Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences with and observations about credit cards.
Do you have a credit account with Citigroup? I probably do. I think I started one with Rooms To Go when we started paying for our very comfortable bed. They said it would be interest free for however-many months. I figured out how much we’d have to pay per month to make sure we’d never see any interest accrue, but nothing’s set in stone.
For example, despite a pledge made to Congress in 2007, Citigroup is raising its credit card interest rates for many if not all of its customers by 2 or 3 percent. Citigroup has pointed to the “difficult market environment” as the cause for this euphemistically-phrased “repricing.”
Here’s the weird part: in the last four weeks, the average credit card rate has decreased, which doesn’t point to a system-wide difficult environment. Also, since nobody really knows what’s going with the $700B bailout/rescue plan, there’s a fairly good chance that some large part of our taxpayer money might go to rescuing credit card companies.
I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but with all of this news appearing in the same seven-day period, it seems to me like the people making decisions aren’t talking to each other very well. That, or Citigroup is taking advantage of otherwise innocent Americans. Oh, there are those contracts we agree to, of course. But in this instance, Citigroup made a pledge to Congress. That should be worth something, don’t you think?
Updated October 14, 2016 and originally published November 18, 2008.
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