” and is listed under the “Finance Charges” part of my statement as a “Transaction Fee”.

    I have an EXCELLENT credit rating and an EXCELLENT payment history.

    Also, my husband and my mother have Chase credit cards, and their credit cards have not been effected at all; however, they never signed up for one of these balance transfers either.

    Comment by Sharon — Feb 10th 2009 @ 3:00 pm
  126. 5 of those cards have lifetime low interest balance transfers. I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to figure out when or if it’s coming to my accounts.

    Now I do use two of the other cards (that didn’t have balance tranfers) for regular business and personal purchases, so perhaps since I’m not just using their cards for balance transfers and using other cards from Chase they’re not hitting us.

    Again, my biggest issue would be the $10 per month fee across all of those cards. That would be a significant amount of money, on top of what I already paid in transfer fees.

    Comment by Dennis — Feb 10th 2009 @ 3:08 pm
  127. SHARON
    NOT JUST THE PEOPLE AT 4.99 MINE IS AT 3.99
    5% MINIMUM RAISED MY PAYMENT 250%. PAYDAY LENDING RATES. LEGAL EXTORTION

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 10th 2009 @ 3:14 pm
  128. Ben,
    I agree. I paid the 5% minimum last month and am going to pay the balance off next month (with my income tax return that I was saving for something else) simply because I really can’t afford the new 5% minimum payment every month. And, then I am cancelling the card. I figure that they will probably lose a lot of their best customers, so let their deadbeat customers bail them out next year.

    Comment by Sharon — Feb 10th 2009 @ 3:25 pm
  129. > has anyone figured out which customers they seem to be targeting, or is it arbitrary?

    As I said in a previous post, they targeted my cards that were 4.99% or less, and they left alone the one that’s at 5.99%.

    Also, their notice says “The key factors we considered when making these changes include the current APRs and and revolving balances” on the account. On the phone they told me it didn’t relate to credit rating.

    Comment by Warren — Feb 10th 2009 @ 10:41 pm
  130. UN FORTUNATLEY I’M NOT ABLE TO PAY OFF MY BALANCE RIGHT NOW, NOR DO I WANT TO. I THINK CHRIS SUGGESTED I PAY 1$ MORE THAN THE MINIMUM THEY ARE ASKING SO AS NOT TO SHOW I’M IN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR TERMS BUT THATS THE PROBLEM… IT’S A 250% INCREASE. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE SAID CHASE CONTACTED THEM TO CHANGE TERMS OR CLOSE ACCT. I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO CLOSE THE CARD AND KEEP MY TERMS BUT THEY ARE NOT TALKING TO ME. I’M SURE THEY WANT ME TO DEFAULT. LIKE I SAID. I’M IN FOR A LONG BATTLE

    Comment by BEN S — Feb 11th 2009 @ 2:34 am
  131. WARREN
    ITHINK THEY ARE TARGETING ANYONE MAKING MINIMUM PAYMENTS. MY CREDIT HISTORY IS EXCELLANT AND LIKE I SAID MY WIFE JUST PAID OFF A RATHER LARGE BALANCE AFTER A COULPLE OF YEARS OF PAYMENTS, SO IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PAYMENT HISORY.

    JUST GOT DONE LISTENING TO A RADIO PROGRAM THAT SAID THERE IS A BILL IN CONGRESS TO STOP CREDIT CARD COMPANIES FROM DOING THIS, SO THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET IN FRONT OF IT

    Comment by BEN S — Feb 11th 2009 @ 2:54 am
  132. > I’M NOT ABLE TO PAY OFF MY BALANCE RIGHT
    > NOW, NOR DO I WANT TO.
    > IT’S A 250% INCREASE.

    Well, at the risk of being too repetitive, I didn’t like those options either, so you could do what I and others have, which is take their offer of 7.99% for 2 years and variable after that, in order to keep the 2% payment. But you might have to hurry — that option may have an expiration date. I did it over the phone, and then they sent me a written confirmation. (Of course they could renege on it again in the future, but maybe they won’t.)

    > THERE IS A BILL IN CONGRESS TO STOP CREDIT
    > CARD COMPANIES FROM DOING THIS

    They are probably referring to the bill that was just passed and signed into law several weeks ago. Unfortunately it doesn’t take effect until mid-2010.

    Comment by Warren — Feb 11th 2009 @ 10:43 am
  133. Chase is targeting anyone who has carried a low-interest (read, not profitable enough) balance for a couple years or more . About 700,000 accounts by most estimates. Previous payment size (i.e. paying mininum payment only) has nothing to do with it — that’s a verifiable lie that Chase is telling to make their loan-shark maneuvering seem somehow more ethical.

    There have been three class-action suits filed against them because of this. More here: http://www.ChangeInTerms.com

    If you haven’t already, file a complaint w/the OCC (http://www.occ.treas.gov/), write your congressional and assembly reps, and

    Pay what’s due via the statement, otherwise they have grounds for default rates to you, which may domino out to other creditors you have (via Universal Default, another heinous tactic of the credit card industry).

    Force Chase to deal with you in writing; do not negotiate via the phone if yoiu can help it.

    Comment by Lurk — Feb 11th 2009 @ 11:56 am
  134. regarding the folks who Chase coerced into a 50%-100% increase in APR (the 7.99% “alternate offer”)….

    …what guarantees do you have that Chase won’t just do this to you again in a couple months, or a year?

    Comment by Lurk — Feb 11th 2009 @ 11:58 am
  135. HAVE ALREADY FILED COMPLAINT WITH OCC AND I AGREE WITH LURK AND EVERYONE ELSE. WHATS TO STOP THEM FROM DOING IT AGAIN. IF I TAKE THEIR OFFER OF 7.99 ISNT THE POINT MUTE. I HAVE AGREED TO THEIR TERMS. END OF STORY.

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 11th 2009 @ 12:32 pm
  136. > what guarantees do you have that Chase won’t just
    > do this to you again in a couple months, or a year

    None, really, except the written confirmation they sent. But if you take their fee-and-higher-payment alternative, there’s STILL no guarantees they won’t do it again! They could raise the fee and/or the payment even higher! So it’s the same both ways.

    Comment by Warren — Feb 11th 2009 @ 1:05 pm
  137. So long as folks willingly submit to Chase’s mercy (which I don’t recommend), the only guarantee you have is Chase knows what it is doing by draining its older toxic assets (asset-backed securities which funded the old balance transfer offers) by moving the funds into new toxic assets which Chase hopes won’t become toxic? I say just take the account away from Chase, that’s absolutely what they were asking for from each customer they sent that Change In Terms notice to.

    Comment by Chris — Feb 11th 2009 @ 1:23 pm
  138. Lots of good info here folks. With a few firms lining up to take a shot at Chase, and with the Stimulus issues that are front page news, now is the time to hit back at Chase and hit them hard. Write editorials to your newspapers. Post blogs on news sites discussing the stimulus package. Write your congressional leaders. Write your AG. Write everyone. Chase is positioning itself as a near banking monopoly and with more bailout moneies, they will have more opprotunity to grab up more loans, banks, card companies, etc. I read somewhere that they were/did grabbing Sallie mae student loans. Thank god I paid those off. Tell your stories (in a professional manner) anywhere you deem fit. Chase is the bad guy here, so shout it from the roof tops! I’ll get off my soupbox now. Let’s make Chase rue the day they decided to stick it to us!!

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Feb 11th 2009 @ 1:56 pm
  139. JUST GOTOFF THE PHONE WITH THE OCC. I THINK THEY WILL BE OF NO HELP AT ALL. HAD ALREADY FILED MY COMPLAINT. THEY WERE WAITING FOR RESPONSE FROM CHASE. WHO IS NEXT ON THE LIST TO CALL? WE ARE ALL ALONE IN THIS!!!

