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September 28th, 2009
08:35 AM ET

Have Credit Card Companies Gone Too Far?

Hidden fees! Cutting your credit limit based on where you shop! Have credit card companies gone too far?

Card issuers used to just look at your credit score to determine if you’d be a good credit risk. Not anymore. Now they scour your spending patterns for signs of financial trouble - checking to see if you’re shopping at discount retailers for the first time, buying more booze or getting marital counseling. Any of these could trigger a loss of credit.

If you pay your bills on time should it matter where you use your credit cards? Is this an invasion of privacy? Has this happened to you?

We want to know what you think. Leave us a comment. We’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11a — 1p ET.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Elderbiggs

    Have Credit Card Companies Gone Too Far? humm?

    Now that's an under statement if ever heard one! To Far? They are legal LEGAL GREAT WHITES! Carcarian Carcharias!

    September 28, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  2. craig

    YES! I think they have gone too far. I also think it is wrong that your credit is a part of how much you pay for car insurance

    September 28, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  3. Darragh Blachno

    I had American Express cut my credit card limit on 2 different cards from $10,000 and $15,000 down to $1000 each! The strangest thing was that I have never been late with payments or carried a high balance on either card. My credit, and my husbands (co-signer) had gone way up in to the 700s and our debt had gone done significantly. It's frustrating because we used to charge expensive vacations and other things on our cards in order to earn travel points, then pay it off. Now we can't! What's the point in even having a card anymore. It's the cardmembers like us that they should have been catering to.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  4. John Thrash

    Yes. People are always worrying about government intrusion. Well, how about industry intrusion! Banks are far more intrusive than the government and are attempting to control even where you buy. Dump the suckers and use PayPal or some similar financial means of paying with little tracking!

    September 28, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  5. JOHN TOTH

    The best way to get around this arrogant behavior by credit card companies is to pay cash at those stores, and for everything else possible. Use credit cards wisely, and pay them off each month.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  6. sandra

    They own the rights to the game, make up the rules as they play, and then cheat to win..... what a game....... Makes you wonder why anyone wants to play with them.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  7. Willie Ringo

    Yes credit card companies have gone too far, many credit card companies have taken on greedy predatory strategies and retaliatory measures that drastically impact on potential borrowers credit standings. When borrowers finally pay them, they refuse to provide paid in full letters for 30-90 days and lie about whether borrowers have paid them in full. It used to be that mortgage professionals could talk to credit card creditors, but lately, credit card companies are hostile towards mortage professionals and do not honor the federal credit authorization that is supposed to allow us to get information or negotiate to improve the borrower's credit standing. Yes, credit card companies have gone to far.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  8. Ran Guu

    One thing you should never do is have your checking account at the same place where you have your "main" credit card. Think they don't cross reference the two? Think again.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  9. David W. Coplan

    Yes. Credit Card Companies have definitely helped the U.S. into the current economic situation we face. With unreasonably high fees, unhelpful and unreasonable predatory practices, Credit Card Companies need to have more laws regulating them to protect the American Consumer from outrageous fees for things like a first time late payment or high interest rates when they already add cost to everything Americans buy by charging user fees to merchants to accept payment by credit cards.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  10. Lee

    Yes, I think the credit card companies are going way too far. I have had several credit lines closed or reduced for no reason at all. I've had no late payments or anything of that nature. But the problem they are causing is that it causes by them reducing your limits it makes it look like your credit limits are maxed out, and thus reducing your scores for any future credit. This is so unfair!!

    Lee (Indiana)

    September 28, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  11. Tari Parker

    First off this is a very old news report and in May 2009 President Obama signed the Credit Card Consumer 's "Bill of Right's" that prevents this type of action by Credit Car Companies.

