I think it means you are being notified now that your rate goes up in January 2010. Your new rate will be 19.65 + prime rate (which if calculated now would be 22.9%). Your rate will fluctuate based on month to month changes of the prime rate. I ASSUME the part about the promotional rate taking effect 4/17/2009 means that if you are late with your payment after that date then your interest will go to the new default rate (you know, the insanely high one). At least , that's how I'd interpret what they said...
Thanks for your response. I got the same impression as you did. However, I was confused when they threw in 1/28/2009. That just screams RETROACTIVE to me. It doesn't matter because I PIF'd them as soon as they jacked me, but I'd still like to know what it means in case I ever come across it again, y'know? I can't even bring myself to type that default rate they wrote on the brochure. It's so high that it's silly. Thank goodness I've never been late.
I paid off and closed my C1 card in January before all of this happened (glad I did), but my mother recently received the same notice (hers was to 17.9%). The wording on her letter was she could close the card and keep her current interest rate until it was paid off, or that she could keep it open, and that her current rate would be an introductary rate until April 2010.
Her friends have received similar letters, but the dates are always a bit different.
It's her only credit card (shes 59, makes 100k+, 800+ FICO, doesn't use credit often), so she's a bit annoyed, since she's a pretty good customer. They gave her a standard speel on the phone when she called, she then paid her entire balance (I'd already told her not to close the card, but to sock drawer it). So I've been helping her look at options - think she's settled on a Simmons 7.25% fixed rate (for any balances she wants to carry), plus a Citi Driver's Edge (for cash back/points).
It's a shame about Capital One - they were a company that was willing to give people with no credit or a short history a start with a card and let it grow with them. They also had a few cards with some decent deals for more established customers. They generated a fair amount of goodwill with that. Lastly, they had some good marketing for years, which made them a household name. It's all been trashed with these shenanigans. What a poor business strategy - their executives just pissed away their entire long-term credit biz for short-term gains. I now know about 20, established, excellent customers that will never do business with them again - and you'd better believe their families and friends will be spreading the gospel.
OK, so I'm not so mad at them anymore. I PIF and they just gave me a nice CLI. This also takes care of their annual fee putting me over the limit last year, so that doesn't show on my reports now. They're still staying in the sock drawer until next month, though.
I asked Suzy if I charged $4.50 every month and paid off $4.50 each month if they could close my account and she said no. I asked her how much she thought it would cost her to keep my account open each month between billing, postage, tracking and the auto updates on my fico and she figured about $20.00 so I figure we will play this game until I get my interest rate back. I cannot vocalize how angry I am that I have been a good payer with a high fico and it means nothing at all. Hey, to quote Suzy at Cap One, that's just the way it is.
I finally spoke to Suzy in Texas after being transferred to several other countries and they made no apologies about the increase of interest rate. Mine went from 3.9 to 13.9 overnite, well starting end of April. So here is the executive offices for Cap One and I was surprised to find them in SLC, UT. Cap One, PO Box 30285, SLC, UT 84130-0285. I asked Suzy if I charged $4.50 every month and paid off $4.50 each month if they could close my account and she said no. I asked her how much she thought it would cost her to keep my account open each month between billing, postage, tracking and the auto updates on my fico and she figured about $20.00 so I figure we will play this game until I get my interest rate back. I cannot vocalize how angry I am that I have been a good payer with a high fico and it means nothing at all. Hey, to quote Suzy at Cap One, that's just the way it is.
a few years back cap1 did the same thing and it seems that many of us who waited it out (SD the card) ultimately received reductions after several months. also, it helps to be minduful of your 'audience' when speaking to a front line representative, you may've threw her uncomfortably off script -to be honest, that doesn't really help in terms of receiving accurate or even well conceived f/b.
you seem to have a better sense of the costs involved maintaining your acct anyway than a csr could tell you off the cuff. simply wanting some basic questions to be addressed is understandable but not much added value in 'showing all your cards' to a ccc who has already taken AA on your account, ymmv.