    SENT LETTER TO CHASE LAST WEEK. DISPUTING ALL CHANGES. HAVE LEFT VOICE MAIL 3 TIMES WITH MELISSA HAGLER AT THE CHASE EXECUTIVE OFFICE PHONE # 888-622-7547. EXT 6736. NO RESPONSE.
    AT THIS POINT ALL I WANT FROM THEM IS THE OPT OUT THAT I NEVER GOT. TAKE MY CARD. WOULD NEVER USE IT AGAIN ANYWAY. JUST LEAVE MY TERMS.

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 11th 2009 @ 2:11 pm
  140. YELLOWPAGES.COM is a website people frequently use to get phone numbers and addresses – and it has a RATE IT feature – which let’s you rate the business you are searching for.

    so RATE CHASE there and anywhere. And let their future customers know of your LOUSY EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH CHASE. I will be using cut and paste .. from a notepad file that will be placed on my desktop :)

    Comment by jhon — Feb 11th 2009 @ 2:23 pm
  141. CHASE BANK CALLED. THEY TRUELY SUCK. AND THEY KNOW IT AND DONT CARE. WHAT A JOKE. WE THE PEOPLE ARE SCREWED!!!!!! PAY YOUR TAXES SO CHASE CAN GET SOME MORE BAILOUT MONEY. SORRY, I,M PISSED!!

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 11th 2009 @ 3:18 pm
  142. Admittedly, I went a little overboard, but anger can be an obessive beast. I have posted blogs on every major news paper and news site that reports on the stimulus package or any current news story relating to Chas that I can find. I have written the BBB in Delware and filed a complaint. I have written both my senators, I have written my AG (with positive follow-up, but not going into details). I have written my local TV stations (news programs with consumer protection segments). I have written my state’s largest news paper. I have written the two class-action firms that are considering/going after Chase. Good thing I’m not in banking as the time value for all this way outweighs the relatively small balance I have on my Chase card. Nevertheless, if Chase is going to pull crap like this during these times, they deserve our attention. You can almost be guaranteed that the other card companies are watching. If we don’t push back and push back hard, all these card companies will think they can roll over us.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Feb 11th 2009 @ 3:45 pm
  143. well i have been strongarmed in to giving in to their terms. had no choice in the matter finacially. i’ll let the smoke clear and transfer to another card. i’m still realing from all this. unbelievable!!!!

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 12th 2009 @ 2:09 pm
  144. I just received a 24 month 4.99% offer from Chase after I paid down the cards balance.

    They even write (I quote), “We noticed that you recently made a large payment to your Amazon Visa account and make sure we’re not losing your business. That’s why we want to remind you again of these low-rate reasons to stay — it’s our way of showing you that our business is important to us.”

    Like I said before, they haven’t modified any of our accounts (knock on wood). Perhaps we’re marked as profitable customers. The big difference is that I have two cards from chase that I use regularly for purchases.

    Comment by Dennis — Feb 12th 2009 @ 5:37 pm
  145. In tough times you’d expect a Bank to remain stable and trustworthy. CHASE on the other hand is exploiting their customers, the same customers that paid on time. It seems that in these times CHASE chooses to VIOLATE THE TRUTH IN LENDING ACT. It is pathetic that no one stepped forward so far and prevented chase from breaching the agreements that they signed with all their customers.

    I’ll pay the increased 5% of the balance – and I’ll pay the additional $10 monthly extortion fee. Most of us will find a way to deal with this “stab in the back” from CHASE. My credit will remain the same. I will throw CHASE, their amendments & extortion fees like an old pair of shoes – that’s about the only thing that will change.

    Comment by John — Feb 13th 2009 @ 9:58 am
  146. Dennis, don’t do it. Look at it this way:

    The low promotion rate is a football.

    Chase is Lucy

    You (or anyone that accepted Chase’s low rate offers) are Charlie Brown

    You know how the rest of the story unfolds: “ARRRRGGG!”

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Feb 13th 2009 @ 11:39 am
  147. NOW THAT THE SMOKE HAS CLEARED_OUT OF MY EARS ANYWAY- I’LL LOOK AT MY OPTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS.FROM ANY ONE THAT HAS THEM. ACCEPTING THEIR OFFER OF 7.99 HAS BOUGHT ME ALITTLE TIME. PROBABLY TRANSFER TO ANOTHER CARD IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A GOOD ONE RIGHT NOW. MY OTHER THOUGHT IS THIS, LET ME KNOW IF I’M MISSING SOMETHING. I’LL DIP INTO MY 401 WHICH HAS DONE NOTHING BUT TANK SEVERAL G’S THIS PAST YEAR. BORROW FROM MYSELF PUT THIS MONEY TO USE BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS COMPLETELY, PAY BACK THROUGH PAYROLL DEDUCTION AND GET THE CHASE MONKEY OFF MY BACK FOR GOOD

    Comment by BEN S. — Feb 13th 2009 @ 12:10 pm
  148. Oh I wasn’t taking the offer from Chase. Like I said, they didn’t raise any of my 5 balance transfers and they offered me yet another low interest transfer.

    Like I’ve said before, since I use another one of my chase cards for regular purchases (about $1500 per month), I think they left my transfers alone.

    I’m just trying to provide some insight on someone who hasn’t had their rates raised.

    Comment by Dennis — Feb 14th 2009 @ 12:07 am
  149. Folks,

    I’ve also been ripped of with the $10 scam.

    In congressional testimony Rep. Shelley Moore Capito asked why card holders who haven’t missed any
    payments are seeing increases in their interest rates. Jamie Dimon answered that he’d personally deal with any such customers.

    I’ve sent a letter to Jamie Dimon and requested that he honors his word and personally deal with my case. I copied everyone on the JPM board and Rep Moore Capito.

    If Chase starts to realize how outraged many of us are maybe they’ll question the profitability of the move (which is all they will ever care about).

    Comment by Peter — Feb 19th 2009 @ 7:42 pm
  150. I would like to challenge this opt out. I always paid more than minimum payment. I have paid over half of it off. Now they have gone and increased my minimum payment 3 fold and added $10.00 service fee. Also put a limit on this amount good only until January 2011. Was paying 3.99%, Now paying 7.99%. I opted out because the $10.00 fee would have brought it to 9.99 % and larger minimum payents. Don’t believe what you get in writing from the banks. This was suppose to be a balance transfer until paid in full at a rate of 3.99%.. We need to do something about these agreements the banks change in mid-stream. We need to find the legality issues here. Can we do anything as a class action suit?

    Comment by Franki J — Feb 23rd 2009 @ 1:29 pm
  151. Is anyone considering filing a class action suit on behalf of Pennsylvania residents?

    Comment by Tim — Mar 1st 2009 @ 12:30 pm
  152. Just looked at my Chase statement (online). The $10/month fee was refunded!! Effective percentage rate back to 3.99%. Still repaying at 5% instead of 2%, but I’m good with that. See!! Proof positive that if we work together against these corporate jerks when they try and screw with us, we can prevail!! (not to mention I filed complaints with the BBB, my Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller (waste of time that), about a bazillion blogs and I agreed to be the named party for my state in a class action). Other card companies take note, WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 2nd 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  153. Just looked at my account, and I’m still paying the $10 extortion fee.

    I’m glad they removed it for you – but I think for the most part, CHASE is an unreliable, shaky financial establishment – seems like they can do whatever they like. I really hope they get screwed in court.

    Comment by John — Mar 4th 2009 @ 4:31 pm
  154. Squeaky wheel perhaps? I did more than squeak though (and it cost me more in time and $ than the lousy $10, but $ and time well spent in my opinion). The BBB complaint seems to get the most reaction from Chase, by the way.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 4th 2009 @ 4:38 pm
  155. Chaseharter:

    Did they cancel your credit line when they refunded the $10? If so, that could potentially cost you more that $10 because cancellation would affect your “credit utilization rate” which means your FICO score would be reduced.

    That goes for everyone reading these blogs. Certainly, they violated their “life of loan” agreements and I am sure that they will lose when the multiple class action suits go to trial. I an just suggesting that we do not “shoot ourselves in the foot” in the meantime.

