Credit card companies raising rates...
In these tough economic times, the big credit card issuers like Bank of America, HSBC, Chase, Citi, Capital One, and Discover, are all under tremendous pressure to bring in new revenue, and one of the ways they are doing that is to increase interest rates for their existing customers.
If your credit card company chooses to increase your interest rate, they do provide you a period during which you can reject the higher interest rate. If you do choose to opt out, they will probably close the account, but you will be able to repay the remaining balance at the existing interest rate. You do have to act quickly, as the opt-out period is quite short...
Note that they don't have to include this notice or the opt-out period if they are raising your rate due to late payments, but they sometimes still do.
The notice will include complete instructions on how to opt out of the increase, and it's important to read the instructions carefully. Usually, you must opt-out in writing. They won’t provide a form either, so you'll have to write your own letter. Something like the following will suffice.
Credit Card Rate Increase Opt out letter:
To whom it may concern,
I would like to opt out of the interest rate increase outlined in your letter dated 12/1/2007. Please take this letter as my final notification that I do not wish to pay the higher interest rate, and will continue making payments at my existing interest rate.
This letter has been delivered via certified mail with a return receipt. My account information is as follows:
Name: Your Name
Address: Your Address
Account Number: ( don't put your credit card number here, use the account number on the bills )
Thank you for your prompt action.
Be sure to use certified mail and a return receipt so that you can prove when the letter was sent.
Other helpful advice:
See our article on new credit card laws.
Our Credit Card Tips section.