Today is Christmas Eve and I just received a letter from Advanta telling me that my new interest rate ON PURCHASES will be 37.18% as of January 2nd.
I called them and spoke with a guy in India (really) to and I was told that it's based on various factors. I asked if my promotional rates (from balance transfers) will be affected and was told no.
When I asked why I had never received a response to my inquiries about the balance in my purchases category (I never use this card for making purchases for obvious reasons) I was transferred to a rep in SLC, UT, who told me that I made 2 late payments (in 2005 and 2006) and while he conceeded that both late payment charges were credited back to me, the credit WAS POSTED TO MY LOWER INTEREST BALANCES!
Are you wondering why I had any late payments? Only an Advanta cardholder who makes their payments online will remember this...Advanta's website allows you to choose what date Advanta will deduct a payment from a checking account. What they didn't make clear is that if your payment was set for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the payment would actually take place on the following Monday, thus incurring a late charge. Why would they allow you to make this choice? Pure greed! When I called to complain, they credited my account, but they credited the lower interest balance. Those two $39 late charges have more than doubled!
When I asked the CSR in SLC, UT, if he could do anything about this, he said "no". He was not able to comment when I asked him if the reason they changed the posting situation was because of all the complaints they received.
I am either going to borrow from my 401k (which is only worth about 6k now) and pay off this card and never, ever, do business with Advanta again. My other option is filing for bankruptcy even though my situation isn't that desperate but it is my only way to say FU to Advanta and their ally Bank of America.
I should also mention that I asked Discover to lower my interest rate and they ran a complete credit report and lowered my rate to 10.99%. So there are nice companies out there.