    Comment by Ben — Mar 4th 2009 @ 7:12 pm
  156. Nope. Card is untouched with an active credit line of $17.5k. One law firm indicated to me a week or so back that Chase might be abandoning this $10/mo nonsense. I’m re-adjusting my min/monthly that I pay automatically through my bank’s bill pay system so as to be done with this card within the year. I don’t want the stink of Chase on me any longer.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 4th 2009 @ 7:20 pm
  157. > One law firm indicated to me a week or so back that
    > Chase might be abandoning this $10/mo nonsense.

    Did they say, abandoning the higher interest rate and higher minimum payment too? That would be very welcome, to say the least.

    Comment by Warren — Mar 4th 2009 @ 9:47 pm
  158. He didn’t say anything about the 5% monthly repayment amount. My account is still at the 5% monthly amount. My guess is Chase is on a little better footing (if not solid footing) when it comes to changing the repayment percentage terms. Chase is obviously doing it to force people to go with the 7.99% offer. No mistake this all occurred around tax refund time either (in my opinion). Still, slimy moves given folks’ current economic woes.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 5th 2009 @ 12:30 pm
  159. these jerks had the nerve to send me a customer service survey because of my complaint. “We understand your experience with Chase may not have met your expectations and we want to prevent this from happening again…..” what a joke

    Comment by BEN S. — Mar 12th 2009 @ 12:59 pm
  160. Yeah, I got one of those surveys too. I really laid into them!

    Comment by Tim — Mar 12th 2009 @ 1:43 pm
  161. In regards to survey: As my deceased dad used to say… ” tell a big enough lie, big enough, and often enough and everyone will soon believe it … including the teller”……..welcome to the world of Chase……..

    Comment by karin tatela — Mar 12th 2009 @ 10:34 pm
  162. I went online to pay my Chase credit card payment over the weekend and noticed that my amount due was back to the 2% minimum payment due instead of the 5%. I called the customer service number held for about twenty mintues then spoke with a gentleman that told me since I did not accept the 7.99 increase–I stopped him in mid sentence since I had spoken to someone at Chase months before on this and told him no I am not questioning the increased payment amount I am curious as to why my minimum payment due is back down to 2% of the balance–he then stated to me that I was put in the wrong catagory??–My amount due is now back down to 2% of the balance and they are refunding me the $10.00 charged for the previous three months. I made my payment online but I also get paper statements so I am now waiting to see if there is any explanation with my paper statement.I guess they can play with your account any way they wish. I hope they do not stick it to me again after months of emotional stress over this

    Comment by Linda Adams — Mar 25th 2009 @ 5:15 pm
  163. just got a letter from chase saying they incorrectly changed the terms of my agreement. they are refunding the $10 service fee and resetting the minimum payment back to 2%. they are feeling the pressure. good job everyone.
    but, they aleady blackmailed me into changing my interest rate. it will be interesting to see my next statement. the letter said they were resetting everything back to the original agreement. we’ll see!

    Comment by BEN S. — Mar 26th 2009 @ 3:22 pm
  164. I just got a letter from chase saying they “incorrectly” changed the terms (hmmm… did class action suits actually do us some good for once). I absolutely had to succumb to the higher interest rate to keep the 2% minimum. The letter says they’ll be restoring the original promotional rate.

    Of course my level of trust in Chase is zero.

    The other interesting thing is that I’m in California where they have just started advertising as all the Wamu branches are being rebranded Chase. And yes, in my case, Chase’s extorting me into a higher rate by invoking the “because we say so” clause in the “agreement” (finally have learned that the legality of that is highly suspect–you can’t agree to agree to something unknown in the future) totally destroyed my image of them as my new bank. Maybe that’s related.

    I can’t find any news articles on this, so I have no idea what the official spin is.

    I wish I’d found this site back when I was being extorted–good job people!

    Comment by yet another steve — Mar 27th 2009 @ 3:36 pm
  165. I paid off my entire balance several months back, but Chase kept charging me $10 per month. Perhaps because of the activist blowback from others, or because they just decided it was the right thing to do, they apparently have decided to refund all of my $10 monthly fees (all two of them!) and are no longer charging me $10 per month service fees on my (currently unused and zero-balanced) credit card.

    FYI

    Comment by steve (original steve) — Mar 27th 2009 @ 7:28 pm
  166. It’’s true! Congratulations, everyone. Just read the comments on the reversals and called Chase to find out why my account hadn’t been changed and was told it was happening according to pay cycles. Wow Once in a while David can win. (In numbers and truth there is strength!!!!!)

    Comment by karin tatela — Mar 27th 2009 @ 9:01 pm
  167. Does anyone have an official notice that all accounts are being refunded and returned to original APR. If someone could post a copy of the letter they received from Chase, that would be great. Thanks

    Comment by max — Mar 29th 2009 @ 12:09 pm
  168. Don’t pop those corks just yet folks. Just looked at my statement online. The $10/mo fee has returned. Looks like I will get the chance to be the named party for my state in the class action after all.

    Comment by Imachasehater2 — Mar 29th 2009 @ 12:28 pm
  169. Max, No official letter. Just the phone rep’s description of that was what was happening. Tend to believe her since we all know they are robotic parrots without an original thought in their pre recorded brains1

    Comment by karin tatela — Mar 29th 2009 @ 10:40 pm
  170. What the hell is up with these yahoos?? I complained about the re-emergence of the $10/mo fee on my 03/26 statement. Here’s the relevant portion of the reply:
    “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of this situation.

    Please be assured, the $10.00 service charge that was
    billed to your account will be credited on your April 2009
    billing statement.”

    So, is it their plan to try and get away with the $10 fee every month to see if I object? This is too weird, even for Chase.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 30th 2009 @ 10:43 am
  171. Ima: From what I’ve heard (article forthcoming) the official policy change will happen in April, so it may be that they’ve announced it by have yet to put it into practice.

    Comment by admin — Mar 30th 2009 @ 10:46 am
  172. Max, i do have a letter from chase stating they are resetting my acct to org. terms. i’ll post when i get a chance.. i also want to see next mo. statement. i dont believe anything they say

    Comment by BEN S. — Mar 30th 2009 @ 3:26 pm
  173. I am a different Ben (Not Ben S).

    Here is a website that answers our questions concerning the $10 fee although I think they underestimated the number of cardholders:

    http://www.walletpop.com/credi.....ees/404814

    It says nothing about the payment being changed from 2% to 5%.

    Comment by Ben — Mar 30th 2009 @ 7:01 pm
  174. Thanks for posting the story link Ben II. I submit, pressure from the NY AG wasn’t the only reason Chase gave up this folly. In addition, I believe it was the backlash from consumers, the threats of lawsuits, and the inquiries by other AGs (of which I was responsible for at least one AG contact). This is a big win for us consumers!!

    As far as the 2% to 5% change, I suspect Chase is on more solid ground as I’m guessing a court could see that as coming within the gambit of a change in terms. The $10/mo fee was a new term that was not negotiated. The percent increase, maybe not so much. Then again, I could easily be way off base.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Mar 30th 2009 @ 7:43 pm
  175. Letter from Chase.

    In reviewing your account, we discovered that you were incorrectly sent a Change in Terms notice this past November. As a result, you may have been charged a $10 monthly account service charge(s) and your minimum payment changed to 5% of your New Balance.

    We have already taken action to correct the terms on your account. We have credited your account for the $10 monthly account service charge(s). With tour next billing statement, your minimum payment due will revert to its previous calculation of either 2% of your New Balance or 1% of your New Balance plus billed interest and any billed late fees. In addition, we set your promotional rate balance(s)–with no defined expiration date– back to its original terms. As always, your account remains subject to all terms and conditions, including default APR action, as outlined in your Cardmember Agreement.

    Your satisfaction is important to us, and we apologize for the error and any inconvenience this issue may have caused you. If you have any questions, please call us at the toll free number on the back of your card. For your convenience, we are available 24 hours a day to assist you.

