I’ve always thought that credit cards with annual fees were a ridiculous notion. Other than having a credit history which requires you to get a secured card (been there), it’s usually no problem to find a card with no annual fee. But even if you do pick a card with a fee, it’s supposed to be something you decide to do to yourself.
JPMorgan Chase has started adding an annual fee to credit accounts for its customers who fit the following criteria:
- the credit card has a low promotional rate
- the card owner has carried a “large” balance for more than two years
- the card owner has made “little” progress paying off the balance
I couldn’t tell from the news reports how Chase is defining “large” and “little.”
In addition to the $120 annual fee (which is added to the account in $10 monthly chunks and which accrues interest itself), the bank is also raising minimum payments from 2% to 5%.
When we wrote recently about Citigroup raising its rates in spite of a pledge not to do so, we got some very helpful and encouraging comments on the article from people who’d managed to talk to the right customer service reps and get their original terms reinstated.
Let us know if you’re affected, and what you plan to do. There’s already a class-action lawsuit you can join.
Updated March 31, 2009 and originally published February 10, 2009. 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.