    Tari

    September 28, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  12. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The credit card companys started going too far two or so years ago when American Bank and others started giving illeagle imagrents credit cards with no questions asked. all the bank bosses need to be replaced.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  13. Elle

    I totally believe that they have gone to far. E

    September 28, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  14. Derin Doran

    .I have been member of amex since 1989 and have 3 cards from them.
    last year I stayed in overseas 2 weeks extra and was late their payment 1 week, they cut down all of my spending limit , reduced my card expenses while I am having 760 Fico score on my credit card. That obviously hurt my Fico score automatically and dropped down to 730 now. I support this company while no one was excepting AMEX, all of my Europe travels that, late 90's it was hardest thing to give your Amex to any of the merchants, ...
    It is shame that these kind of scams hit us latelty..They turned this practise a baddle..Loyalty and dignity never awarded despite all this , I got hurt be on time more than 20 years with 1 incident.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  15. Nora Palmer

    Absolutely!!!

    Just like health insurance companies these people are the scumb of the earth!

    They both are watching us, but who's watching them?

    September 28, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  16. Mario Squellor

    Credit card companies. Robbers without a gun . They should be abolished , along with insurance companies ,lawyers and all others who steal legally under this totally corrupt system named capitalism.Michael Moore and Virg Bernaro are the only people I would vote for in this country right now. This country is so bad due to Credit card companies that it is time to look into moving to another country to survive.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  17. Rick Fernandez

    It won't be to far down the road where somehow Credit Card companies find a lawful way for them to require their customers to notify them of any changes in life styles or economical conditions. I call it abusive and it is offensive. Clearly we need additional Credit Card reform. Thanks CNN for reporting such absurd behavior.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  18. Rachelle

    Way To Far !! I Havent Changed Anything About The Way I Pay Or Even The Amount Of Balances I Have Carried.

    In The Last Year 1 Card Was Closed That I Didn
    t Use.

    1 Card Aspire, Closed That Had A Balance With & Raised The Interest Rate.

    1 Card HSBC, Closed With A Balance Said It Was Due To The Economy.

    1 Card Juniper, Doubled My Interest Rate Due To The Economy.

    And Then Just Recently I Paid Off A 3200.00 Card With Target, 2 Weeks Later They Chpped My Credit Down To 1700.00.

    Now Thats Rewarding Good Behavior.

    I Have Never Been Late. I With Auto Pay.

    I Dont Think There Is Going To Be The Same Credit Around Anymore. I Think All The Credit Companies Have Got Together & Are Pulling Out Of American & Going To Other Countries Who Are Up & Coming.

    To Get Rid Of Us. They Are Either Raising Your Interest Or Closing Your Account To Get Us To Pay Off Our Debt So They Can Get Out Fast.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  19. Tuneday

    Tony,
    I have been hit hard twice by Amex in particular this past year. My credit limit has dropped from $23,000 to $13,000 and in the last month that was also reduced to $7,500. I was told at the first cut, that this was a consequence of the recession, nothing to do with my spending. The most recent cut was due to the fact that I made a one-time charge of $5,500 for my upcoming wedding.
    At a time when consumers need credit the most, it's a failure of the system if American Express is making such drastic cuts in the credit limits of good and loyal customers.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  20. David W. Coplan

    How is it that Credit Card Companies are able to do things like see if you are getting marrital couseling? Things like this are a blatant invasion of privacy I would think. High Interest rates are bad enough but what Credit Card Companies are doing now after being helped by the government with taxpayer money is intolerable.

    Congress needs to bring these companies back to reality with fines for unfair business practices and investigate the system as a whole to avoid it causing further economic problems as Cash Advance businesses are doing.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  21. Daniel Beck

    This doesn't make sense! Spending patterns that go from Loui Vuitton stores to shopping at Wall marts mean the Credit card holder is more likely to have financial trouble in the future? If anything, isn't this a positive spending trend that is conducive to saving more? Another policy that hurts the very customers that are trying their best to make the changes necessary to pay all their bills on time!

