AT&T Universal Card Lost Another Customer

I’ve been an AT&T Universal Card customer since 2001, starting out with a small classic card and eventually upgrading my way to a Platinum Rewards Mastercard. When I went through my financial turnaround a while back I cut up all but two cards with the idea that when my debt was eliminated I would run utilities through one credit card for convenience (and to earn rewards), and travel/emergencies through another credit card.

AT&T Universal Card survived the plastectomy because I liked their rewards program, it was one of my older accounts, and because I had a very low variable rate (which had floated down to around 6% thanks to rate reductions).  I consolidated my remaining debt to this card because of the low rate and was making monthly payments to reduce the balance.

To my surprise, I received my bill last month and noticed that my stated annual percentage rate (APR) was 24.99%.  What?!  My rate went from 6.3% to 24.99% in one month? I immediately wondered if I had forgotten to pay the bill.  Nope, payment cleared several days ahead of the due date.  I haven’t applied for any new credit, my only other credit card is in good standing, and a recent check of my FICO yielded an above-average score.  Convinced this was some type of mistake, I called customer service for resolution.  I would not have believed the explanation received had I not heard it myself.

“It’s the Economy, Stupid”

Yes, that is essentially the answer I received.  The customer no-service representative answering my call explained that my account had gone through a “change in terms.”  Apparently, I was notified of these changes back in November, but because I had failed to “opt out” the issuer saw it fit to increase my interest rate by 18 percentage points.

I confessed to the representative that “like most customers I don’t read every single statement message, advertisement and piece of credit protection insurance garbage you include in my monthly bill,” but that I did not remember seeing anything indicating my rate would be increased this drastically.  The representative indicated that “opting out” of the change in terms would have meant my account would be closed to future charging and my rate would have remained the same.  Huh?  And the reason for such a brainless move?  “The tough economic conditions.” No joke – that was the explanation.  I asked to speak to a supervisor, and eventually the supervisor’s boss, and they all repeated the same canned response.

Apparently, AT&T Universal Card thinks it is a good idea to chase away customers with good credit, pay on time, occasionally carry a balance and have been customers for eight years.  I could cite statistics showing the increased costs to acquire new customers, or the negative effects of chasing away loyal, profitable customers in a recession, but you don’t have to have an MBA to know this is just plain stupid.  Then again, what would you expect from a credit card issuer?

To their credit, AT&T Universal Card was nice enough to reduce my annual percentage rate back to where it was prior to the change in terms, but only if I would agree to close the account. That wasn’t a hard sell.  I was closing it either way, because I am tired of doing business with people who do not appreciate their customers. After all, there are too many people out there doing it right – too many options for better service, a better product and probably even better terms.  I’ll just keep my one card for now, and maybe one day I’ll even let that one go.  I’m officially tired of playing games with credit card issuers.

Comments

  1. So . . . if the account is closed, they could drop the rate to zero, right? Or even pay *you* 24.99 percent a month. I don’t understand why they thought the offer was a favor . . .

  2. Wow this seems like an incredibly stupid business move. As you said why would they want to chase away good customers. The credit card companies are a serious problem. I think they do way more bad things than we even know.

  3. even AMEX isn’t immune to stupidity. did you hear about the highly-successful, golden credit young man in Atlanta who used his AMEX card at walmart (1st time ‘offence’) and was promptly rewarded with a credit line decrease of $7,000? they told him that their data showed that people who shopped walmart tended not to pay their bills as their justification for the decrease.

  4. I can’t imagine why they would want to chase away good customers. I realize they aren’t making a lot in interest off of you, but they also are not losing loads of money because you’re not paying your bills. I’ve heard a ridiculous number of stories like this one. We use only one credit card and, so far, haven’t had any problems. I’m keeping a close eye on it, though, precisely because of practices like AT&T’s.

  5. Unbelievable!
    This just confirms to me that the one credit card I have kept will soon see it’s demise once my refinance is complete.

    As Dave Ramsey often says “if you play with snakes long enough eventually you will be bitten”

  6. Chase is pulling a similarly ridiculous move- charging customers in good standing a $10 service fee along with raising interest rates and min. payment calculations.

    It’s a crappy way to learn it, but it seems to me these credit card company’s ridiculous business habit (while rather under-handed!) are positive in that they are forcing people to do what common sense should have told them all along – pay off credit card debt. Or better yet, don’t acquire it in the first place.

    Those who owe no one anything, what interest rates are at is irrelevant.

  7. Citicard attempted to do the same thing to me (jump the rate up drastically). But, they were willing to negotiate and drop the rate down when I told them that I would close my account and leave. They actually dropped me down to a rate that was even lower than what I had before…

  8. I completely understand how you feel! I just went through this with my Citibank card… though I did read my disclosure and caught it before they hiked my rate!! I too contacted them and mentioned how I’ve rarely been late (the last was probably 10 years ago), pay more than my minimum, I’ve got a great/excellent credit score, and have had my card for almost 12 years! Their response was pretty much “we’re so sorry. hope you change your mind.” Needless to say, I’m not changing my mind because this tactic is downright ridiculous!

  9. I can hardly wait to get my next statement from AT&T Universal. Like you, I didn’t read the fine print and I’m anxious to see what my interest rate is. I’ve only been gouged by them when I’ve had to get a cash advance when traveling.

    I’ve been a customer since 1991 and haven’t carried a balance for years. It’s my only credit card. I kept it because I have a lifetime “no annual fee” with them. They don’t make any money on me.

  10. I have had the same thing happen to me. That is in the fine print that if you don’t accept the new high rates (and there does not need to be a reason for them to raise them) that they will leave you at the current rate but the account will close. I realize that congress has put some tougher rules on them, but they don’t start for quite some time, and are still not even close to what they should be. I don’t know why they are not held to the same standard as banks since they are banks.

  11. I have three credit cards open, two just for emergencies and because they are all long-term cards that help to improve my credit score the longer they stay open. I had a balance I’d transferred onto my Citibank card at a great interest rate (like 2.99% for the entire payment life) but then I received the notice that they were jacking up rates. I think it was right at last October/November just like with FrugalDad. I called and they stated pretty much the same thing — “bad economic times”. At which point I told them that I would just transfer the amount to another card as I didn’t want to end my 12 year history with them. They didn’t complain at all, so I just transferred the entire amount over to my Chase card at 3.99%. It’ll be paid off by June, so it doesn’t make much difference to me, but I thought it was just short-sighted for them to forego the 2.99% they were getting and get absolutely nothing.

    Like I’ve said time and time again, I don’t think that they are really trying to screw people over just for the sake of screwing people over, I think that the credit card companies are up to their eyeballs in debt and are trying to close accounts, eliminate debt and get huge payments from those who have no options in order to cover their expenses. Just think of it in terms of you loaning your own brother or sister $10,000 or $20,000. They pay you back, but at only $250 per month. It’ll take a long time to get it all back, but in the meantime you have an auto accident and break both legs. You can’t work and you need another car. You need the money you loaned in order to cover your costs. You have to call in the debt. It may cause tension between you and your sibling, but your bills have to be paid. The credit card companies’ bills must be paid as well. It’s a bummer but that’s what a recession causes — it’s one big bummer.

