Consumerist reports that readers have been writing in today with complaints about Capital One credit cards. They’ve increased their interest rates (APRs) on purchases across the board, affecting a large pool of customers.
Here’s a strategy to remedy this situation if it affected you.
If you have another credit card with a low interest rate, transfer your balance out of the Capital One card.
Call Capital One’s customer service and let them know that you have transferred your balance out due to the abrupt interest rate adjustment. Tell them you’ll transfer the balance back if they provide you a promotional rate for balance transfers. You could also try to negotiate to get your original rate for balance transfers and purchases if you cannot get the promotional rate.
If they provide a promotional rate for the transfer but leave the purchase rate high, do not purchase anything on the card again, and work to pay off the original balance as quickly as possible.
This strategy is not guaranteed to work, so your mileage may vary.
The best solution is to avoid interest charges in the first place by paying off your entire balance every month, no matter what brand card you use. As sub-prime mortgages hit the fan and more people take advantage of the good points of credit cards, the more ways they will find to screw their customers.
Also, pay attention to the mailings from the credit card companies no matter how unassuming they look. If you always read your notifications, you won’t get blindsided by seeing the interest rate change on your statements, when it’s already too late.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 2, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.