Household Bank telemarketing has been hitting me with calls since before I actually received the card - they always try to sign you up for credit monitoring services among other things with high-pressure outsourced telemarketing. Sometimes I go for the offers to receive free stuff and it has worked out in the past.
This time I went for an offer that I thought I would keep. The telemarketer (TM) announced upon finding I was the cardholder that I could receive - instead of interest - a charge of $1.35 per $100 balance on my card forever. I did the math and it sounded like that would be higher than my current interest rate.
Somewhere in the conversation I understood that this was actually also an insurance plan, that I would receive coverage of my balance at the same rate so that I may not have to make payments in the event I could not work, etc. The TM was very specific, even outspoken, about how I would never pay another finance charge.
Well, I just noticed after two months of having the Account Protection Elite plan that I am STILL paying finance charges at the usual rate. I called only to find out that the finance charges only get canceled once the benefits go into effect because of a successful claim. What? That's not the presentation I received from the TM.
If you look at the plan, say your usual rate is 13.99% and you have the plan, a claim goes into effect and suddenly you're paying $1.35 per $100 or 1.35% -- then what does that mean? That means suddenly you're paying 1.35% per month X 12 months = 16.2%. What? The plan entitles you to pay a higher interest rate when you are out of work (etc.).
Now remember I mentioned that you pay that 1.35% each month in addition to your usual 13.99%/12 (1.166% or $1.16 per $100) without benefits? That makes this plan into a scam, plain and simple. It's like protection money. And that is how Household Bank conducts business - I'm sorry I use their card.
So I tell the (again outsourced) CSR when I find this out that of course I want to cancel. Then I tell her that I want my two months payments back as well - a sum of slightly over $12 due to the fact that this plan had been misrepresented. She flatly denied me my payments and I told her I would take action if she didn't. She didn't refer me to a supervisor and would not credit me.
I'm fortunate enough to have a choice of credit cards these days. I have chosen to pay off my balances (as soon as possible) and cancel both these cards despite that losing cards hurts your credit. I feel like this company doesn't deserve my interest payments and creates charlatan "programs" to pillage more from unsuspecting customers.
Don't do business with these guys. I understand this is a Household Bank card and I'm not sure the extent to which HSBC supports their practices.