  12. Looking back quite a while, there was a time I realized that if they could “fine print” marginal customers willy nilly and could pretty much do whatever they wanted and I’d be stuck. Thats when I went off credit cards. I sometimes wondered if I was overreacting. I wondered about the neat bene’s I’d be missing like frequent flyer (not that I go anywhere) or rewards. I decided uncomplicated and sane was better than nuts about an account.

    I’m sorry you got this rude shock. Maybe you’ll find a card that values good customers and write about them?

  13. Man, I am so glad we are done with credit cards. We had $25,000 in credit card debt a few years ago. I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to give that much credit to two partially employed college students, but we were totally over-extended. After a year of “snow-balling” our debt, we realized we had paid $15,000 in 2007, and only $2,000 of it had gone to principle. Our parents finally pulled through for us and pulled out a home equity loan with only 6%. Now it will only take us 5 years to get out of debt, as opposed to 50.

  14. I wrote about that last month in regards our Citi cards. The opt out clause expired last month and I wasn’t as lucky as Madge as they denied my request for a lower rate.

    It’s not really a major issue for us [now], since we never carry a balance and mainly use it for the rewards.

    Just be careful when canceling cards and know what impact it has on your credit score.

    Stupidly Yours,

    Matt

  15. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I am so glad you got it straightened out, but this is a very valuable warning. Thank you for sharing this.

  16. I never read the statement stuff either, who knows what they hide in there.

    I think at the end of the day customers like you (and me now) who pay their balances and don’t just charge up the ying yang aren’t valuable to them. They want the spend happy who max out cards and transfer huge balances.

  17. “Apparently, AT&T Universal Card thinks it is a good idea to chase away customers with good credit, pay on time, occasionally carry a balance and have been customers for eight years.”

    Of course, they’d like to chase away customers like you. Customers like you (and me) don’t earn them money. By paying our bills on time, we’re not earning them late fees. So they’ll increase their rates dramatically to squeeze every last dime out of us for the few times we carry a balance over.

  18. My g/f & I climbed aboard the Dave Ramsey bandwagon 14 months ago & closed all of our credit card accounts. Neither of us have ever had a late payment & our credit scores are in the mid-700s. We are working the debt snowball and are down to four accounts with balances. Unfortunately, three of the four have done exactly the same thing to us. The rate on my American Excess Blue Card was increased from 10.99% to 13.99%. My Gold American Excess went from 13.99% to 15.24%. The most outrageous was her Citibank who increased the rate from 13.24% to 19.99%. All three instances occured in January based upon notices in our November statements. Calls to each got the same canned answer: The rate increases are in response to current business conditions. It just makes us even more committed to living debt-free in the future.

  19. Thankfully I have a USAA Mastercard and they have always been sensible w/ great customer service. Let’s hope they don’t start thinking in the same misguided manner.

  20. We keep telling you to get rid of the credit cards! When you don’t have them, there are no issues, and they can be as stupid as they want. It’s been about a year since I canned mine. The best thing I’ve ever done. And I spend so much less! So much in fact that my wife quit her job and we live just like we did before.

  21. It is my understanding that if you close your credit card account, it will reduce your FICO score. I would check on that first. By the way, they send those rate increase notices in such a way that it looks like junk mail. (Someone mentioned USAA. I have their World Mastercard, w/rewards, and in December I received notification that my interest rate would go from 4% to 6% in February, and it has, so I would advice #23 to check on his rate). But wow, only 2 points, can’t complain there.

  22. Chase is doing the same for us. At least it states in their notice that it is to increase profitability. My answer is to transfer my balance to a share secured loan with my credit union and pay .6% less than the 2.99% BT I had with chase. Their loss of over 50 bucks a month finance charge.

  23. Sandy E. is correct. You probably just caused your credit score to drop quite a bit since you dropped your amount of total credit limit while keeping a balance on your AT&T account.

    This credit score drop will likely cause other card providers to take similar actions on your account…which will cause your scores to drop further.

    I’ve had this happen on a couple of accounts, and I’ve been reading about it widely. It really is a scam. You have the choice of accepting the higher interest rate or ruining your credit score and possibly having ALL of your accounts closed involuntarily.

    Now that card issuers are canceling accounts widely for non-use or too-little-use, you don’t even have the option of not carrying a balance from month-to-month — unless you want to ruin your credit score.

  24. @Sandy E: You are correct; it probably did cost me a few points on my FICO score. I don’t care. I’m not going to allow FICO to decide who I do and don’t do business with. If my other card issuer wants to play that game, too, I’ll just live without a credit card. It can be done, and it is looking more and more attractive.

  25. Wow crazy stuff! We have Amex but pay off the balance each month just using it for points. Wonder how long before they dump us?
    By doing this the CC companies are gonna make us quit using cards, close the accounts, and save even more as people with credit save save save to pay them off! The CC companies are gonna pay for this in the end! Idiots!

  26. Yes, I think the card companies are hoping that most customers will agree to the rate hikes and fees due to the threat of a lower credit score if they close the account. If it is your longest-held card you get a double-whammy because lending institutions look at the number of years that you’ve held credit when determining your credit worthiness. However, the strategy the card companies are going with is probably going to backfire on them. I assume there will be new businesses (like peer to peer lending) that will become more popular as people turn away from traditional credit cards. This is the beginning of the end for the cc companies.

  27. I’m so glad we’re less than a year away from being done with credit cards altogether. That’s just ridiculous. You’d think the companies would want to provide *some* incentive to customers who always pay on time.

  28. I hear you loud and clear, Frugal Dad! My husband and I have had a Sears charge card for 23 years. We have used it in a very responsible manner but evidently not often enough (according to them). So, even though our credit scores are 802 and 805, they decided to cut our limit to $4,000. No big deal, right? We aren’t using that much credit anyway. Then we get so-called convenience checks in the mail from them that state that our limit is $10,000. Ha! Think you are going to fool us into going over our limit, Sears? Not a chance. I couldn’t get the convenience checks into the shredder fast enough!

  29. I just fired Citi Cards, after having been a loyal customer for several years, for jacking up the (unauthorized by me) foreign transaction fee. I asked the customer service rep, politely, whether we could negotiate something more reasonable but was told “no”. Naturally, I closed the account.

    I’d have thought Citi could use every good customer they could get, but apparently not.

    This is a direct result of giving multi-billion-dollar bailouts to banks to reward them for making stupid lending decisions. They are no longer accountable to their customers in any way because they know their lobbyists in Washington can manipulate Congress into gouging whatever money they need directly out of the taxpayers. So there’s no longer any incentive whatsoever to provide service to customers at a reasonable price.

  30. I can’t believe companies do such idiotic things. They would rather lose a good customer instead of decreasing your interest rates.

    Good thing you agreed to close the account even though it was one of your older accounts. If you don’t plan on borrowing money anytime soon, you will be ok.