    Sincerely,

    Cardmember Service

    Comment by BEN S. — Mar 31st 2009 @ 12:49 pm
  176. Re: http://www.walletpop.com/credi.....ees/404814

    Will this be happening across the USA, or just in New York? Sounds like it is country-wide. If so, I agree – the numbers seem low.

    Also, Ben S., what state do you live in? I would like to see where these letters are going out.

    Thanks!

    Comment by Tim — Apr 1st 2009 @ 12:27 pm
  177. I got the exact same letter (I think it arrived Monday), and I live in Texas. I also remember hearing on the Nightly Business Report, the same day, that the stock price of JPMorgan Chase had declined on active volume, and they noted it may have been related to their having to refund illegal fees to something like 184,000 customers. Obviously they were quoting the figures from the same source as the story linked above.

    Comment by Warren — Apr 1st 2009 @ 12:40 pm
  178. Tim
    I live in Ohio. I’m sure this is across the board.The backlash from their actions had to be phenomenal and now they’re reeling. The thing that gets me is I fought with them for 2mo and had to give in to their demands and then they send me this and i’m sure every other customer with an outstanding credit history. Still not sure what to expect next mo.
    Maybe all the phone calls, letters and law suits did some good. How many others have gotten this letter?

    Comment by BEN S. — Apr 3rd 2009 @ 2:17 am
  179. i just got off the phone with chase .. they will refund the $10 per month – but the minimum payment will remain %5 – it will not revert back to %2. Currently I’m in the process of closing my checking account with chase – an unreliable lousy financial institution.

    Sovereign Bank offers free checking (no min balance required) and free business checking – and they are not owned by chase – I think I will take my business there.

    Comment by john — Apr 3rd 2009 @ 5:41 pm
  180. I think your phone rep was wrong. (There are more than one case of incorrect phone information chronicled on this very web page.)

    The letter SPECIFICALLY says “your minimum payment due will revert to its previous calculation of either 2% of your New Balance or 1% of your New Balance plus billed interest and any billed late fees.”

    Comment by Warren — Apr 4th 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  181. i live in IL and got a letter that says they will refund the $10 service fees, but my min due each month will remain at 5%. what gives?

    Comment by ken — Apr 6th 2009 @ 5:49 pm
  182. Warren and Ken

    okay. just got a letter from Chase today. I live in PA.
    $10 fee rescinded….minimun payment stays at 5%.
    This is not what phone rep told me 2 weeks ago when I was told it would go back to 2%. Chase is trying to hold on to every penny they can. They are flying by the seat of their pants in all of this. That is why there are discrepancies in responses. Do we have any pull in regard to this %? ( I am so proud of the “internet customers” who made the $10 thing happen. In unity there is strength, etc.)

    Comment by karin tatela — Apr 6th 2009 @ 6:27 pm
  183. I received a letter today .. stating min due will remain %5 – i live in NY.

    Comment by john — Apr 6th 2009 @ 11:37 pm
  184. Well, it appears there are DIFFERENT letters going out to different people. When I got my letter rescinding the $10 fee, the 5% minimum, and the higher interest rate, I naturally assumed they were doing the same thing for all.

    Well, today I noticed my wife’s card was still at the 7.99% rate instead of going back to 4.99% (even though they verbally told me it would be changed back within one or two billing cycles), and I called & asked them what the delay was — especially since they fixed MY card several weeks ago.

    Now they tell me her card has to stay at 7.99% for 2 years, then the variable rate, even though we BOTH changed to that rate only under duress, and we BOTH want our old rates back!

    They said they mailed her a letter stating this, on April 15. We just haven’t received it yet.

    Those dirty rats — they don’t seem to care about the class-action lawsuits, the NY attorney general, and the bad publicity! I thought we could count this as a victory, but we can’t yet … we need to keep fighting. Now the class for the lawsuits is just smaller (hmmm, maybe that’s what they were planning for — hoping to make it small enough so these lawyers wouldn’t pursue the case!).

    Comment by Warren — Apr 18th 2009 @ 9:52 pm
  185. Have you seen the commercial spoof about the credit card minimum payment increase?

    Check it out at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt-a_8LYzrw

    Comment by Maggie — Apr 22nd 2009 @ 6:14 pm
  186. Anybody still reading this stuff.
    A few weeks ago The Columbus Dispatch reported the following.
    Ohio officials took a significant step forward in their bid to bring 1,150 new JPMorgan Chase jobs to the Columbus area by approving a $14 million tax incentive yesterday.
    By benefiting from past Chase consolidations, central Ohio has grown into a major hub for the company, employing 14,700 people.
    “This will help the company grow in central Ohio in what is a difficult economic time,” said Steven Schoeny, acting chairman of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, which yesterday unanimously approved a 15-year, 75 percent job-creation tax credit for Chase….

    Could be why they flipped my acct. back. Didnt want any angry Ohio customers. as of May statement evrything back to the original agreement
    Any thoughts?

    Comment by BEN S. — May 7th 2009 @ 12:49 pm
  187. Just anther way to take more money….
    I’ve always carried a balance ( I know not smart..)
    But, having a few cards, it will be too much to pay back at twice the payments……. So I’ll just say ” Screw off …. and not pay anything…. What are they gonna do raise my min payment more… LOL I’m on a fixed income….. and what can I do?
    Hey does anyone wanna buy a slightly used kidney….
    Creditcard companys should all rot in hell
    Thats all I have to say on that
    Have Nice Day

    Comment by Fred — May 14th 2009 @ 11:01 am
  188. My local station is finally running a story on this. I contacted them months ago. Better late than never. If wondering, I’m not one of the people interviewed. Here it is:
    http://www.katu.com/news/probl.....op&t=a

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — May 14th 2009 @ 2:04 pm
  189. I, too, thought I was being really smart and getting a great deal with Chase’s low, low interest rate. I made my payments right on time, even when they changed up the due date. I figured they could offer this incredible rate because many customers would miss the due date and all that money borrowed would suddenly jump to usury level rates. True. What I didn’t count on was the legality of suddenly increasing my minimum payment to more than double with no opt out. I am in shock that this is legal. Complete shock. I feel cheated and stupid. Okay, so some smart banker in their management suddenly said, Whoa, we have to get that 3% money back! Oh crap! So they just change the offer. Where is our consumer protection? I can’t find it anywhere. Not everything that should be illegal is. When this economic crisis passes….and it will….Chase will likely not be in existence. Unless of course my tax money bails ‘em out, which is a double slap in the face.

    Comment by DeeJay — Jun 23rd 2009 @ 5:24 pm
  190. I just got off with chase, instead of paying the 5% min payment and with apr 0f 4.99%, you can go to 12% but with min of 2%.
    no opt out option. account will be closed too.

    Comment by paul — Jun 23rd 2009 @ 8:43 pm
  191. DeeJay,
    You said it all. I shouldn’t be surprised that Chase is still after their low interest rate customers, but I was. I went through this same baloney back in Feb.!!!! Look out everyone; they’re still coming to get you and save themselves $ We all know how much Chase needs money! After all,the recession has hit them hard.(!!??!)
    We had a minor victory with the withdrawal of the $10 a month “service” fee withdrawal, but let’s face it. Chase is making out like bandits by increasing their monthly minimum payments and I for one am mad as hell about it. Anyone have any ideas on how to approach this?
    (ps in rereading the original admin. comments that started this conversation…. I resent the word “milking” long term interest rates!!!!!!!!!!!! Whose side on you on???????????????????????????

    Comment by karin tatela — Jun 23rd 2009 @ 11:12 pm
  192. I just got one of those “going to 5%” notices too. I’m going to try the “opt out, dispute bill, complain loudly strategy” described above and see if it works. If it doesn’t work, I may just stop paying my Chase bill.

    What are the consequences of my deciding not to pay my Chase bill any more? It would screw up my credit rating obviously. Other card companies could invoke the universal default clause to raise my rates, except that there aren’t any other card companies – I moved everything to Chase to take advantage of the low balance offers. And they will call me and yell at me over the phone (if I’m dumb enough to answer).

