I have had this credit card account since 1993 and it has always been paid on time. As an over the road trucker, I often do not get my mail for several weeks at a time. I use a bill payer service through my credit union to make payments to all my accounts.
About one year ago I noticed that the interest rate on my MBNA account had be raised from 10.9% to 19.9%. I called and they advised that a notice had been included with a previous bill. I asked if there was a reason and they stated that it was based on a credit report's derogatory information. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the supervisor, after putting me on hold advised that I was not using the card enough. I was carrying a balance on the card and paying it down, but not adding additional debt on the card. After some negoiations, the interest rate was restored to the original rate.
Afterall, I was a good, longtime customer who paid on time. Enclosed with the May 2004 statement was a small notice, very small print informing me that the interest rate was being increased to 19.9% effective with the next billing period. This was facititated by derogatory information contained in credit reports. I immediately downloaded all three major credit reports. I found that my scores were high and there was no derogatory information in any of them. To add insult, I also had a promotional letter from MBNA offering a low interest rate debit consolidation loan, AS I WAS SUCH A GOOD CUSTOMER.
Armed with the credit reports, I called customer service, and was advised it was for the reason the notice had stated. I asked for specifics, but was not given any. When I mentioned that I had the credit reports infront of me and that there was nothing in any of them, I was then told it was based on the Feb 2004 report, not the current one. Once again, after some negotiating, I was returned to my original interest rate. I immediately took steps to pay off the remaining balance. The following statement had an additional $30.73 interest added to the balance that had been paid. I paid this immediately.
I will keep the account opened, but have no plans to use the account in the future. I found MBNA's tactics to be less than honest and up front. Interest rate increases should be required to be in large bold type on the statement, not in a small notice, in small print buried in the folds of other useless advertisements. As a stockholder in MBNA, I am concerned about their ethics in these types of matters. I will continue to monitor my statements very closely. I hope these serves as a warning to others to be on the LOOK OUT!