  31. I’m following Daves plan and as he says if you play with snakes your going to get bitten. Now YOU know.
    Is it really worth the points?

  32. I just got two notices from Capital One on my cards. I’ve been with them since 2002. I pay early and over the minimum every month. They increased my rate DOUBLE, effective mid-April. Thanks for the notice, Cap1. I’ll be paying them off before that. Then I get the pleasure of telling them what they can do with their cards. Luck for me, I’d quit using them several months ago and the balances are very low now.

  33. These are typical examples of what is happening all over the UK as well. It does seem to be that these companies want to shrink the customer base they have. They are ditching the bad customers and doing what they can to make reliable customers leave them.

    I’m sure there is some sound (for them) reason to do this – don’t know what it is!

  34. Citibank Diamond Preferred Rewards card did the same to me… 6%-24.99% for no reason. And I too have had the card for years and never paid late. I got the same ‘option’ to opt out but the card would close. This is my oldest card, so I kept it open for credit score purposes but I will never charge more than a single pack of gum on it again.

  35. wow… holy *&^& , sorry for your situation there, but great story. Infomative and thought provoking stuff the reason I like your blog. I need to take a closer look at my accounts. Thanks,

  36. FD,

    Already there are multiple reports in the media citing Americans for stoking the fires of recession and our “downward spiral” by SAVING money.

    And now this with the CC companies. I wonder how many billions more they will need from US taxpayers when we ALL either cancel the cards or put them in the freezer for all eternity.

    Either way, they will find a way to screw us. Is this still the USA?

    Best regards…Imani

  37. Over a year ago Citibank which manages the Sears Master Card pulled the same stunt. We have a Visa debit card and Visa with no balance thru our credit union. Dump the banks and go to an established credit union. Their service is better and no silly games. If you want to entertain yourself mail junk mail back in their postage paid envelopes or stuff the comic pages in. Citi Bank late 1 night kept a rep on the phone for over an hour. On principle I held on and they credited me the .03 cents variance. I could not sleep and I was not going to let them get away with it.

  38. “Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.” –American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

    A quote I got in the email today.

  39. This is part of the financial crisis. Banks are way over-loaned so they’re cutting back everywhere. Credit card customers who pay their balances off don’t make them any money anyway so apparently, that’s a fine way for them to reduce outstanding debt on the books without losing a customer that they really care about.

    Here’s a very brief recap of a presentation that I heard an economist make a couple of months back: The explosion in consumer revolving credit began a few decades ago when productivity increased and wages didn’t keep up. Since wages define demand, this caused a supply/demand imbalance. So, easy credit was pushed as the “solution”. Unfortunately the imbalance only got worse so debts just got higher and higher. Until a year ago, the ever-increasing value in homes was supposed to be the “solution” – ie things were “OK” as long as the banks knew they could get your house if you stopped paying. But then that bubble popped too. Then the banks realized that they had more in outstanding and potential debt than they could realistically recover and it all imploded. (Of course the consumer debt was only a part of what happened.)

  40. I’m about to close an account I’ve had since 1988 for the same reason.
    If I want to make purchases after the rate goes up, that’s my choice, but I don’t think it’s fair to have the interest rate raised on prior purchases as long as I comply with the terms of the card agreement.
    I would think the CC companies would want customers even if they don’t carry balances–don’t they collect merchant fees on purchases? I know they would rather have the interest, but it’s something.

  41. There is really no reason to have a credit card. If you have some money, a debit card will do just fine. If you don’t have any money, a credit card is the last thing you need because it encourages spending. I went through the Total Money Makeover, paid off all the cards and closed all but my “favorite”. After not needing it for six months (I’m not sure why I ever thought I would) I closed it and put it through the shredder. I have never missed it. If you want some rewards, bank somewhere that gives you rewards for checking and using your debit card.

    You can’t believe how nice it is to have those people completely out of your life. They couldn’t give me enough rewards to keep a credit card in my wallet.

  42. Wow. What saddens me most is that what passes for customary business practices in the CC industry is truly abyssmal service. By the time (if ever) someone at the company helm figures out what their indiscriminate choices are doing to their bottom line, it’ll be too late for them. Customers will have already fled in droves.

  43. Congratulations on getting rid of another credit card account. That is ridiculous for them to do that, especially given that you have followed your end of the bargain. I will be paying off my final credit card by the end of the month and will have to decide whether or not to close that account. The heck with credit card companies, who needs ‘em anyways!

  44. I believe this. We just went through the exact same thing with Capital One. I have made it my mission. with limiting my spending, to limit it more to only people with good attitudes and no stupidity. It is tough but well worth it. I think we can again demand good service as things get tougher employers should work smarter. If not, I will take my business elsewhere. It is working for me!!

  45. I had an AT&T Universal Platinum MasterCard several years ago. My rate at the time was 10.99%. One month, I noticed that the rate was 24.99%, and we had a late fee. Apparently the Post Office ran slow and the payment showed up a single day late. It could have been their mailroom as well. For whatever reason, with the payment a day late (we mailed it in plenty of time) they jacked up my interest rate. I tried to argue with them using the standard line “I’ve been a good customer without a single late payment for years”, but they wouldn’t listen. I finally arranged to refinance the balance somewhere else, paid it off and called back to close the account. I was transferred to Customer Retention, where I was asked what could be done for me. I explained that I was closing the account because they jacked my interest rate up to an unreasonable level, and I was offered a return to my previous rate. I told him it was too late and asked to have the account closed.

    Another commenter said it best: credit companies don’t make much money off of people like us. Most credit card companies are amoral. This is an industry that issues credit cards to dogs and 6 year olds. I’m not sure why we would expect to be treated ethically by such an industry.

    My wife and I have one credit card, which is issued by our credit union. We’re following Dave Ramsey’s plan.

  46. First – I do empathize and something similar happened to me recently. However, I like to play devil’s advocate so here goes :)

    The folks that read (and write) this blog are trying to enlighten themselves and become more financially aware. We are not the 8th grade intellect level average news audience that only wants to know what is packaged and presented to us – we dig deeper, we recognize the scams, the marketers ploys and share tips about how to be savvy consumers. We understand that credit cards can be dangerous if not used carefully AND we understand that the financial environment now means banks are in trouble, that credit card practices are under scrutiny and that credit is going to be harder and more expensive to get. I don’t think it’s any suprise to us that credit card companies disclose their terms (all be it often confusing small print) in statement inserts. So, that said…..shouldn’t we as savvy consumers be reading every piece of info that comes with our credit card statement – now more than ever? Let the others assume everything will be ok – we are the ones paying attention and catching them at their game. Right? Shame on us if we are not being savvy in this area – we fully understand the risks. While we see ourselves as good customers – we know our banks may no longer see us that way given the environment.