    Other than that, what can they do? I have a high income but no assets other than my retirement account which they can’t lawfully seize.

    Comment by MaryAnn — Jun 24th 2009 @ 9:01 am
  193. > Anyone have any ideas on how to approach this?

    There are many ideas in the earlier posts. For instance, reporting Chase to their regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ( http://occ.gov/ ). Also the NY attorney general got partial action out of them, but his office needs to be informed that some inequities still remain.

    Comment by Warren — Jun 24th 2009 @ 10:14 am
  194. > what can they do? I have a high income

    Eventually they’ll probably sue, and win. Then they can garnish wages and/or attach your bank account. The difficulty of their doing those things varies by state.

    Comment by Warren — Jun 24th 2009 @ 10:51 am
  195. So far so good. Can’t garnish my wages, I’m self employed so no wages. I guess they could try to garnish debts owed me by fifty different customers, but that would be a huge problem for them. Bank account – not much money in it. Less than I would have to pay if I actually pay off the loan on the terms they are offering, that’s for sure. And I can open a new bank account. So they’ll have to get a garnishment order for every bank in the state.

    Is there anything else they can do? I’ve never been late on a bill before, so I really don’t know what happens to people who run late on bills. However, it looks like I may have to become a deadbeat.

    If I’m going to be a deadbeat, I’m going to do my very best to be the worst deadbeat in the history of deadbeat-ism. Any more tips, anyone?

    Comment by MaryAnn — Jun 24th 2009 @ 11:08 am
  196. ….It’s not over!
    I too just opened a Chase Notice of Important Change in Terms. Back in 2006, I called to close my account (I never used it) when the account specialist literally begged me to stay with Chase by offering 3.99% for the “life of the loan”. Now some 3 years later (never missing a payment, never late, never over the limit and paying more than minimum) They want to increase my payment from 333.00 to over 825.00 a month (250% increase) starting August 1st. My salary paying job hasn’t even afforded me with a cost of living increase! Needless to say, I called Chase and was shuffled around to several different reps. I was told that I can not opt -out. I recorded the entire call. I am sure that most people wouldn’t believe what I was told until they heard it for themselves. When I asked for a copy of the 2006 card agreement….they disconnected my call. I went online to find out more info on the Federal regulations with regards to credit card companies and found this page. I am sending my OPT-OUT letter to Chase tomorrow. The suggestion on here was to send it via Certified mail w/return receipt requested. Will that work when the address is a PO BOX? I live up to a high standard of character and professionalism (as I expect the same from those I deal with). I will send in the usual payment with an agreement of my own written on the check. That by cashing this check: Chase agrees to the 2% of the balance at 3.99% for the life of the loan. What are the odds they cash it……This needs to be stopped!

    Comment by Tonya in KY — Jun 25th 2009 @ 11:04 pm
  197. I plan on sending a rejection letter and see what happens. I have also filed a complaint with the occ and ftc. I suggest that everyone does this. I know last time that they got sick of all of the complaints and pressured chase. The target this time is close to 1 million card holders. It is the CHASE PANDEMIC 2009 over 1 million lives trashed!!!!! Try not to talk to Chase over the phone. Do everything by mail. They want to record but if you record they hang up. Paper or email trial is the only proof that you will have. I called from my work phone the other night and it is set as an unavalable number. I kept getting a recall ring on the line the whole time. I think they were trying to trace the number. I will not call from a cell, read the new change in terms!!! They even goes so far as saying that they can text you if they want. NOT ON MY DIME!!

    Comment by marge11 — Jun 29th 2009 @ 12:16 am
  198. I’m not sure three is anything illegal/breach of contract in bumping up repayment from 2% to 5%. However, the court of public opinion can matter. Write your legislators and call your legislators. You’ll get form responses, but when a few folks have the same gripe, they tend to listen. Not only do that, but file with the BBB in Deleware, the Office of the Comptroller (zero help, but again, if the wheel is really, really , squeaky…perhaps), your State AG’s Office (I just got another call back from them as they are still very interested in Chase’s behavior even though I feel my main issues were resolved), and your local TV stations that have consumer protection segments (they love to do stories like this, and its timely too). I’ve done all these things. Also, cancel your paperless bills. You need a good paper trail in case there’s a computer glitzch down the road and they loose your prior bills, change of terms, etc. DO NOT CALL CHASE!!!! I’m talking from experience here. Again, DO NOT CALL CHASE! When you pick up that phone to call Chase, remember those words. DO NOT CALL CHASE!!! Written communications only and document, document, document. Good luck folks.

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Jun 29th 2009 @ 11:17 am
  199. Chase has done this to approximately 800,000 people. Which means we have political clout. And the U.S. Supreme Court has just made it easier for state attorney generals to enforce state unfair trade practice laws against banks like Chase that issue credit cards. Cuomo v. The Clearing House Association, L.L.C., No. 08-453, ____ S.Ct. _____ 2009 WL 1835148 (2009). State attorney generals are ELECTED which means they will listen to us. Write everyone – your senators, your representatives, federal and state officials – but especially write your state attorney general. Complain, complain, complain. Make the system work for us instead of against us.

    Comment by Katie — Jul 1st 2009 @ 8:55 am
  200. P.S. I kind of like Ben’s idea of sending tiny payments. Chase would surely look for a way to retaliate, so I’m going to hold it in reserve. When I reach my last two months’ worth of payments, with only a couple of hundred dollars left, I’ll make my payments by sending 500 checks, each check in an odd amount. $ 1.53, $ 2.72, etc. This will require an actual person to record each check, which costs the company about $5 per check (which is why they encourage online payments). I figure I can cost Chase $ 2500 in handling charges and there won’t be much they can do about it.

    Comment by Katie — Jul 1st 2009 @ 9:03 am
  201. i paid off the balance i had with chase .. then .. i noticed that they closed another account/card i had with them .. because i did not use that account for a period of 2 years — after getting a little aggravated i figured .. it does not matter .. i have no intention of ever dealing with them again anyways .. i think the best way to “get back” at chase is to take your money / business elsewhere – permanently. ..

    Comment by john — Jul 1st 2009 @ 12:30 pm
  202. Like most here I guess, I have some Chase low interest loans and large balances on them. And I have no way of making these newly increased monthly payments. Guess I will go into default, since that appears to be what they want us all to do. Thanks Chase.

    Comment by bytor — Jul 1st 2009 @ 6:21 pm
  203. We had a card with chase @ 4% interest and were on a 7 year plan to pay it off. The increase from 2 to 5% increases our monthly payment 250%. We tried to work with Chase but they told us that even the CEO of Chase would have to pay the 5% minimum. (like he would need a credit card anyway) We are in the process of moving all of our business including our mortgage somewhere else. I hope that chase goes out of business and that the pencil neck bastards that made this decision all lose their jobs and end up in the street. This practice of torqing good, long term customers for extra money is dispicable. Chase may as well become loan sharks. If I can’t pay I hope they don’t send someone to my home to “work me over”. If you are a potential new customer of chase run like hell the other way. They are no good, low down scum of the banking industry.

    Comment by Paul C — Jul 2nd 2009 @ 10:19 am
  204. Welcome to round 3 of the people vs. chase. Katie is on the right track. I am going to pay Chase the same way: A check a day for 30 days! Thanks for the idea.
    Paul, you said it all. Good luck to everyone. You beat the ridiculous $10 fee – now go for the minimum increase in the same way.

    Comment by karin tatela — Jul 2nd 2009 @ 7:16 pm
  205. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”, as one who got the 2% to 5% letter. I’m paying 4.99% and 6.99%, a WHOLE lot more than their cost of funds, always on time, and paying 25% more than the 2% minimum anyway. Why are they pissing off the good guys? Go after them, all of you!

