Back in February 2008, I helped Mr. A apply for a bank secured credit card so he could start building credit since he had dealt in cash for most of his life. About one year later the card was graduated to an unsecured card and the spending limit raised from $600 to $1100. The annual percentage rate was lowered from 24.99% to 16.99%. We decided to use the card to buy gasoline, but somewhere along the way I decided to stop using it because it is too easy to forget we bought $100 worth of gas which didn’t come straight out of the checking account. And the $100 in the checking account that should have been used to pay that gasoline on the credit card gets used for other things. Those credit cards have a way of creeping up, so it’s just better not to use them at all, I’m finding. Especially when money is tight. We’d stopped using the card but about one year later they raised the credit line to $1600 and slightly lowered the annual percentage rate to 16.60%.
A few days ago, Mr. A received a letter from Wells Fargo in regards to this credit card. They offered him something great, and threatened him all at once. Here’s what it says:
Dear Mr. Accountability:
We’ve noticed that you haven’t used your Wells Fargo Credit Card lately, so we’d like to earn your business back with this exclusive offer beginning May 1:
- Simply use your card
- Beginning May 1, 2012, use your card by June 15, 2012 and pay no interest on new purchases from May 1 to November 1, 2012.
If this offer doesn’t persuade you to use your card by June 15, 2012, we will assume that you want to keep your account open (Gee thanks). (Here’s the kicker…) Your credit will be lowered to $1,000 and the special 0% APR offer will not apply.
If you do use your card – and we hope you will – then after November 1, 2012, any remaining balances under the special APR will revert back to your standard APR for purchases (currently 16.60%).
Remember, only one purchase is needed to keep your current credit line. Simply use your card in place of cash, checks, or other credit cards.
Obviously this is a form letter, and they merge in the dates, amounts and phrases. For example, “…we will assume that you want to keep your account open” versus “…we will assume you do not want to keep your account open.” One little word changes the whole letter.
I’m tempted to buy a song from Amazon using the card for 99 cents. It’s not like we are going to use this card, but it just irks me that they are going to decrease the credit line if we don’t use the card.
Such a weird way to do business.