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Household Bank (Mastercard) / Company practices

1 VA, United States

I got their Mastercard in 2006 because my credit was less than perfect. I was aware of the fees and the high interest rate, but I needed a way to build my credit. As my credit improved, I tried to cancel the card because of the high interest rate and the annual fee. Both were dropped if I agreed to stay. For over four years, I never had a complaint. I recently called to ask about the credit limit. Most of my cards have increased my limit because of my now perfect credit, but HSBC had not. I was told its not something they're doing now. OK. No problem. Still no complaints. Less than a month after that call, I received a letter from them stating that because of a recent change of my address, they were sending a letter to my old address to verify that I had made the change. At the bottom of the letter it said that if I didn't make the change, that it could be an indication of Identity Theft and that I should sign up for a protection program through them. As I called them, I also noticed my full account number was on the letter, not just the last four. The rep I spoke to claimed that they removed an extra space, and that was what generated the letter. I'm sure it was a backdoor attempt to get me to sign up for their identity protection program. What infuriated me was that the letter had my full account number on it. If that letter is actually generated each time someone changes their address, then they are sending full account numbers to addresses where their customers no longer live, and they are potentially causing Identity theft. I cancelled the card on the spot. If you have to use HSBC / Household Bank to improve your credit, I strongly recommend getting rid of their card as soon as you're able to get a 'real" credit card, meaning a credit card without the fees that are associated with these type of 'rebuilding' cards.

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