We pay out Target Credit Card charges in full every month and on time. However, for the first time, we inadvertantly missed a Target payment due Feb 2, 2009. Upon discovery of mishap, I paid the entire current balance on the account via their phone service. The amount paid was credited Feb 12, 2009 but not taken out of my Bank of America checking acct until Feb 17, 2009. (Target didn't send the check for payment to my bank until Feb 17th.)
Today, Feb 18th, there is about $74.00 on the acct current as of the 17th. However the charges made yesterday the 17th havent' yet been recorded. When these are added to the $74, the total is about $201.00.
The problem is that Target says I only have $152.00 available credit even though they received $1920.00 check credited on the 12th. (Our credit limit is $2300.00). When I questioned the customer sevice representative why I only had $152.00 available when I just paid the entire balance in full as of the 12th, she said it was because the bank had the right to "hold" or return the check within 10 days. I asked her why the bank would want to return a payment that was already credited to the account and already deducted from my checking acct funds? She said she didn't Know???!!!!
This scenario brought similar memories of the same type of experience with my Sears Mastercard, which I think is owned by CitiBank also in Min.
I continued to use my Sears Card for purchases thinking my card had been paid in full. To my dismay and horror, my next statement contained overlimit fees and exorbitant interest charges. When I questioned these charges, I was told the Bank could hold large payments for 10 days to assure these weren't terrorist' funds!!!!!
In anticipation of a similar event, I've paid by phone $205.00 (which more than pays for all charges put on the card including today). I will post an update as to what happens.
I believe these are extremely unfair business practices designed to unfairly raise their revenues. It's especially egregious in these extremely precarious financial times. These overlimit fees of $39.00, and nearly 24-30% interest charges are obscene.
I pay my bills on time. In the last 5 years I've taken advantage of using Balance transfer low interest deals to pay for house renovations. I pay them off before the special rate ends. Now these offers are charging a 3% fee upfront in addition to the special interest rate. On top of that, Bank of America adds the transaction fee to the purchase interest rate!!! which can be 13 - 22%. So they're making interest on interest!
I'm totally disgusted and feel I'm being robbed. I don't mind paying a fair interest rate tied to current market conditions. When the Fed rate is near zero, why should the Banks be allowed to charge these exorbitant credit card fees and interest rates?
The Federal government is throwing massive bailout money to financial institutions that have used greedy practices and poor judgement. Where is our bailout? I believe in an America that operates with honesty, fairness, and integrity. That ideal applies to the individual as well as the collective body: the Government and business entities.