    Comment by John Fuller — Jul 2nd 2009 @ 8:30 pm
  206. I’ve been quietly reading most of this thread all the way since almost its the beginning. When Chase pulled the infamous Nov. 2008 change in terms increasing minimum payment from 2% to 5% and adding the $10/month service fee finance charge, I forsaw that with the proper strong language it could be opted-out from even though the notice was really silent on the issue and misled that acceptance of the change in terms was mandatory (FYI – I still have 2% minimum payments on both my accounts and never saw the $10/month fee, one of the accounts was closed by Chase but the other wasn’t even, and both accounts have continued on the long-term promotional rates nevertheless). I also forsaw that Chase would be hit with a ton of class action lawsuits on the issue, which it was.

    With round two (or is it round three?) now taking place and Chase instead simply going for higher minimum payments (where it may have a stronger right to do so), this is like deja vu to me and the story is really the same to me… my advice remains the same as it was before: don’t call Chase’s operators complaining about the change, and don’t accept any calls from them either, as some found that Chase operators can be outright dishonest and may make changes to your account saying you agreed to them orally on the call even though you clearly did not accept. The best approach remains to send a letter by certified mail to the Chase address given in the change in terms notice to be received by Chase in a timely fashion, preferably before the 19th of the month. The letter should reference the change in terms notice by its date and code and paraphrase generally what it says, and state unequivocally that you do not agree to the changes and therefore under the terms of the cardmember agreement itself and your cardmember rights, it cannot become a part of the account. Don’t include a copy of the actual notice (that’s their problem to sort out), just tell them exactly what part of the proposed changes to your account that you do not agree with under any circumstances, and if you do subsequently receive a bill which implements the changes, it will be considered unlawful, outside the scope of the actual cardmember agreement, and subject to billing dispute and/or other legal action.

    Finally, if they try to pull a fast one on you like they did me in their response to this letter on one of my accounts, “please call us to discuss your options” just ignore it—there is nothing to discuss if you meant what you said (as I sure did) and you still don’t have to agree with any change to your agreement if you don’t want to, because no contract (credit cardmember agreement or otherwise) can legally force you to subsequently agree to an unspecified future change in its material and essential terms (such as interest rates and fees or mimum payment amount and frequency), even if it has a provision that says it does, because that provision is a legal nullity and void for all purposes (if it were otherwise, it would be something like a slavery contract if you think about, as the options for what Chase could subsequently require you to do for them in consideration of them offering you the initial credit line would be unlimited, including more crazy things like charging 10,000% annual interest and requiring 90% monthly payments).

    By now, I think it is clear that Chase is headed toward extinction and is therefore attempting some of the most ludicrous, desparate tactics imaginable in the industry in order to try to secure some kind of future for itself. Unfortunately, I’m afraid they are not going to make it because too many folks like yourselves must know better than to allow yourselves to be bullied around by an entity which really has quite a few insecurities dangling around…

    Comment by Chris — Jul 2nd 2009 @ 11:11 pm
  207. A deal is a deal, except when the big shots decide they ended up on the wrong side of the deal they promoted. Humans need to live with the consequences of their actions rather than make other people feel responsible for their mistakes. What you sow is what you reap.
    I am so tired of whiner Bank and Wall Street executives.

    Comment by leonardom — Jul 3rd 2009 @ 8:03 am
  208. check-out the latest blogs at credit.about.com…(scroll down to the Chase article and read the comments) Some really strange things going on…

    Comment by marge11 — Jul 3rd 2009 @ 11:02 am
  209. Folks, I spoke with my AG’s office today. Our AG is actively looking at Chase’s practice of raising the repayment amount from 2% to 5%. If you’re being raked over the coals by Chase’s increase, I’d strongly recommend you contact your AG’s office (consumer protection unit). My case (if you happen to read way, way up towards the top of this thread) involved the $10/mo issue and the other associated fraud. My case has resolved to my satisfaction, but the AG is still very interested in my case as well as the multitude of others. Keep your hopes up folks and make your stories heard!

    Comment by ImaChasehater2 — Jul 9th 2009 @ 4:19 pm
  210. DEAR CHRIS – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU I LOVE AND RESPECT YOU. I have same story as everyone else, good credit, always pay on time, consolidated all my cards and bills to take advantage of Chase promotional rates and just got my 2% 5% notice. This would kill me so I went online and read everything to find my options. I found your posts above and copied your opt out letter and wrote two separate letters using it on both accounts. Chase just replied on the first of the two accounts. Looks like they have accepted my opt out. They say they will close the account and leave the current terms in place. The letter contains some equivocal language so I’m not 100% sure they mean it, but I’ve read it eighteen times and it looks like they’ve agreed to back down and let me opt out. I haven’t heard back on the second account yet but hey, even if I just win on one out of two, it will save my life. So Chris, I think you probably just kept me out of bankruptcy because I’d decided I would rather file for bankruptcy than let them jack me around. I see Chase had already backed down on the $10 fee before I got involved in this situation, too. I’d like to say that I respect your courage in standing up to this overreaching and those who tried to beat you down at the beginning of this article should be embarrassed.
    I will post again later to let all reading this know if Chase really backed down or not. But my advice is, send the opt out letter just like Chris did. What do you have to lose?

    Comment by Katie — Jul 13th 2009 @ 9:35 pm
  211. Katie,

    I think that it is great that you received something from Chase stating that they agreed to allow you to optout. However, I would check that agreement to be sure that it says what you think and want it to say. I would refer you to http://www.changeinterms.com. That website is maintained by an intellictual (and a PHD). He misread a notice that he received and thought it allowed him to optout when it had not.

    Also, to all those reading this post:
    An optout will almost certainly close your credit line with Chase. A lot of us have other credit cards so we still have access to credit with other banks..

    If bankruptcy is the only other option, then closing the account would be the only viable solution. But, be aware that a major part of your credit score is your “credit utilization ratio” (balances of your credit cards compared to your open credit card maximums). So, closing an account should be a last resort.

    Let’s hope that some of the class action suits showing on the above website (14 and counting) get approved and we end up on the winning side. Good luck to us all !!

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Jul 14th 2009 @ 3:46 am
  212. I’m not sure WHAT the letter means. It’s trickily worded. What they say is that I do not have the legal right to opt out of the proposed change BUT “We have closed your account at your request and it will remain subject to your current terms.” (I didn’t actually request them to close the account, I just said I was rejecting the proposed changes).

    They then go on to add that I may receive additional change of terms notices in future.

    I think what this translates into is, we are going to leave your current terms in place for now instead of jacking up your payment, but we don’t concede we were wrong and we reserve the right to raise the minimum at some future date.

    I’ll let you know what happens.

    Comment by Katie — Jul 14th 2009 @ 7:51 am
  213. > But my advice is, send the opt out letter just
    > like Chris did. What do you have to lose?

    You can lose points on your credit rating. When you opt out of changes, as I understand it, this automatically forces a closing of the account (while freezing the current terms in place). This can hurt your credit rating.

    Especially be wary of closing an account that has been open a long time. Older accounts give you more points in the credit rating.

    Comment by Warren — Jul 14th 2009 @ 12:47 pm
  214. Warren makes a good point.

    Everyone has to look at it from different perspectives. Since I don’t expect to borrow money in the foreseeable future, I have very little to lose as the result of a change in credit rating.

    Those who are thinking about buying a house might see it differently, since a hit to their credit rating could cost a good bit of money on the house loan rate. Also, a hit to credit can affect car insurance premiums.

    Comment by Katie — Jul 14th 2009 @ 1:57 pm
  215. P.S. Today, Bloomberg reports that Chase is making huge profits. So Chase obviously doesn’t need the money Chase is trying to gouge out of us.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....2vrUwVXvZU

    This is mysterious. I’ve been trying to figure out why Chase would do this and I’d wondered if Chase was in financial trouble with cash flow problems. If not, how could the 2% 5% move be profitable for Chase? It would seem like Chase will lose so much in terms of increased administrative and legal expenses and bad publicity that the losses will offset the gains.