    Daniel Beck
    Phoenix, Arizona

    September 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  22. Elle

    I totally believe the credit card companies have gone to far. Eventhough they may issue the card, it is the cardholder's money that is paying the spendeures and intrests back to the card companies. It is a violation of the card holder's privacy and independance to distrubute their earned monies however they would like. If they choose to charge a $400.00 purse and then pay it off, it is their personal business. They had enough credit to be given the card and the amount, and if it is not closed, they have enough funds to keep it. Most people use their credit cards in merchant stores. If non merchant card companies are choosing to cut back on the credit that they are allowing card holders, then merchants that offer credit will be glad to have their business.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  23. Sterling

    Since shopping expensive and then going to WalMart too much hurts you, drop credit period! Don't have the money, don't buy it. Wake up people, the money loving Washington bureaucrats are rule makers and they don't change rules against those who pay them millions. After all, they have to pay their credit card bill too! It's strictly a money thing – do you think 100% of all the protesters against healthcare do it for free?

    September 28, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  24. Mrgogreen

    Just one year ago with good credit the average credit card ranged from 5,9% to 8.9% now have risen to 12.5% to 16.9% with regular on time payment for 10+ years. yes, they are Gouging and wish that President Obama's plan to stay CC rates was immediate instead of taking effect after the damages have been done.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  25. Jacqueline Taylor

    Hi Tony:

    Before we went on vacation I made a small purchase from Macy's ($41.22). They suggested I use my Macy's card because then you get a bigger discount – etc., etc.

    I forgot about it while we were on vacation and when we returned 5 weeks later I had an invoice from them. The statement read "A Finance charge in the amount of $2.00 will be added to your Revolving acct. balance if you pay less than the full amount. I tried to call and pay – they wanted $14!!! for a phone transaction. So I mailed them $43.22 But HERE IS THE OUTRAGEOUS PART. In the Revolving account transaction details it reads: ...if you choose to pay less than the full balance by your due date the actual ANNUAL PERCENTACE RATE charged on that account is 257.16%!!! Yes, I do mean 257.16%! This is highway robbery!! I pay all credit cards in full every month – imagine those who do not! I am still shocked to see this! Macy's just lost me as a customer!

    September 28, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  26. S.R.

    Yes,
    We have just barely survived the effects of Wild West Economics. Since credit cards have become a determinant on ones ability to rent a car; receive a phone another credit card and often airline tickets to name just a few. Federal Trade Commission should establish regulations not banks and enforced
    by FDIC. Credit Card Companies must base their decrees on substantiated proof based on those hard and fast rules. There needs to be an ombudsman system which can handle disputes. This system of rules should extend to the entire credit industry which has deteriorated into a form of money making blackmail. The Fed should offer a credit card of last resort.
    S.R.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  27. Rosann Stenberg

    I entered into a Customer Assistance Program with First National Bank of Omaha on April 10, 2009. The terms of the program were- they will lower the interest rate to 6.99% for one year. The only catch would be that I could not use that credit card for one year.

    I have been paying close to or doubling the minimum amount due. On my recent bill my Credit Limit was 4,900 and Available Cash was $436.00, again I sent in Double The Minimum Amount Due.

    I went on line Friday and the bank lowered my Credit Limit ( only by $300. BUT because of that - I NO LONGER HAVE ANY AVAILABLE CASH.

    IF WE HAD AN AGREEMENT – HOW CAN THEY TAKE AWAY ANY MONEY I AM TRYING TO REBUILD IN MY ACCOUNT.

    WHEN I CALLED THEM THIS MORNING AND ASKED THEM – THE WOMEN SAID THEY DID IT BECAUSE...........THEY COULD !!!!!!

    I told her that CNN was doing a show this morning about credit cards and that I was going to write to you about this situation.

    Sincerely,
    Rosann Stenberg

    September 28, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  28. DaVID VASQUEZ

    Its time people get control of there credit cards so when credit cards continue to make decisions like this they can just close accounts. I continue to close accounts every time I'm unhappy with a change a credit card company makes. People just need to take charge of finances.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  29. Robin

    Why should we have to pay for poor business practices by the credit card companies? It's time to go back to cash. Not only will this show them the American people won't be pushed around but people won't get themselves into deep debt. Wait until you have the money to pay for your purchase, SAVE. It's not that hard. I'm tired of these companies and CEO's living off my back.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  30. SpringWolf

    I'm surprised this is just now getting reported. Credit Card companies have been doing this for decades. We noticed, why didn't you? And no it's not fair. But the best way to get around it, is to not have a credit card to begin with. Why pay someone else for the right to use your own money from the future? Just wait, save and get what you want when you need it. The only way to "stick it to 'em" is to stop doing business with them all.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  31. Nina

    They have and we can't seem to do anything about it... BUT my strategy is to pay off my bills ASAP, close all the accounts and screw them by not being their "preferred customer".

