I have had an account with Advanta for slightly over two years. I signed up under the intro rate of 2.99% (life of balance transfer) - I never charged anything on the card other than what I transferred to it initially. I have excellent credit and have NEVER been late on this card. In May of this year I made an electronic payment which was 'kicked back' three days later due to insufficient bank routing #.
I called and the lady told me they had a 'system glitch' over the weekend (I made the payment on Friday) and not to worry she would fix this to where I wasn't late and wouldn't owe a late fee. "Great!", I thought to myself, and went on about my life. In October of this year my husband just happened to notice my statement and that the rate was a whopping 20.31% !! O -- M -- G!!
I have never, ever paid anything remotely like that in my entire life! I called Advanta and expressed my disgust and told them that what they were doing was unethical and to reduce my rate! They declined. I was carrying a $7,000.00 balance - Out of sheer disgust I found a way to pay the entire balance off by the next due date to avoid such unreasonable finance charges. I told them to CLOSE out my account and to kiss off, essentially. Here is where it gets GOOD. Listen to this CAREFULLY FOLKS......
SO I paid the ENTIRE BALANCE OFF, IN FULL, LAST MONTH at the outrageous rate of 20.31%. I received a bill TODAY in the amount of $171.14 AT THE INTEREST RATE OF 37.18% !!! Are you *#!@# kidding me?? So, I called "Lana" who advised me that yes, they did increase the rate LAST MONTH and sent me a notice THAT I NEVER RECEIVED and told me I missed the "opt out" grace period.
The reasons they gave for the increase were totally bogus. I have a 820 beacon score and have never charged anything on the card since I transferred the balance TWO YEARS AGO. This company is absolutely the WORST I have ever delt with. Attorneys, media, whoever, contact me. I can verify all of the above stated.
To consumers - BEWARE! I don't know where to go from here, or even if all the reporting in the world (to various agencies) will make a difference but SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. I didn't even know a $38% interest rate EVEN EXISTED! The most I have ever paid on a credit card at any point in my life was 9%! They jacked my rate up after sabotaging a late payment and jacked it up again AFTER I closed the account! If I didn't have to pay off the $7,000 balance I'd hire an attorney just out of principle!
Columbia, South Carolina