    I would also love to see an article on the new credit card legislation and what it will mean to consumers. Coupled with the environment I truly believe it will make credit harder to obtain and more expensive. Deals that the “frugal” individual might use to their advantage because intelligent enough to understand the risks vs benefits (enticing 0% no interest/no payments), will evaporate, making credit more expensive for all. While it might ensure individuals don’t take on debt so easily……do we think that those that didn’t understand it in the first place will understand it now? The rules will just change a bit – the game will remain the same and just cost us all more. Get ready – and/or resolve not to use credit cards at all. The latter is just a bit hard in our world.

  47. The almost same thing happened to us. We had 1 credit card, never carried a high balance in fact had pd. it off 3 times over the years. This credit card was w/our local bank where we have a savaings and chk. acc.We tore up the card and purchased a pre-pd. visa. For 4.94 a month in service fee and 4.00 to load a cash amount it has served the purposes we needed to purchase items from internet. (The only reason we used credit card and for emergencies)We had a steady income, never late on payments and in fact had pd. balance off prior to this letter. The credit card fiasco will be the next economic bubble, but because they will have chased away all of their good customers.

  48. I don’t understand the problem, probably because I don’t understand credit cards in general. If you pay your credit card off each month you are not charged any interest, right? I doesn’t matter is the interest rate is 3% or 25% you still only pay for your purchases. How does the credit card company finance this wonderful service for its users? If everyone used their credit cards in this way the company would essentially be providing a service for free. Therefore, those who use their credit card to live beyond their means are the ones paying for our free service. Or, if we fail to use it wisely, we end up paying. That seems equitable. Please fill in the missing pieces for me. Why the outrage?

  49. Oops, I wrote before I though it through. After my last comment, I realized it is not equitable for those who use credit cards for purchases to be paid for on a long term basis to pay for a service others use only for the convenience of not purchasing thing with cash. It would be more equitable for us all to pay a percentage of our credited purchases for the privilege and convenience of using a credit card. Actually, it seems as if AT&T is cutting their own throat to raise interest rates so high. Who in their right mind would purchase anything for long term credit with that kind of rate? It there a credit card that lets those who use it pay for the service by charging a percentage of (maybe 1%) their purchases to the company and a greater percentage (maybe 5%) to those who carry a balance? This would be my idea of equitable.

  50. You reminded me I got one of those Opt out things in January. I was puzzled, and I had more pressing things to do, so I filed it away to deal with later… and it’s to late.

    Always, ALWAYS read the inserts with your statements, leases, and terms of service. The inserts might be ads, but it also is rate increases, changes in features, forced mandatory arbitration (instead of being able to sue) and other things you really want to know about your service.

  51. re: thinker2009′s flip side…no, we have to SIGN to get credit on certain terms we should have to SIGN explicitly to change those terms. Not to = scam. Its merely the original “these terms subject to change with teenytinyprintandshortnotice notice” on the original signing that should be eliminated.

  52. Citibank did the same to me. Rate went from 3.99% to 14.99%. Of course I opted out. The account will not close until my card expiration date which is in August and I can continue to use the card until then too. HOW NICE OF THEM! Currently I am carrying a balance but as soon as it’s paid Citibank will no longer have me as a customer. They did “give” me the opportunity to apply for a new card when this one closes in August.

  53. Canadian banks seem to be operating on the opposite theories – I was called by the Bank of Montreal last week to tell me that they halved my interest rate and doubled my limit, so I should feel free to use the card. Ha! I never carry a balance, so I didn’t really care, but they are anxious to have me spend.

  54. Why does AT&T want to chase away good customers in this economy… it’s simple: the good customer is NOT PROFITABLE to them when they have to offer them a low interest rate in a bad economy! Customers who have poorer credit get higher interest rates… and with the number of people who are now unable to pay their credit bills because of the economic changes, they have turned to raising even the good customers interest rates in order to recap some of their “losses”

  55. Wow. I thought it sucked when mine went to 10.99% to 14.99% in one month. I called with the intent of getting it lowered. They also informed me that I had been mailed a change in terms, and that the change was a “business decision.” I actually started laughing. I said, “That makes no sense, everything is a business decision, but you’re telling me that like it’s an actual answer to my problem.” Anyway, they were *kind enough* to lower it to 13.49%, and I asked for a manager to see if I could get it lower yet, which I couldn’t. Oh, well.

  56. I get soooo frustrated with credit card companies. I too have had an incident where the company said they notified me of a change. It was written in small print on one of the four pages stuffed in the envelope with a bill. You would think they should be rewarding the customers they have, especially if they are paying at least the minimum each month!

  57. This exact thing has already happened on my husband’s and my Sears card, also by Citibank. We have great FICO scores they think they will recoup there lost money by those of us that actaully pay our bills. They have lost my business once the cards are paid off as well.

  58. AT&T’s response to me (after they more than doubled my interest) was that it was because of the poor economy. I had been making payments far exceeding the minimum and always on time. They agreed to reduce my interest to 5.? until such time as my card expired and then it would be closed. I declined. Their answer then was to increase my credit limit (it was already $17,000 and far more then I would ever use) and I said you must be kidding? Bottom line: I paid off the balance and cancelled the card. They lost a loyal Charter member (since 1991). No more AT&T for me. I’m on my way to no credit cards.

  59. An unsecured line of credit (at your bank or credit union) in general will cost you FAR less than borrowing on a credit card.

  60. I also had this happen to me. My rate jumped 5% and when I called I was told I could keep it the same but my account would be closed on expiration date. Well AT & T, it will close sooner than that. I am transferring my balance to another card. When I was told it was the economy, I told the CSR that this would not help by taking more of my hard earned money to once again pay for those who don’t. Rates should be conditional- if you pay on time, you deserve a lower rate. I worked too hard to get my rate lower to have it increased because of others mishandling their finances.

  61. I had exactly the same experience as the blog author, same interest rates (6% jumped to 24.99%), same song and dance. I agreed to close my account as of next month and just pay off the balance.

    As a single mother, I’ve needed to use the card to pay for expenses along the way. 10 years ago I was one of those smug people saying “who needs credit? Just pay cash and you’ll be fine” but now I know better. Life can be a harsh teacher.

  62. Citi raised my rate by 3%, when I called them, they said it was an across the board hike. They wouldn’t budge even though I’ve had the card for 12 years with no late payments. I transferred my balance to another card. Two months later, I got a letter from Citi offering me a balance transfer for 3.9% for the life of the balance.

    For those of you who don’t have credit cards – do you travel at all? If you buy an airline ticket with a debit card, you don’t have the same protections if something goes wrong with the flight as you do with a credit card…how do you get around those things?

  63. I have just had the same exact thing happen with my ATT Universal card! I am a charter member, have paid the balance in full twice, and always made my payments on time. My minimum monthly payment has more than DOUBLED. After receiving the same canned response that the others here have, I chose to opt out. This is my oldest card with the highest limit, and I’m not happy about it but I’m going to pay my balance off hopefully by next month, and after that I’m never doing business with these short sighted thieves again.
    It really galls me that we all must pay for the reckless financial behavior of others.