    In the meantime, a friend of mine reports that she just received a promotional offer from Chase – 2.99% for the life of the loan. (After I told her what happened to me, she decided not to take it). So they are still out there trying to get new people to take these deals.

    What’s really going on? Has this whole thing been a giant bait and switch campaign from the very beginning? It’s starting to look like it.

    Comment by Katie — Jul 16th 2009 @ 7:03 am
  216. Initiallly I had the min payment increased from 2% to 5% then I told them It would be difficult to make the increased payment. Chase offered a lower min payment with 12% apr then somehow they lowered apr to 2% on life of the loan. Obvioulsy I took the deal.

    Comment by paul — Jul 16th 2009 @ 8:27 am
  217. > Chase is making huge profits. So Chase obviously
    > doesn’t need the money
    > I’ve been trying to figure out why Chase would do this

    The banks have been reporting profits recently, but not enough to offset prior losses. Plus a lot of those profits are not real money but accounting adjustments.

    All the banks, including Chase, are trying to become better capitalized, both for government regulations and also just for their own survival. They are overextended and need fewer loans outstanding and more cash on hand. That does two things: helps their balance sheet, and reduces the risk of non-repayment of those loans. That’s why they are pressuring us cardholders to repay faster.

    Comment by Warren — Jul 16th 2009 @ 10:25 am
  218. If that’s the case, why did they just send my friend an offer EXACTLY like the one they sent to me last year? They offered her $20,000 at a fixed promotional rate of 2.99% for the life of the loan.

    So what they want, apparently, is for me to pay back the money I have borrowed at a fixed promotional rate of 2.99% so they can lend it to my friend at a fixed promotional rate of 2.99%????

    This doesn’t seem to make sense, unless we assume the whole point of these offers is to lure people in and then jack up the interest rate by hook or crook (if the customer defaults on her own, well and good, and if the customer insists on paying on time, Chase will force a default by raising the minimum payment to a point that the customer can’t make the payment and has to default).

    It’s not a difference in credit ratings. My friend and I both have good credit ratings, but mine is actually a bit higher than hers because she was out of work for a couple of months last year and got behind on her bill payments (she caught up when she found a job, but still it dinged her credit rating).

    Comment by Katie — Jul 17th 2009 @ 4:46 am
  219. > If that’s the case, why did they just send my
    > friend an offer EXACTLY like the one they sent
    > to me last year?

    I don’t know. That doesn’t seem to make sense unless, as you suggested, Chase wants to ensnare more unsuspecting victims. Or unless your friend is already carrying a balance at a higher rate, in which case Chase will apply payments to the lower rate first so it’s not really a good deal for her.

    > It’s not a difference in credit ratings.

    That’s correct. Chase has said as much. Also last year, shortly after I got that infamous notice of change in terms, my son received a balance transfer offer from Chase which stated 2.99% until paid. His credit is definitely worse than mine, although his Chase card has a much lower credit limit.

    Comment by Warren — Jul 17th 2009 @ 11:14 am
  220. Katie’s suspicions may very well be valid.

    “This doesn’t seem to make sense, unless we assume the whole point of these offers is to lure people in and then jack up the interest rate by hook or crook (if the customer defaults on her own, well and good, and if the customer insists on paying on time, Chase will force a default by raising the minimum payment to a point that the customer can’t make the payment and has to default).”

    I feel certain that the attorneys who are working on the 14 class actions will be using this hypothesis in their cases against Chase. Class action suits take a while to come together. If the court finds in favor of the cardholders, we can all ultimately expect some relief from what Chase has done.

    What amazes me is that since Chase obviously has a staff of attorneys who must have been consulted before Chase made these changes, why didn’t they advise Chase as to the likely consequences of their actions. Surely, the legal costs and their loss of goodwill and respect will far exceed what they will gain.

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Jul 17th 2009 @ 3:35 pm
  221. Hey, the head of Chase (Jamie Dimon) is best buds with Obama. This may be why they believe they can get away with this stuff.

    We all need to put Obama on our list of people we are sending complaints to. Let him know he needs new friends.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07.....f=business

    Comment by Katie — Jul 20th 2009 @ 4:49 pm
  222. Sumbitch. It looked like they were going to respect one of my two opt out letters but I just got my first August statement and they went up.

    I’m going to dispute the bill. I’m also going to look for other ways to get even. I think waiting for the last two months and then paying them with sixty checks in odd amounts will be a step in the right direction. Complaining to every known regulator and news agency will be another step in the right direction.

    I’m not sure if I have the nerve to simply default and tell them sue me, but I may do that. I’ll see how the economy goes.

    Comment by Katie — Aug 6th 2009 @ 11:02 am
  223. Like many others, I had originally transferred a balance to my Chase card in 2006 for a promotional 3.99% APR “for the life of the balance”, paying the usual minimum monthly payment of 2% of the balance. In April 2009, Chase increased the minimum payment to 5% of the balance, and forced me to either accept the new payment, or keep the 2% minimum payment only if i agreed to a new fixed rate of 7.99% on the outstanding balance transfer. Since the 5% min payment was too much to handle at the time, I sucked it up and agreed to the higher 7.99% APR. In my Oct. 2009 statement, I noticed that Chase quietly lowered the APR on the balance transfer back to 3.99%! without any kind of explanation. Obviously I am happy about this, but we all know Chase is not doing this just to be nice. Does anyone know what happened, and why they voluntarily lowered the APR back to the original promotional rate?

    Comment by Damon Chan — Nov 17th 2009 @ 5:05 am
  224. The same thing happened to me. On my latest statement, they quietly restored the 7.99% back to the agreed-upon 4.99%. (This was the only card, out of 3 Chase cards we have, on which they were still violating the original terms. One card was never changed, and another card was restored several months ago.)

    I’m hoping the reason is nothing more complicated than Chase finally feeling the heat of the still-active class action lawsuits and consumer complaints, and deciding to give up before being hauled into court again.

    What this leaves unknown is, what happens after the 2-year period? Supposedly the 7.99% was going to switch to a (higher) variable rate in 2 years, but will they try to switch the 4.99% to the variable rate then too (after everyone has forgotten this episode and isn’t paying as much attention)? Or is this truly returning to the original terms of 4.99% until paid? I haven’t had time to call them to ask. (And I’m not even sure I would get the right answer anyway.) If anyone finds out, please post the information on this page.

    Comment by Warren — Nov 17th 2009 @ 9:43 am
  225. I called Chase to today and got a little more info. The rep told me that they changed the APR back to the original rate “in response to customer feedback.” In addition, all interest above the 3.99% rate that has been paid would be refunded. I checked my acct online and did see that all the additional interest was refunded last week. However, she also said that the 3.99% rate would only last until 2011; Then, the APR on the remaining balance would change the the regular APR for purchases.

    Comment by Damon — Nov 18th 2009 @ 4:46 am
  226. Damon, Warren. Same Thing happened to me back in March. but they sent me a letter. I posted the letter at that time but here it is again. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, i did not contact them to ask why. Still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Letter from Chase.

    In reviewing your account, we discovered that you were incorrectly sent a Change in Terms notice this past November. As a result, you may have been charged a $10 monthly account service charge(s) and your minimum payment changed to 5% of your New Balance.

    We have already taken action to correct the terms on your account. We have credited your account for the $10 monthly account service charge(s). With tour next billing statement, your minimum payment due will revert to its previous calculation of either 2% of your New Balance or 1% of your New Balance plus billed interest and any billed late fees. In addition, we set your promotional rate balance(s)–with no defined expiration date– back to its original terms. As always, your account remains subject to all terms and conditions, including default APR action, as outlined in your Cardmember Agreement.

    Your satisfaction is important to us, and we apologize for the error and any inconvenience this issue may have caused you. If you have any questions, please call us at the toll free number on the back of your card. For your convenience, we are available 24 hours a day to assist you.

    Sincerely,

    Cardmember Service

    Comment by Ben S — Nov 18th 2009 @ 12:43 pm
  227. - we apologize for “the error”??? Do they mean error in judgment?

