Tuesday, December 29

Tough decisions

We got one of those fine print "Important Changes to Your Account Terms" for one of our credit cards. I was about to just file it away without looking at it, since these things usually involve changes in APR or finances charges, and since we never carry a balance I don't worry about that stuff. Thanks to Congress, lately they've been more in the vein of "we're not allowed to rake you over the coals quite like we used to."

Luckily I took a closer look at this one, as one of the changes went like this:

Annual Fee: We may charge an annual fee of $20 if your credit limit is less than $1,000 and an annual fee of $45 if your credit limit is equal or greater than $1,000.

"May" charge an annual fee? Like, if they feel like it? You're always given the option to reject these changes, but in my experience that has always meant you have to cancel the card. Alas, I sighed, it will be time to search for a new Visa card.

So we called yesterday, prepared to cancel. The conversation went something like this:

Me: What does this mean, "may charge an annual fee?" Does that mean you will or you won't charge the annual fee?
Agent: They probably will charge the fee.
Me: "Probably"? So... will you let me know, or are you just going to surprise me?
Agent: You can reject these changes, you know.
Me: I know, but I'd like to keep the card, if possible.
Agent: You can reject the changes, and keep the card.
Me: So... the $45 dollar fee is... optional?
Agent: Right.
Me: So... I just have to tell you that I don't want you to charge me the annual fee, and I still keep the card?
Agent: Yes, you just opt out of that change and keep the card.
Me: And... I can just do that over the phone?
Agent: Yes.
Me: Um, let's do that.

So, it was a tough decision, but after giving it about a microsecond of thought, I decided I didn't want to be charged $45 dollars a year. Weird, I know.

Moral of the story: Read the fine print.


Amy said...

nice! I am going to reject all charges from now until the end of time. :)

Charly said...

Don't ya love it?! Haha.

Scotty B said...

does that work for taxes as well?

Jillian said...

I have a coworker that used to work for Discover... she says that sometimes it comes down to saying the right one word before they can do stuff like what they did for you. So congrats on saying the magic word!

Jancisco said...

Good for you for reading it. I just usually throw them away.

Melanie said...

Ha. That's great. I would have done the exact same thing. Ever since all the Obama credit card changes a few months ago, I've been scanning carefully all of those credit card "change of terms" letters. So far, my card hasn't thrown in adding an annual fee.