  64. I’m also a victim of the AT&T Universal interest rate hike. I too have had my account since 2001. It was the first major credit card account I opened, and I too worked my way up to Platinum status & a sizeable limit. I always pay on time, always pay more than the minimum and always keep the balance to a 1/3 of my limit at the most. I have excellent credit, and only one other credit card with a balance. My reward for being responsible: an 18.99% interest rate and a credit limit increase. Huh? I know, like most everyone else, this is not something that I brought on myself. It feels like a total slap in the face after being a loyal, responsible member. I have paid off my balance. I haven’t yet closed the account, but I surely will not be making any further purchases. I can only hope they will soon be smacking themselves wondering what the heck they were thinking!! When are these companies going to face consequences for the mess they are making of the economy? You’re not going to stimulate spending by doubling interest rates. Why are they receiving bail out money? If they can’t retain or attract new customers, they’re not going to survive. Is anybody paying attention????

  65. Hi all: just checked my AT&T Universal Platinum Card online and guess what? Yep, a FOREIGN-TRANSACTION FEE*FINANCE CHARGE of $55.06 was posted. I have been living overseas for the past 15 years and have never had a Foreign Transaction fee charged to my account. My card is also a life-time free fee type card issued to me in 1994. This fee is very strange since I had called their Service Center number to find out why my card was not honored when making a purchase at a store I make a lot of purchases from. The person that answer my call had a deep Indian accent and I couldn’t understand any of the questions she asked of me. I repeatedly asked to speak with another rep that spoke American English but she just on kept talking. I kept telling her I didn’t understand her English to no avail and she finally just hung up on me!!!! This is around the time that the fee was charged to me. So, I’m going to dump my AT&T Universal Card and not have to deal with their Indian Service Center and open up and apply for a new debit card from a bank in the country that I know live in.
    Mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
    Patrick

  66. I want to make sure every one understands that while your card may be called the AT&T Universal Card, it is not AT&T which is managing the credit terms. If you look closely at your agreement you will see that this is something called an ‘affinity’ card and that the true credit company behind the card is Citigroup, not AT&T at all.

    I’d hate for people to blame AT&T for the credit card items mentioned in this discussion when it’s not them, it’s Citigroup. Citigroup has a bunch of these ‘affinity’ cards according to their web site, https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/copy.do?screenID=501

  67. I received notice this week that as of May billing interest rate on my Chase Visa card will increase from a fixed 6.9% to a variable rate of 12.24% and my Bank of America Visa will increase from a fixed 6.9% to 14.74% variable rate. I have had both of these cards for years and have never been late on a payment. I have the option of closing the accounts and paying off remaining balance at the current 6.9% rate. Both of these accounts will be closed and paid off ASAP!

  68. I also fell victim to the AT&T rate hike, although I was late paying my bill. My story is I signed up for AutoPay and was under the impression that it had kicked in when it hadn’t, so my rate increased from a special rate of 1.9% to 29.99%. I know it’s my fault that I was late, but 30% interest is absolutely ridiculous.

    This ecomony will get better in the future and they stand to loose so many customers with this ridiculous treatment.

  69. Well here’s a question … due to the economy, AT&T Universal Card (aka Citigroup or something like that) is raising the APR for everyone to 29.99%. But, that was supposed to be only if you default on the card (i.e. forget a payment or something). So how does the company reward their loyal paying customers now they reward them with the DEFAULT RATE for ALL OF THEM starting NEXT MONTH.

    F* them.

  70. What sucks about ANY credit card is that the rules are so complicated they are almost indecipherable. Not to mention the card company can change the rules any time and as often as they wish without you knowing. They can charge basically loan-shark interest approaching 30% if they want.
    And if you’re late on a payment, even if you have great credit, suddenly you’re dogcrap to them, and they’ll come after you like pirranhas. NEVER deal with them over the phone. At these times, they are extremely rude and they have blatantly LIED to me several times. Only deal with them through regular US mail so it is all in writing. Best yet, NEVER use a credit card. It is all to easy to go in over your head and they purposely have it set up to pull you down so you become a financial slave to their company. If you’re in good standing, sometimes you can simply ask them to lower your interest rate and they will. But make payments on time or your interest rates will instantly go sky-high.

  71. The same happened to me. Alls well then my rate of 7.99 for the last 9 years goes to 29.99 unless I close the account. Interestingly enough I just received my new card in the mail which without my request was sent next day air from the states to the UK where I am presently living. I enjoyed their customer service till now as the best in all the plastic I carried which is why I used this card for everything. Unfortunately it looks like they are all preparing for the new laws which state that they cannot do this to people to become initiated in 2010 by jumping the gun and screwing everyone now.

    Lovely and like the last comment said, the only way that we can gain control of how we are treated and avoid being ripped off is to opt out completely from using credit. Take it back to the old school where even though it was not as convenient you use your cash or your debit only.
    Things are not improving for some time yet but we can aid the process by not taking the top dogs shite any-longer and by taking our own finances in to our own hands.

  72. AT&T Universal Card (CITI) raised my rate from 7.9 to 15.99 and added a $25.00 a year fee. I called and I was told it was raised “because they could”.
    HSBC offered a 0% intro for a year and after a year 8%, 12% or 16% depending on credit rating.

    I have never been late on a payment. I have always got the best rates because I have a good credit rating.
    HSBC charged me 16% when the promo ran out. Their explainantion – they raised the threshhold levels that they use to set the percent.
    I am not happy with either company.
    One good thing did come of this. I am determined more then ever to pay it all off quickly and to close the accounts. I will use a credit card only in rare instnces in the future, and I will not carry a balance.
    I hope the credit card companys are all happy that they lost all of us good, paying customers.

  73. I have been a card member of AT&T Universal since 1998, considered a “valueable” customer. I never had a late payment, never missed a payment. They did the same to me increased my monthly payment and my interest rate, this is if I wanted to keep my account with them. They forced me to close my account by offering me lower interest and lower monthly payments, of course I did close it.
    AT&T Universal does not care if your credit is outstanding, they do not care if you never missed a payment and they do not care if you never had a late patment. AT&T Universal does not care about thier customers. Their buisness ethics towards their customers is far from professional. I think anyone who currently has an account with AT&T Universal should seriously think about changing to another credit card, believe me, most credit card company’s out there would never treat outstanding customers the way AT&T has been treating their customers.

  74. I am an AT&T Universal Card customer since 1994. I just got one of those stupid opt-out letters that informed me that the rate for my existing balance of $7,000 would increase to 29.99%. I have great credit, a $24,000 credit line on this card, have never been late with a payment, and always pay way above the minimum amount due every month. Needless to say, they just lost a 15-year (very angry) customer. I am also going to be cancelling my AT&T cell phone, my AT&T long distance on my home phone, and my other AT&T credit card. They’re raising rates before the end of the year because the new law preventing the rape of their customers goes into effect 1/1/10.