    - you were incorrectly sent a Change in Terms notice this past November?? What the..?

    What a load of crap. I hope Chase goes bankrupt and gets what they deserve.

    Oh wait, I semi take that back, since our retarded lawmakers will bail them out with MY tax dollars!

    Comment by Tim — Nov 18th 2009 @ 8:48 pm
  228. Ben, yes I remember you posting that, but if you recall, subsequent discussion established that different people got DIFFERENT letters. In my case they restored ONE credit card but not the other, even after I complained loudly.

    However, just today I got a new letter from Chase. Here’s what they said (condensed and slightly edited):

    ———————-

    We are writing to tell you that we have reversed our November 2008 Change in Terms decision related to account and have made the following adjustments:

    * We have restored the APR for your promotional balance with no defined expiration date.

    * We have credited your account for interest charges — the difference between 7.99% and your original APR.

    You will see these adjustments on your November 2009 billing statement.

    ———————-

    So it looks like they really ARE finally capitulating on ALL points and admitting defeat! I hope everyone else here is getting the same or similar letter. And I hope the phone operator told you wrong, Damon, about the interest rate change in 2011. Maybe you’ll get a letter with good news.

    Comment by Warren — Nov 18th 2009 @ 10:40 pm
  229. We can only hope. I’m still expecting the worst. Just maybe all the letters and such did something. I just cant see them settling for the ” low interest life of the loan”. Anyway, to anyone new here dealing with their crap in ’round 567′ keep up with the letters and phone calls. there is hope!

    Comment by BEN S — Nov 19th 2009 @ 3:10 am
  230. The following post appears on Yahoo (finance) today. I googled it:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....7.html?x=0

    It looks like we have made some headway in dealing with Chase what with 14 class action suits proceeding against them.

    If anyone from Chase reads these posts, let me say, “we know that you will continue to lose!” Did any decision makers consider the good will that you have lost and will consider to lose by your unilateral and arbitrary changes in terms against us? What action will your board of directors take against YOU???

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Nov 20th 2009 @ 8:12 pm
  231. TYPO –

    Last comment should say “Did any decision makers consider the good will that you have lost and will CONTINUE to lose…?”

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Nov 20th 2009 @ 9:57 pm
  232. I’m happy to report that I received the same letter as Warren today. They are refunding all extra charges and restoring the promotional rate with no expiration.

    Comment by Damon — Nov 24th 2009 @ 2:47 am
  233. i also dealt with chase regarding this .. a while back i paid off the balance – one thing for sure – i will NEVER deal with chase. I closed off this account because i didn’t want to give them the %3.99 (%5 min balance) – chase (an unreliable lousy financial institution) will never get a penny from me .. since they are “unreliable” i will never consider any of their future offers ..

    Comment by john — Nov 24th 2009 @ 8:45 pm
  234. For all you who went for the lower monthly payment but at higher interest rate, that had their money refunded and rate restored – did they also keep you at the original monthly payment (I think it was 2%) or are they shafting you again with requiring a 5% one? I have been stuck with the 5% minimum monthly charge and forced to borrow from friends to make the payments. I don’t know how much longer I can even keep going like this. I did not try calling them and getting the original “deal”. I would like to know if there is any way to make them go back to the old 2% minimum payment.

    Comment by Luigi Vercotti — Dec 14th 2009 @ 10:54 pm
  235. > did they also keep you at the original monthly
    > payment (I think it was 2%)

    Yes, as I described earlier, when I called them originally, I took the option to keep the 2% minimum payment even though it would mean a higher interest rate. (I wanted that lower cash flow!) Then when they restored the original interest rate they kept the lower minimum payment.

    I’m surprised you didn’t opt for the lower payment, since you’re having so much trouble with the higher one. But maybe since you didn’t call them, they didn’t offer you the option.

    I suggest calling, and if that doesn’t work, writing them. If they refuse, it also sounds like you could still report them to the various authorities listed in posts above. On the other hand, your case may be weakened somewhat since you didn’t keep the 2% payment a year ago.

    Comment by Warren — Dec 15th 2009 @ 12:30 am
  236. Thanks Warren. I never called (and still haven’t) since my creditworthiness is so bad. I would not have been eligible for the new “loan” rate due to some recent financial difficulties. It was pointless of me to call. And still is I believe. I would like to get my min. amount back down though.

    Comment by Luigi Vercotti — Dec 18th 2009 @ 1:56 am
  237. Yesterday I received a letter from Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In the letter they state this about Chase:

    “The bank has revised the change in terms decisions which are the focus of your complaint. In addition, as applicable, it has resotred original interest rates on affected accounts and reimbursed cardholders for finance and service charges that had been iimposed as a result of the original change in terms.”

    Of course, since I paid off all my Chase accounts, this does not really affect me. But if anyone out there has NOT received the refunds and original interest rates from Chase, I would recommend that you contact them and demand that they immediately enact these changes for you. If you do not get satisfaction from Chase, contact the OCC.

    Comment by Tim — Feb 9th 2010 @ 9:29 am
  238. Chase is the most terrible /an unreliable lousy financial institution I have ever seen. I was charged $78 for overlimit fee in two month. They claimed that I agreed with this fee and signed contract. but I never did. anybody knows where I can complain? thanks in advance!

    Comment by Lucy jing — Feb 11th 2010 @ 6:36 pm
  239. Lucy, I would advise that you scroll down through this thread and read a good bit of it. Along the way you will find several helpful suggestions about what you may want to do.

    Comment by Tim — Feb 11th 2010 @ 6:45 pm
  240. Tim, I too received the letter from the OCC. I had written to the OCC. last Mar. and Chase Has already restored my int. rate and min. payment. I,m one of the lucky ones. So Lucy, as Tim said read these posts. they have been going on for over a year. and try the occ. Dont know if thats what did it for me but shortly after Chase restored my original agreement.

    Comment by Ben S — Feb 12th 2010 @ 10:41 am
  241. Glad to hear it, TIm. But Lucy, your situation is completely different than what this thread is about.

    This thread is about Chase increasing interest rates after they had agreed to keep them constant until paid.

    On the other hand you DID agree to overlimit charges … it’s in the cardholder agreement and by continuing to use the card you agreed. It’s not like they changed things without warning you first. If they increased the fee from its original amount (which they probably did), they sent you an advance notice.

    EVERY bank has big overlimit fees nowadays. Just be careful to not go over the limit.

    Comment by Warren — Feb 12th 2010 @ 11:21 am
  242. I’m trying to send a certified letter to Chase re: possible debt settlement. Does anyone have a valid mailing address?? I called (I know, I know … DON’T CALL), and of course got the runaround.

    Thanks ahead of time!

    Shannon

    Comment by Shannon — Mar 3rd 2010 @ 11:05 am
  243. Shannon, I sent mine to Cardmember Services in Wilmington DE, but my responce came back from

    Melissa Hagler
    Card Services Executive Office
    2500 Westfield Dr.
    Elgin, Illinois 60124

    1-847-488 6736 (direct line).

    Hope this helps. Read through these posts. Lots of good ideas.

    Comment by Ben S — Mar 4th 2010 @ 9:51 am
  244. Is anyone still checking this website? If so, has Chase reduced your monthly payment back to 2% from 5%? Does anyone know if there are class action legal suits still pending against Chase? If so, which one(s)?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Ben

    Comment by Ben — Aug 16th 2010 @ 7:14 pm
  245. Ben,
    I last wrote in June of 2009…and no Chase has never gone back to honoring their original agreement. I too would like to know if there are any suits pending.

    Comment by Tonya in KY — Aug 17th 2010 @ 8:52 pm
  246. Just coming back to see if anyone’s been back here… I saw on the news today that Chase agreed to a $100 million settlement for improperly raising minimum payments. Does anyone on here plan on pursuing anything? I think it’s just pennies that the customers would actually get so I’m not bothering, but it’s good to see this after all the headache this caused me a few years ago.

    Comment by Damon — Jul 25th 2012 @ 2:16 am

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