    Ha!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  32. Michelle

    As someone who falls into the textbook illustration of what's wrong with the credit card industry - someone sold a credit card at a bank when opening a checking account as a teenager - I can't say I'm surprised. Credit card companies are looking out for numero uno and no one else, willing to turn young people into debtors and profile individuals based on behavior. Last I checked, all of that was wrong.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  33. M Foster Jeweler

    I think Amex is THE WORST Offender. i made a purchase at my store for an item on consignment and with in .30 seconds of the transaction they closed my account- which I had for ten years! I never knew I could not use my card where ever i wanted! Ridiculous. now I won't accept Amex in my stores.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  34. Margaret

    Maybe I haven't had a credit card long enough to understand the problems, but I've had one through USAA for almost 4 years and never had a problem with it. I only have a part-time job, and I was just able to increase my credit amount by $2000 without any problem.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  35. James

    The solution is simple. If credit card companies abuse their powers, stop using them.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  36. E Perry New York

    I find it absolutely outrageous! I am striving to do everything in my power to establish and maintain a substantial level of cash liquidity and adjust my living standards, so that I can give credit companies the boot!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  37. Paul

    People complaining about credit card companies is like a junkie complaining about the price of smack– you never needed a credit card, took it on as a luxury to PAY FOR THINGS YOU COULD NOT AFFORD, and now have to deal with the consequences. I feel for anyone who has to live with the things that they've done... so I guess I feel for everyone.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  38. Connie M

    I agree credit card companies have gone too far. I have excellent credit. 780 FiCO score. American Express did the same thing as your example. They grouped me with the company holding my mortgage! I have never been late with my mortgage payment and further I've never paid my mortgage with a credit card of any kind. Is there anything we can do?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  39. Wendy

    What's next auto finance companies not giving car loans because where you may travel or going as far as installing something to make your car inoperable should you go to designated areas? Or maybe employers won't hire you because of how you may spend your payroll check. The people making these ridiculous rules and observations obviously don't watch the news and realize it could happen to them too at the drop of a hat!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  40. Koko, Massachusetts

    Tony, a friend of mine had used her card and paid it off each month; she had a great rate and good credit. The problem was, Citibank decided that since she paid her card off each month, they'd drop her credit line and raise her rates. What's fair about this? I had a similar situation...good customer, held some balance, not much, but up went my rates......my credit score is in the high 700s. Credit card companies have way too much control over our lives and reliable customers are the brunt of their indiscretions. It has to stop.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  41. shari hodges

    FICO does not determine creditworthiness. I am a paralegal who did a research project 5 years ago. I pulled up the Congressional Records. Congress never wanted personal credit scores. FICO convinced Congress to approve them in 1971, after 5 years of debate. Congress in 1967 called FICO, the "poor pay more" economy, where poor people use up their living expenses paying interest rates, while wealthy people pay low interest for the same goods and services.

    I found FICO's white papers and showed them to mathematicians. FICO is based on the bell curve, a faulty mathematical model where the equation deceives the general public. It's a very clever loan sharking scheme. I have told hundreds of people, congress, and the Whtie House, and nobody wants to listen.

    When you're ready to listen, you get a hold of me. I can refer you to the original Congressional hearings.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  42. sumoma

    It's government sanctioned Corporate Terrorism against consumers... plain and simple.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  43. James

    As a 21-year old Iraq war veteran, I figured it would be easy to get a loan b/c of my higher credit score. But no, i don't have enough established credit. Now they tell me that it makes it even worse b/c i've got charges on my card showing that i have bought beer and cigarettes in the last few months. This is slightly more than ridiculous in my opinion. It is an invasion of privacy, and i think that this is something the gov't needs to step in on and say "Wait, i think this is going too far."