  75. Write your congressman, write your state attorney general. I have had this card for 24 years. Last month they reaised my interest to 29.99%, even though I have been late only once in that many years(and that was 5 years ago) The libor rate (what they base their interest on) is less than 0.5% so they are getting over 25.5% pure profit. After receiving billions of dollars bailout, they now have call centers in India and the Philipines. When I reached the Philipines today and couldn’t understand them, I was told to “listen closer” So nice our tax money used to save US jobs is being sent overseas. I’ve cancelled my card and will not have anything to do with Citi Bank or ATT again. They don’t want my business, I don’t have to pay them.

  76. Just decided to close my card for the same reason tonight. APR from 12% to 19%.

    Change in terms.

    I can change my terms,too. I am no longer your customer.

  77. I’m in the same boat. Good customer for 12 years, payments timely, balance carried on occasions, but paid. My letter said that the rate would increase to 29.99%! I’m paying it off and they can just loose my business. Didn’t we just give them bailout money? Well, I hope that the execs enjoy their 7 figure salaries and bonuses. I hope when they go out of business, due to gross incompetence, that they can’t get another job and ruin some other business.

  78. I just received a letter from AT&T Universal Card – I’ve been a member since 1991 and I pay the entire bill each month. Last year, AT&T raised the interest rate – I let it go because I knew I paid the bill off every month. I didn’t like, but I kept the card.
    Today, this letter informed me that if I didn’t transfer at least $3,000 to the AT&T card by a date in December, then when the card naturally expired in 2010, the account will be closed. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. They want me to find $3,000 to put on the AT&T card, which in turn, will give me a 9.99% rate for a year, however, at the end of that year, the interest rate goes to 23.99%. It’s already 20 % something now. I called them just to make sure I read what I thought I read. Yup, it’s the economy, I was told. So, because I pay my bill and have a good credit rating, this is my “reward.” I will pay off this month’s bill and close the account. I’ve had it with them.

  79. Like many others who have posted, we have had this card since they first offered it. It was a GREAT card for the longest time. Over the years our interest rate has crept up and then been lowered. Then we started the incredible climb. It was bad enough when it jumped from 9.99 to 14.99, then it went up to 18.99% last year, and then this month, we were notified that it was 29.99% starting November 30. Now we do carry a balance, yes, I know we shouldn’t, but we do. I am glad to see that they are getting everyone, those with balances and those without. I called, certain that they raised it because of a late payment on a medical bill,and that we would be able to negotiate something, and I was told that it was NOT a penalty rate increase at all, just a change in terms due to the economic climate.
    My interest rate went from 18.99 to 29.99 and that is a change in terms? What a bunch of BS. What happened to the governement bailout money?
    We obviously OPTED OUT! Unfortunately it is going to have the negative effect on my credit rating, since the card I have had since 1991 is now closed.

  80. ooh – i just got that letter also – telling me my interest rate will raise astronomically – we don’t carry a balance – pay it off every month – so the rates aren’t really a problem – but i do find it very irritating that they can do this.

    but i didn’t realize that info about the $3000 loan – i thought it was a way to avoid the increase – that you could transfer the balance at this time for one year at 9% or so.

    am i wrong? or did that letter say we MUST transfer or lose the account? i have had it close to 20 years – and it has a high credit level – even tho we pay it off monthly.

    help? can someone come up with that letter?

  81. Susiecute: This is what my letter says word for word: …”These changes include an increase in the variable APR for purchases to 23.99% and will take effect December 20, 2009. As a valued customer, you have the ability to earn a special rate that is below your current purchase rate if you accept these changes. Whether you’re looking to consolidate multiple balances into one easy to manage payment or have extra cash on hand for emergencies or unexpected expenses, this special rate is a great way to gain added control over your finances. As always, you have the right to opt out of these changes and pay down your balance under your current terms. If you opt out, you may use your account under the current terms until the end of your current membership year or the expiration date on your card, whichever is later. At that time, we will close your account. Here’s how the special rate work: Transfer $3,000 or more by 12/10/09. Receive a special rate of 9.99% on this balance’s transfer until 1/1/2011. This special rate is below your current purchase rate. In addition, effective 12/20/09, you will receive this special rate on existing and new purchase balances until 1/1/2011. After that, your variable APR for purchases of 23.99% will apply to any unpaid balances under this offer. There is a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) with this offer.”
    What they are telling me is that unless I transfer $3,000, they are closing my account when my card naturally expires in September 2011. They want to hold me hostage to the tune of $3,000 so I may get a 9.99% rate for only one year – they are still going to raise my rate after one year to the 23.99%. In essence, they want me to go deeper into debt. I’ve already begun stopping the automatic payments that went to this credit card and I will be paying off the balance at the end of November so that I may close this account. I’m going to keep my letter so if, in the future, a creditor has a question as to why I closed this account, I can show them what Citibank tried to do. Whether that will do me any good, I don’t know, but I’d rather take the chance that my credit suffers for closing an account than going allowing a credit card company to scare me into something I don’t want to do.

  82. I just got my notice re “changes to your account terms”. My variable APR rate for purchases is going to 23.99% effective December 20, 2009. I called and griped and they told me that they would hold my current rate for 6 months and then it would go up. I told them to forget it. A credit card member since 1990 who has been never late on a payment will go somewhere else where I am appreciated. I don’t need them….they will need me.

  83. One additional note. I told Universal Card (Citi) to cancel my card and then they asked, “Do you mean to opt out?”. My response was, “Hell no, cancel today”.

  84. i got the same letter today from citibank – thanks citibank.

    so i called and asked what it means. this is a different account and i have a small balance that was rolled over at 4.99%. customer service said that the 23% would not affect me and that my account would not be closed – that my balance would continue at the 4.99 until paid off.

    am planning to pay it off sooner – so i do not have to deal with them.

    had a bad experience when opening this account. the first payment was kicked back as they did not write down the account number properly – they charged it back as a new purchase and big bucks interest. it will be gone soon and they will lose a customer. had this one just a couple of years – but it does have a $16,000 limit – have never charged a thing!!! just the balance transfer from another card that doubled the interest. This one has worked out so far to our benefit. will see what happens with the ATT universal card – as there is no balance – just monthly prescription charges. if they mess with us – we have other credit cards. the one from the credit union is the one we normally use – but this att card is maybe 20 years old. hate to close it – but we have other credit. and how much did citi bank get in bailouts? taxpayers are also customers – getting squeezed twice.

    good time to end using those plastic cards – if able. we are going to make it a point to be “able”

  85. yup, us too. going to 24.99% after 12 years of never carrying a balance and pumping over $300K thru that trusty old AT&T Universal Card since inception.

    i called csr and screamed at them for over 15 minutes telling them that they should be ashamed of themselves and asking how they sleep at night. asking them stupid questions like whether or not they care about their customers, and why not just tell us the truth – that they’d like us to leave… no problem.

    while i research for another card, i’m inclined to sit on this one and simply continue to pay-off our balances on-time and in-full each and every month like clock-work simply to annoy them and to avoid negatively impacting our credit score. i assume they’ll find a way to close our account for our lack of carrying a balance.

    loan-sharking absolutely comes to mind.

