My story is like others' stories here, except unlike other reporters, I did receive some notification that my APR would be increasing. As I was out of town, I did not read it until 2 days after the increase went into effect, which was unfortunate.
I had a fixed 7.99% APR card with great benefits like free car rental insurance. Suddenly, it became a variable rate card over 32% APR in one big jump.
There was no date on the notification letter or on the envelope, so I can't say whether they gave me a reasonable amount of time to respond or not.
Had I responded in time, I would have been given the opportunity to close my account and opt out of the rate change, paying the rest of it off at the old terms. The only help offered by customer service was to close my account and let me pay the new 32%+ interest rate. Let me just say that the check for the full balance on the card is in the mail!
The rate hike is probably legal according to the terms of agreement upon accepting the card. They probably word it so they can change the APR for no reason at all. However, it would've been way too easy to miss the notice and never get the notification, therefore possibly missing the huge and uncalled-for APR increase until a month or two afterward, depending on how dilligent someone is about doing the math on their interest charged. So in my opinion, this is a very poor way to treat one's customers.
There was also no reason given by customer service for my particular rate increase. My credit is good. I don't miss payments. I pay above the amount and often pay the whole card off. My personal FICO score has been at 698 or above (mostly above and way above) for at least the past year. My business has no other used credit than the relatively small amount on that card.
In my opinion, I'm a perfect customer for my credit cards. I travel for business and then get reimbursed for the travel, so I'm a customer who sometimes carries a balance, so the companies can exact interest, but who always pays on time and often pays the balance in full, so the companies don't have to worry about my ability to pay off the balances.
Supposedly a supervisor was not available to take my call at the call service center which seemed to be in India. Supposedly one will be calling me back in the next 24 hours to explain why my card was given a rate hike. That remains to be seen. But I just want to encourage all Advanta customers to check their statements closely or check their rates with a customer service rep right away to make sure they are not having the same thing happen to them.
Long Beach, California