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  44. arwen

    This is happening to everyone. My credit card interest rates have been raised, and one card canceled because I wasn't using it. I have great credit, so what's the problem? It's just greed. The banks got the bailout from the people so that their business would not fail, posted record profits, and now hard working Americans are having to pay all over again. Where are the representatives elected to protect us from this blatant greed? Hello! Is anyone else paying attention?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  45. Donald R. Krause

    If you don't like the credit card companies don't get nor use them!

    They have a whole lot of money out there and believe it or not it is a business and they want to make CASH!

    Too many people once again living beyond there means and spending money they don't have!

    When will people be responsible?????

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  46. Athena

    Tony

    My bank was very happy to extend me a very large line of credit, right before I lost my job.

    It took a few months, but I think they noticed my direct deposit was now coming in each week from Unemployment and cut my credit line to a few dollars above what my current balance was.

    They claimed they were cutting credit all around, and my fico changed. I guess because I started using the credit the lenders had offered? I was paying all my bills on time. That's not fair.

    Under employed in NYC

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  47. Hester Sweetwood

    Credit card companies have closed my accounts due to my husband opening cards in my name and then paying late payments and putting cards with a counseling service. What can I do?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  48. AAn Lee

    I am being reduced by American Express from Unlimited credit limit to $ 5000 even I pay off my balance every month and never late to pay. They should going down the yearly subscription fee if they reduce the credit limit. American Express is the worst credit card service compares to other credit card company. I can say Chase is the best so far. They can penalized someone if they don't pay on time. I have been with them for more than 3 years and pay off every month and proof for that.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  49. Catherine Klee PhD

    I have always had an A+ credit rating/score, yet Costco (American Express) decreased my credit line from $18,000.00 to $2,500.00. I have NEVER been late with a payment to them. What are my options?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  50. PAUL

    where is the list of places NOT to shop with your credit card. Seems like downshifting your spending would be prudent in this type of economy.

    Maybe folks are increasing their savings rate and that's why they are changing spending patterns. Credit card companies should at least have a dialog with customers before taking changes.

    Since your savings account increase doesn't show up how can they get a true picture?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  51. Nick

    Although nobody likes to defend the organizations that are part of the system that recently froze our economy, all entities use all the information available to them to make the best decisions they can. We can look at many statistics on companies that its executives and individuals as owners would love to keep secret, out of secrecy, or even for the honest health of the company.

    If we want transparency in institutions, we should be prepared to have transparency in ourselves.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  52. Stowman Stines

    I had a zero balance on my credit card (chase) and purchased my vacation on the card. While I was out of the country, they lowered my rate to an amount $100 over what I had spent on the trip, so now I had no credit to use on the trip. The good thing was I did not use the card while out of the country. I got home to a letter telling me about the change. I called and they told me that I did not spend on the credit so they lowered it and would not put it back to where it was.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  53. Kenneth Johnson

    It is absolutely immoral that our elected officials have lined their campaign pockets with millions of dollars from credit card companies and literally abandoned legislation protecting those who elected them from what can only be described as gross abuse by credit cards.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  54. John

    Banks seems to have an unfair advantage over everything , we all know that they never play fair if they dont have to.. someone needs to put in place the proper regulations to keep them in check. In the meantime i suggest visiting credithelp321.com to learn what they know and alot of us dont.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  55. Scott

    Credit card companies are not all bad. In todays world it is next to impossible to walk into a bank and get a loan for several thousand dollars. A credit card (charge card) is a portable bank and are lending money at the speed of a swipe. This is nothing new. Shouldn't blame the companies, they aren't making you use it. Why aren't you using your ATM/Debit card? Most likely because the funds aren't available to keep you in the life style you want. Live within your means America.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  56. Vince DiNapoli

