Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chase "Forces" Me to Close My Favorite Business Credit Card

Chase business credit card goes from 9.9% fixed to 15.24% variableIt's the old credit card bait 'n switch. The credit card banks bait you with attractive terms and generous rewards programs to get you to signup. Then, they wait. They wait for you to accumulate a large enough balance, then jack up your interest rate. I've been reading about this a lot on other websites recently; now it's happened to me, with my Chase business credit card.

Just got a snail mail notice from Chase informing me that the company is going to raise the interest rate on my favorite business credit card, from a fixed rate of 9.9% to a variable rate of (Prime + 11.99%) = 15.24%. 15.24% is now the interest rate floor for this card, since Prime is not likely to go any lower. Chase business credit card: Important notice regarding changes to you accountOf course, I have the option to opt out of the change. This would cause my account to be closed, and I would then continue to pay the balance down to zero at the original 9.9% APR.

Thankfully, I'm prepared for this contingency. I plan on paying the balance off with some cash from savings and a small loan via Lending Club

I don't have to borrow any money via Lending Club to payoff my Chase business card, but I really like the idea of Lending Club -- bypassing the banks and borrowing from regular folks across the country -- and I want to go through the process of borrowing through Lending Club myself so that I can report on my experience here in this blog.

To be perfectly honest, I really like my Chase business card, but, clearly, it's time for us to part ways. With the U.S. Prime Rate at 3.25%, any rate above 10% is a subprime rate, in my opinion, and I'm not a subprime borrower. I took advantage of an excellent 0% intro APR offer with this card, and, when the 12-month, interest-free period ended, I used the cash back rewards program to lower my cost of borrowing to a nominal level.

I really like the cash back rewards program with this card. I spend money on it and reward points accumulate. Then, when points reach a certain threshold, I simply login to my account and request a statement credit. With a few business days, the statement credit is posted to my account. Easy. No forms to fill out, No waiting until the end of the year to get my cash back reward and no waiting for a snail mail check. I will miss this rewards program.

I have to hand it to Chase for being honest. In the change of terms notice they sent, they explained the change as a, "response to market conditions," and they also added that the company wants to "maintain profitability."Chase business card change of terms to maintain profitability I'm hating the change but I respect the honesty. Contrast this with the Barclay's notice I received when that credit card bank closed my BJ's Visa Card. The company wrote that it was to, " [me] better manage [my] credit accounts..." In other words, not only did they close my account without consulting me first, they also felt it necessary to insult my intelligence.

In other business credit card news: Citi® closed my inactive CitiBusiness® card recently. I will miss this card because:

  • it had a decent credit line (~$10,000) which enhanced my business's credit profile, and

  • the account was aged which, again, contributes to my business's credit rating. It was my first business credit card.

CitiBusiness Card: Closed!

So now I'm left with 3 business credit cards: two from Bank of America and one from Advanta. The Advanta card is about to be anointed as my "goto" card, because I'm still enjoying 0% intro APR on purchases, and the purchase APR will jump to a somewhat reasonable 7.99% when the interest-free period ends . I have been reading some horror stories about this particular Advanta business card (unwarranted rate hikes), but so far I've all is well. If Advanta tries to pull some funny business by raising my rate, I'll just pay the card off (my credit limit is under $3,000, and my balance isn't anywhere near that.)

As a final note: it's really no wonder that American Express is consistently rated as the best credit card bank. Right now the company is offering some high-risk cardholders a $300 payment (in the form of a prepaid gift card) in exchange for these accountholders paying their balance down to zero within a certain timeframe, and closing their account. Now that's my kinda' credit card bank!

NB: In that same JD Power & Associates Credit Card Satisfaction Study(1), Discover Card placed second.

Chase, on the other hand, has identified certain credit card accounts that may be at risk for default, and has responded by imposing a $10 per month fee. Yikes! I'm not a public relations professional, but I do have some sage advice for JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: stop doing that!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Important News About Citi® Business Credit Cards and Balance Transfers

CitiBusiness® credit cards
CitiBusiness® Credit Cards
CitiBusiness® credit cards have been the most popular business credit cards at this website for some time. The fact that with most CitiBusiness credit cards, approved applicants could transfer credit card balances at 0% intro APR, and pay no transaction fee on introductory transfers, was certainly a contributing factor to their popularity.

