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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sneaky Credit Card Company

I realize it's cliched, but man those credit card companies can be sneaky!  The latest scam:  I got a letter from Providian offering me 0% APR on balance transfers with no fee.  So naturally I applied for this, and tried to transfer some big booyah from one of my higher APR cards.

When I get back from vacation, I have a notice saying something like, "Congratulations!  Your new Providian card will be arriving shortly.  Your transferred balances will have the low low rate of 9.9% APR, and because you transferred balances with us, you are eligible for our special 0% APR on purchases for 6 months."

Now, I assure you that I get tons of promotional offers from credit card companies, and I only apply for the ones that offer 0% on balance transfers.  The reason I picked Providian's is that they also had no one-time fee for signing up.  True, I didn't save their original letter, so I don't know if they outright lied.  But they certainly wrote an intentionally misleading letter, to get people to think that the 0% would apply to their transferred balances, and not just to new purchases.

Finally, they didn't even transfer any balances!  A little later, I got a letter saying that there was a problem and the balance transfer couldn't be competed.  But hey!  I should still feel free to use my new Providian card, with 0% APR on purchases because of my balance transfer!  Woo hoo!

(It's crap like this that makes people run to the government.  I know, I know.)

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