    Absolutely. I dont get it. How does any credit card company expect to make any money when they delve into your past without your knowledge and attempt to dig out any financial skeleton in your closet they can find. They wont trust us, the consumer, but judging by this and the rest of theyre behavior in the past few years, WE cannot trust THEM!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  57. J Brian

    My wife and I have had a chase credit card for 20 yrs our rate was 7.75% we have never been late and I received a letter last month that they are rasing our rate to 19.99 %. They get our taxpayer money at a low rate and then jack up the rates back to us. This is just not fair.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  58. Tom, Albuquerque, NM

    These credit card companies are nothing but thieves. They charge an high interest rates and when you are purchasing items within your mean in this economy they lower your credit rating because people don't want to drown in debt. How about these credit card companies/banks that took billions of dollars from the U.S. Tax payer they didn't see their credit rating go down and they couldn't even write a check without it bouncing they had to turn to the U.S. tax payer to bail them out. Well where is our bail out? Help us out Credit card companies don't chop the consumer at the knees because and you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  59. Adrienne55

    This is outrageous! You can go to the dollar store and come out with $100.00 worth of items. With the economy being as it is. They should not be going through people's places were they shop.
    Walmart? Come on people are trying different ways to work around what they usually spend. Credit card company's are the pits!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  60. Barry Melton

    The current screening practices of credit card companies has reached levels far beyond absurd. I'd like to see supporting data that the privacy invasions they are performing (and likely selling) has any merit whatsoever in their ability to predict the future of consumers. They are in the business of risk, and they will always have that, no matter how far they go. This is ridiculous of the cc companies, and they should have government sanctions against them to regain control of their unregulated behaviors.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  61. Scott

    The best way to foil industrual privacy intrusion is to live within your means. Trash your credit cards. I can think of only two items that justify using credit ... a new car and a house, and both mortgage companies and auto dealers are egar to issue credit.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  62. Steve

    Absolutely, they have gone too far! And AMEX is one of the worst examples. Late last year AMEX terminated business capital lines across the board by eliminating capital lines for 10s of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of small businesses like mine. And this even though NEVER A LATE PAYMENT. Now AMEX is circling back with their OPEN Forum campaign – "A New Chapter for Small Business". Nice, slick marketing but where was AMEX when all of us small businesses need AMEX to stand with us last fall? AMEX was taking taxpayer money from the U.S. Treasurey with its right hand while sticking it to small busineses with the other.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  63. Ben

    If you don't want a credit card company snooping in your life then don't get a credit card. Try not paying your taxes and see how far the Federal government will go. Bottom line, you are borrowing money from the credit card company, so they do get to set the rules. Ignoring the risks of lending is how we got into this mess in the first place.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  64. Elizabeth

    The last time I checked, I was allowed to keep, cancel or switch credit card companies. If you don't want them looking into your spending habits, cancel the card.
    Its called choice.
    Credit companies are a business. They are not a social service that exists just because you are a nice person. They need to assess risk and earn money in order to survive and compete.
    Again, if you don't like the policies, cancel your card.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  65. George Marquis Smith

    THIS is the appropriate time/place to mention the Obama administration's intention to work for an agency to oversee consumer protection in the financial services market.

    We've needed this for a very long time. It's obvious that every time those in the financial services industry come to a fork in the road, they take the path that favors THEM at the consumer's expense.

    "People do what you INSPECT, not what you EXPECT!"

    Thanks.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  66. Rick

    The credit card companies are giving us the use of their money. Why do they not have the right to try and protect themselves from losses. Card holders who know they do not intend on ultimately paying the money they borrow. Let's paint the lender as the only villain. Pay cash.....