Now, all the CitiBusiness credit cards we recommend at this site include a fee on both introductory and non-introductory credit card balance transfers. Here's a list, with corresponding intro APR details:

-- The Citi® ProfessionalSM Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • balance transfer fee on any credit card balance transfer to this card.
-- The Citi® ProfessionalSM Card with Thank You® Network
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • balance transfer fee on any credit card balance transfer to this card.

-- The CitiBusiness® Card
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
  • balance transfer fee on any credit card balance transfer to this card.
-- CitiBusiness® Card with ThankYou® Network
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • balance transfer fee on any credit card balance transfer to this card.

The balance transfer fee for all the above CitiBusiness cards is currently "3% of the amount of each balance transfer, $5 minimum."

I still like CitiBusiness cards a lot. I have a Citi® Business card in my wallet right now, and I've been very happy with it over the years. Citi is a highly reputable, world-class bank, and their credit products are outstanding.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Citibank (Citi) Business Credit Cards Featuring No Fee Balance Transfers

Citi® Credit Cards
Citi® Credit Cards
Zero percent credit card balance transfer offers are very popular right now -- especially feeless balance transfer offers -- and it's easy to understand why. Why would anyone pass on a chance to save on interest charges for up to 12 months?

The good news for business owners is that many business credit cards have excellent zero percent introductory annual percentage rate (APR) balance transfer offers associated with them, and with some of them you won't have to pay a balance transfer fee.

Recently, the good folks at Citibank removed the balance transfer fee from the 0% balance transfer offers associated with some of their business credit cards. You can't do much better than a feeless balance transfer offer, and, right now, certain Citibank business cards feature a 12 month interest-free period on both transferred balances and new purchases -- like the CitiBusiness Card®. Bottom line: credit card deals don't get too much sweeter than that!

Other Citi® business cards which currently feature the option to transfer credit card balances at zero percent with no balance transfer fee are:

  • The CitiBusiness Card with ThankYou Network
  • The Citi Professional Cash Card
  • The Citi Professional Card
  • The CitiBusiness PremierPass Business Credit Card

Of course, the terms and features associated with the above-listed offers can change at any time, so be sure to read any and all credit card terms and conditions carefully before applying for any card recommended here.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Balance Transfer First For Me: From One Business Credit Card to Another

A balance transfer first for me: I decided to take advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer offer to transfer my entire CitiBusiness® Platinum Select business credit card balance (about $4,000 ) to a new Bank of America Platinum Visa® business credit card.

After receiving the solicitation in the mail yesterday, I applied for the Bank of America card online, and I was approved for a $15,000 credit line--plenty of breathing room, so I don't have to worry about looking "maxed out" after transferring my Citibank balance.

What a great country: in a matters of seconds, I've eliminated interest charges on my entire business-related debt until December, 2006. Me likey'! And if all goes well, I may be able to pay off the entire transferred balance by December. Wish me luck!

Don't get the wrong idea here: I'm not transferring my CitiBusiness credit card balance because of problems with the card--no, I'm only doing it to save on interest charges, plain and simple. If you are in the market for a new business credit card, you should check out the CitiBusiness® Platinum Select credit card. I've had mine for years, and I've been very happy with it. And right now, you can get 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months with the CitiBusiness® Platinum Select® card (of course, I'm not eligible to take advantage of this great offer since I already have a CitiBusiness® Platinum Select card in my wallet.)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

CitiBank (Citi) Offers New Business Credit Card: The Professional Card

The professional card? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Yeah, that's what I asked myself when I first heard about this new credit card being offered by CitiBank. Well, it turns out that it's a new business credit card that is targeted towards professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) who can use a card specifically for business spending purposes. Sounds good to me.

The Citi® ProfessionalSM Card boast some handsome features, like a very attractive 0% APR on credit card balance transfers for the first 9 months (nice!) The card also has a great rewards program:

  • Get 3 ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend at restaurants, gas stations, on auto rentals and at certain office supply merchants.*
  • Get 1 point for every dollar you spend on other purchases*
  • Redeem your points for: air travel, statement credit, gift cards and certificates, merchandise or create your own reward.
  • Plus get 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points after your first purchase that can then be redeemed for a $100 gift card.

Here are some other details about The Citi® ProfessionalSM Card:

  • Categorized monthly statements and quarterly and annual summaries.
  • A unique Online Expense Reporting Tool that helps you use your online statement to customize reports for billing or reimbursement.
  • Access to dedicated Customer Service representatives who understand the needs of today's professionals.

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