  86. I called a financial institution in our area and told them the story of the 24.99% and Citibank wanting us to transfer $3,000 to the account to get the lower 9.99% for one year. And, if we didn’t transfer $3,000, we would be canceled when our card naturally expired. The financial institution told me that it was better that I cancel the card instead of waiting for the card to be canceled by Citibank. Years ago I canceled a credit card because the interest rate went through the roof – as far as I know, that did not have a negative impact on our credit. As I said in an earlier post, I’m keeping the letter I got from Citibank in case there should ever be a problem with our credit – I don’t believe this will be held against us given the ultimatum Citibank has given me – go further into debt by $3,000 or have the card canceled. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which is the way to go.

  87. I recently got a letter from Citibank as well and couldn’t believe what happened. I’ve been a long term customer (around 10 years), always paid on time, and paid way more than the minimum. Needless to say, I’m transferring my remaining balance to a new card that has 0% APR for a year. Not the best decision but better than having to pay with a 19.99% APR.

  88. FYI- these guys are playing games.

    I have been an AT&T customer for 9 yrs. Have one of those great BFL transfer deals. Signed up for autopay, and unfortunately missed a payment thinking autopay had kicked in when it hadn’t. My fault, admitted it, willing to take the late fee. Next statement came, all APRs to go the default rate if I didn’t opt out by Dec 25th. Fine. My fault in paying late, have to make the choice to either opt out or pay the big interest.

    So I call to opt out. The CS says “Oh, don’t opt out. I’ll take off your late charge. Your purchase APR will be the default rate, but your current balance will be paid on the current terms”. I say GREAT! Send me documentation. He says sure. I get documentation. It says my late fee has been returned. Nothing about APRS.

    Call back. Go through the whole thing again. CS rep wants to rehash why I should not have assumed my autopay was set up. I say I have admitted it was my mistake. Will pay late fee. Will accept they want to enforce new terms, or I have to opt out and close my card. I understand all that, and am opting out. He tells me I CAN’T OPT OUT. Then…I get mad lol. Oh, yes, I can opt out, and it says so RIGHT ON MY STATEMENT.

    Got it all resolved with a supervisor…at least I think. She claims I can have my old rate back. I have again asked for documentation. I have about a month before the opt out deadline, so if I don’t get documentation this time, I am opting out. And I guess sending the opt out certified, lol, so they don’t claim they ‘never got my opt out call”.

    But a head’s up- these guys are playing games.

  89. Had 2 portions… one below 2% interest from balance transfer, the other, which was from usage, and the interest from both accts, got jacked to 29.99%, they also reduced my limit. Called them up, they said it was a “management decision”. After thinking about it, I could understand why. They had to borrow money from the govt due to poor mgmt decisions. The govt gets to control upper mgmt salary and bonuses, along with their motivation parties. For mgmt to get this back, they have to pay off the Govt. So increase the interest – they get more money faster: If customer pays off balance, more money to pay off the Govt. If customer can’t pay off balance, then they get the additional interest. If customer makes a large payment, it goes to the low interest balance. Win-win situation… they can always offer special deals w/lower interest once big brother is paid off.

  90. My son’s in the military and he received a letter in November saying, he was a “valued customer” and his rate was being increased to 22.9%. I got the “because of the economic condition” letter a few days later increasing my APR to 22.99%. They were both from citi card. Neither of us has ever been late and always pay more then the minimum. We’ll both have our cards paid off early next year. What’s the chances we’ll use these cards much in the future? Charge good customers more? Seems they need to go back to “customer building” class in college. They want only customers that don’t pay?

  91. I had an AT&T Universal Mastercard through Citi Bank that I had not used for 2 1/2 years mostly because I thought their old interest rate of 18% was ridiculous and I had other cards with better rates. I got a notice that they were cancelling my acccount due to inactivity, no ifs, ands, or buts. No warning. I called them and absolutely nothing I could do to reactivate my account. If they had warned me I would have started using the account again just to keep alive a long-standing account showing my good credit standing, that I’m a good customer etc. I’m one of those perfect customers that never makes a late payment, etc. I can’t believe what a bunch of assholes are running AT&T Universal/Citi Bank. They can kiss my ass. I will never do business with them again.

  92. Last month when i paid my bill in full,someone posted the wrong amount to my account and left a balance of .30cents.Of course this grew to 1.93cents.I called to explain what had happened.Wrong thing to do,they removed 1.60cents and made me do a checking account transaction for the other .30cents.I have been a member for 20years,shame shame.Won’t be anymore,that .
    30centsCOST AT&T a good customer.SORRY

  93. ugh, ugh, ugh – I found this thread when searching today to try and figure out if the Universal Card rate thing was just me! We use our card for online purchases and travel and pay the balance in full every month. We’ve had this card for 13 years. I ignored the huge rate hike last year (6.9% to 24.99%) because it does not really have any effect on us since we always pay it off every month. Well, I am over that! I just got a notice that the rate is increasing to 36%! Are they mad??? Seriously, I know that they do not make any money from us in interest, but they get a transaction fee from the merchant every time we use the card. What kind of business plan is this?? Who will they have left when the “tough economic conditions” subside? It makes me really upset for the people who are carrying a balance, since this kind of crap makes it even more difficult to get out of debt. I am off to research another card with more reasonable terms.

  94. Same thing happened to me. Huge interest increase due to our troubled economy. When I called to discuss my rate they told me to call back in 6 to 8 weeks, that “they might have a program available at that time.” I explained that I had been a good customer for 15 years; they made it obvious to me that since I was capable of making my payments there was nothing they could do for me. Apparently, there ARE programs available for people unable to make their monthly payments! I’m literally being punished for being a good customer. Unbelievable.

  95. Got my notice today from Universal…after being a “valued” customer since 1991 with my free annual fee….the annual fee will be raised to $60!! For nothing! I never carry a balance so I guess I am not so “valuable” after all!! I immediately “opted out” and cancelled the account. What dummies!

  96. Like Donna, I got a notice that they were adding a $60 annual fee to “maintain quality of service amid the rising cost of doing business”. I guess the fact that I never gave them a penny in interest made me “costly”. I canceled my account today.

  97. I was told that the $60 annual fee would be removed it I charged at least $2400 a year. That amounts to $200 a month. It bugs me that after carrying their credit card since 1994 I now have to be advised on my spending habits. So today I canceled that card and now I wait for other credit card companies to jump on the band wagon.

  98. Add me to the lkist of people who will be cancelling my card. When I applied back in 1994, the promise was “No annual fee for life”, now they say that they want $60 per year. For what? I accept that I’m not a very profitable customer, since I pay my bills on time and very rarely carry a balance, but that’s their problem, not mine.

  99. Remember that even if they don’t make any money in fees or interest from cardholders, credit card companies make money every time you charge something through their merchant fees.

  100. I am in the exact same situation. I’ve been a card member since 1968 and have never been late with a payment and alwasy pay in full. I did not agree with the rate change and my card will cancel on the expiration date. Perhaps if they lose enough card members they will realize how stupidly they are behaving towards reliable individuals.