    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  67. DARRYL G

    i think its a shame what credit card company's and banks are pushing down our throats thier always demanding more and more ... if they can'thandle the let downs and defaults get out of the lending bizz... more intrest higher overdraft fee's more service charges.. when does it all end

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  68. jack McCarty

    Credit Card Companies are not so bad AS LONG AS YOU READ the FINE PRINT and stay on top of them. I beat them at their own game by jump starting my business startup with 0% deals. You can beat them if you manage them: read the fine print and pay on time.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  69. Deb

    Cutting credit based on spending or "other" people's spending? That's outrageous! Start using cash, people. If we all do it – the "spending habits" of these credit card corporations will be the ones under stress.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  70. Travis

    Opposite of divorce or job loss, another thing credit card companies don't care about are major life gains!!! Before I got my life together 5 years ago I had less than $3000 in debt from unpaid bills. Now that I make over $60,000 a year, I'm still being punished. Shortly after Chase took over WaMu, they cancelled both of my $3000 limit cards because basically, I was a WaMu card holder, regardless of the fact that I never used more than 30% of my balance, always paid more than the monthly minimum, etc. Now, I'm strictly cash. I don't need them charging me money for the same convenience I get from my debit card.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  71. Brian

    The assumption Gerri made is that how the CC companies make their decisions is transparent. How are you supposed to avoid these questionable methods for assessing risk without knowing what they are?

    I used to work at FICO. The reason FICO scores hold up in court when challenged is that they are based on proven population behaviors. I would doubt that someone making a valid purchase at a given merchant would hold up in court as a valid measure of credit risk. How do we know that AMEX isn't biasing their results based on if the merchant takes their CC? Again, there is no transparency and thus we can't really protect ourselves from unjust alterations to our credit agreements.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  72. Alexander Rea

    I'll DEFEND THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES! Deep in that fine print it states something to the affect that you the customer have no rights. Using a credit card is not a right bestowed upon you by the state. They are companies out to make a buck. You signed away your right back in college when you might have first started using a credit card. I'm no saint. I have debt too but it's no ones fault but my own. The card companies are out to make a buck and not carry the load of the 10% defaults. It's just good business. If you can't afford to buy something with cash then maybe you should not be buying it? I think it just comes down to self-governance.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  73. Eddie

    Shame on you Gerri, at the end of the day it's the person that has the credit card thsat is responsible for a company going into you're personel info, it's a credt card, if you pay on tome and keep up to date shouldn't that be enough?
    It's the c/c company that should be looked at Who thay give them to in the first place
    So what if you pay for a beer at a bar, doller store, does this effect company credit as well, if you take a cliente to resteraunt ??
    IF YOU PAY ON TOME IT SHOULDNT MATTER

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  74. Elizabeth

    Rediculous! Absorlutely absurd, What does it matter as long as you make your monthly payments on a timely manner.Remember when you apply for the credit card,they do not give you a list of "to shop and not to shop"places. Why do they care now?Come on now speak of invasion of a consumers privacy!!
    Thanks Tonny you are a great reporter have a great day.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  75. susan runkle

    Barclays just raised by rate to 23% stating I was late in the first payment I ever made one year ago. I know nothing abt this. They agreed to lower to 21% Woopie! I have excellent credit and I'm 62 yrs old. My American Express charges 7 something and my bank is at 7 something. I'm finished with Barclays.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  76. Adam

    I have been in college for about a semester now and I have been getting "preapproved" credit cards through the mail. Now I'm smart enough to not fall for the oldest trick in the book, but it's unbelieveable that your credit score is measured by the money you barrow and spend and not the money you save and manange. My advice to all young students is DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD!!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  77. shawn

    Where will the credit card companies be stopped? Will our social sites, like facebook and twitter, be the next considerable reason for our credit card changes? Statistics only go so far and can't predict everything.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  78. Don

    Tony,

    I had a consulting firm for 15 years and American Express lowered my credit limit without my knowledge which frequently caused me embarassment when I went over credit limit they adjusted. I found out later this reduction was due to both my age and reduced spending pattern. Don't ever trust what Amex tells you. I would never have an Amex card again or recommend them to anyone.

    They DO pry into your persoanl affairs regrdless of what they tell you.