  101. We have been customers for 20 years and have an excellent credit rating and a good income. We have had to carry a larger balance than we like for the past year due to the economy, but always make large payments. I made a payment late a few months ago by mistake, and this month I screwed up and paid the bill one day late. In my defense I tried to log on and pay it online so that it would not be late, but it would not accept my password and there was not time to try and figure out the problem. We mailed the bill the day it was due, left town, and the next day the card was declined. We called, and to our utter dismay learned that due to these two late payments in a 12-month period, our $25,000 credit line was now cut in HALF to $12,000 and therefore we were over our credit limit. Mind you that this happened with no notification. Evidently they sent us an email AFTER they did this. We are cancelling this card immediately. AT&T Universal Card apparently couldn’t care less whether we are good customers, or not. We could pay the balance in full right now by taking money out of our longterm savings, but we shouldn’t be forced to by this credit company. We are going to transfer the balance to another card which has a lower interest rate anyway, and AT&T Universal Card has lost good customers for life.

  102. I’ve been a “valued” AT&T Universal Card holder for 11 years. I was NOT happy when they charged me a $60 “membership” fee. I called and CANCELLED my card! There are a hundred other credit card companies that will give me a card with no fee.

    I’ve never been late with a payment and I have been an outstanding customer. I will not tolerate this treatment from any credit card company.

  103. For some reason certain large banks – Citi Bank & Chase come to mind have for many years had a business model to take advantage of any little customer errors or oversights using these slipups as oportunities to charge onerous fees and immorally high rates. I finally got my rates on Citi and Chase locked at low rates so they lowered my credit limits so that it negatively affected my FICO score – the part based on percentage of available credit used. I don’t think a stratgic plan to “make war” on your customers has much chance of succedding. In a few years these banks are going to wonder where there customers have gone and why there are all htese new shiny credit union building everywhere.

  104. This card is impossible to pay off…. If you call to make a payment they can not take but up to 1000 on the phone… so they want to make it where you have to make your min payment each time (with interest of course) and any amount over goes to higher rate…. BULL>>>> If you could only charge 1000 a day they would love you… Been a customer for 10 years and still paying… I told the guy on the phone when I paid my last payment I would bash them alway as they did me… Never missed a payment, in 10 years… 24% rate…. unreal… and my credit score is high 700′s… Funny I bought a house with a low rate and have a 24+++ on purchases… Who would buy anything

  105. I see I’m not alone here. I opened my statement the other day and took notice of the outrageous balance that seems to be accumulating on the AT&T card. I called to see if they at least had some type of promotional offers to reduce it until I could do something about it. That or lower the rate only to hear no. When I asked why it was so late their response was it’s the economy. So I started looking at my other cards I have and compared those to AT&T’s 30 percent and that’s the first time that I ever considered 14 percent low, but I don’t have another card above 14 percent. Apparently loan sharking is now legal in the US. Like everyone else I’ve never been late or gave them any reason to hike the rates especially to 30 percent. I’m transferring everything I have to another card and I’m closing the AT&T account and I don’t ever want to open another one with them EVER! When they ask why I’m closing the account, my answer: IT’S THE ECONOMY AND HAVE A NICE LIFE STUPID!

  106. Last post must not have took, so let me try this again. I see I’m not alone here. I opened my statement the other day and took notice of the outrageous balance that seems to be accumulating on the AT&T card. I called to see if they at least had some type of promotional offers to reduce it until I could do something about it. That or lower the rate only to hear no. When I asked why it was so late their response was it’s the economy. So I started looking at my other cards I have and compared those to AT&T’s 30 percent and that’s the first time that I ever considered 14 percent low, but I don’t have another card above 14 percent. Apparently loan sharking is now legal in the US. Like everyone else I’ve never been late or gave them any reason to hike the rates especially to 30 percent. I’m transferring everything I have to another card and I’m closing the AT&T account and I don’t ever want to open another one with them EVER! When they ask why I’m closing the account, my answer: IT’S THE ECONOMY AND HAVE A NICE LIFE STUPID!

  107. Sorry for the double posing people I mis-worded a few things. I’ll try this again. I opened my statement the other day and took notice of the outrageous balance that seems to be accumulating on the AT&T card. I called to see if they at least had some type of promotional offers to reduce it until I could do something about it. That or lower my rate only to hear no. When I asked why it was so high their response was it’s the economy. So I started looking at my other cards and compared them to AT&T’s 30 percent That’s the first time I ever felt or considered 14 percent low. I don’t have another card above 14 percent. Apparently loan sharking is legal now in the US. Like everyone else I’ve never been late or gave them any reason to hike the rates especially to 30 percent. I’m transferring everything I have to another card and I’m closing the AT&T account and I never want another one with them, EVER! When they ask why I’m closing the account, my answer? IT’S THE ECONOMY, SO HAVE A NICE LIFE STUPID!

  108. THIEVES!, customer for over 13 yrs and no appreciation. I WILL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH AT&T. terrible customer service!

  109. Because of all those cancelling their accounts, people like me get screwed. I got a consolidation loan to pay off couple credit cards, including this one, since they raised my interest rate to 30%.

    They charged me “residual” interest for the days leading up to me paying off. they never sent me that current statement with the $56 interest charge. So I get the next statement with additional $2 interest from the previous months interest and $15 late fee. All because I paid it off and closed my account.

    I called, and they said they can’t waive the fees, including the late fee. Even though they never sent me the statement last month. Why would I check my account when my account was “0.00″ when I paid it off.

    They are a scam and will tell anyone and everyone to stay away from this company.

  110. Same story as the original post, but we have been customers since 1990 (23+ years). They made thousands of dollars from us. We never had a late payment. We consistently carried balances and paid 14-17% interest. We were even one of the first to go paperless and make online payments (saving them money). Unfortunately Citi being “too big to fail” will not be impacted by a few customers closing their accounts. There are too many people desperate for credit that do not understand the implications of 30% interest. Those people will not get a bailout from the government when they get in trouble for using Credit Cards with 30% interest. However, Citi will be counting on further bailouts and assistance when their bad business practices gets them in trouble again.

  111. They just did it to me too. I have been a customer since 1993. They closed my account without warning because I did not use it in the last 12 years. Really. I have always paid on time, and no warning letter. No you need to use this card every month. No nothing. Just a good by. AT&T has gone to crap and Citi Bank is so big they don’t care about anything.

  112. I just got my at&t universal card refused in a store. I called cs to discover they had canceled the card because of inactivity. I said if you had told me I would have used it, as I wanted to keep it.

    It doesn’t seem legal to me that they can cancel me like that (when I had a lifetime no annual fee agreement with them).

    It really got me angry, but reading everyone else’s posts I have to acknowledge other people have bigger problems.

    Sleazy sleazy sleazy.

    I think people should publish the phone numbers of the citibank lawyers and call them directly.

    I feel like it’s a)#(& mbas sitting in offices making the decisions, and the only people they “may” listen to would be their legal counsel (who need to be hounded into acting)

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