    Don Burris – Bradenton, FL

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  79. Tom in Phoenix

    Are the Credit Card Companies engaging in illegal profiling here?
    Amex said they don't look at Where you are shopping in making credit decisions, yet that is one of the reasons they gave to the individual in your report. Why didn't you call them on that?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  80. Chuck (Texas)

    I have had a credit card with FIA cardservices for 5 years. I use it to run a small independent auto repair business. Now I was late for the first time in June and July of 09 due to customers not paying me, that balance was $3500.00. I payed it off in full and carried a $4.38 balance in August and they cut my credit limit for $10,000 to $900.00. When the citizens stand up to them and do something nothing will change. Thanks

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  81. Vicki Brooks

    Tony, I and my husband are both disabled. In 1999 I was facing so many problems due to our injuries I didn't know what to do. I did not want to go bankrupt and ruin our credit, so I took advantage of a credit card offer of 2.99% APR for the life of the loan, with a credit limit of $25,500. I consolidated almost everything except our mortgage on this card. I still had a balance on another card with the same company. They have let me keep the 2.99%, and put the other card on a Payment Plan, with only $68 payment a month,and 5 years to pay it off. I had to close that account, but it didn't hurt my credit rating or score. I have always paid my bills on time-they worked with me-and I am giving them credit for that! I respect them for that-they are Chase.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  82. Troy

    Amex cut my wifes credit limit from 10,000 to 3,500 after paying a hospital bill for surgery! After the cut, they strong armed us to make more purchases to return to the old limit. After 3,000 dollars of purchases, they still haven't raised it. What a joke.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  83. Joy

    AMEX is disgusting but I am outraged that your financial tip "girl" (and as a 50* year old woman I can say "girl)" would defend their actions. The man in your story had obviously made a habit of responsible financial behavior. Either your "girl" is not terribly aware of how entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the real world act or she's a mouthpiece for the banks. MANY people use AMEX and other business cards to keep track of deductible expenses. Not all business expenses happen in Office Depot and upscale restaurants. So CNN, why don't you hire a REAL financial reporter and let these kind "talking heads" go back to local morning talk shows?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  84. cami

    Banks are going to be closing and cutting credit alot more within the next few months: reason being most American people are sick of the way banks work and they are going to continue to stop paying towards their credit cards. Alot of us are just sick of credit and are not going to live our lives around our credit scores anylonger, if we can't afford something we just don't need it. The banks really have worse credit then most of us but I quess thats ok.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  85. Ken

    I don't understand how credit card companies are allowed to charge these absurd interest rates. I thought there were laws against loan sharking...how is this different? True, consumers rang up a bunch of debt. But, many who would normally be able to pay off their debt can't just because of the unfair interest rates.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  86. Rick

    Yes! I like many people had to learn this the hard way. The solution is easy...don't use them!

    Go Dave Ramsey!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  87. Carlo Iaboni (Toronto)

    I am in the business. You must use your credit cards differently during a recession. In good times, a credit card is a convenience. In bad times it is a safety net. Credit card debit is the debt of last resort in these times. If you don't want to cut your safety net, use your card only when you have no other choice.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  88. jadv

    I find Mrs. Willis' solution to be almost completely useless! The reality of the world we live in makes it impossible to not use a credit card. You must have one to rent a car, to get a hotel room, many convenience stores and gas stations in urban areas of high crime no longer take cash as a safety precaution. It seems as though these policies of credit card companies are legalized discrimination. I wonder if shopping in a hispanic or black neighborhood makes them more likely to reduce your limit?
    It used to be people paid cash for a car, for a tv. The availability of credit has allowed consumer prices to rise to a point where now you must use credit to buy these things. My grandparents used credit to buy only one thing in their entire life... their house! Now, I am offered 3 year financing on a refrigerator!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  89. dewey berglund

    tony; the government really screwed up by turning these money giants loose. i recently had three credit cards closed because i didn,t use them enough!!!! i'm self employed and drive big truck for a living. i am not making big money like everyone thinks!!! the economy has hit the trucking industry hard! no sales no freight too move!! the banking industry caused most of this recession all by them selves by being greedy!! the ones that failled most likely deserve it. our president needs to be more informed about "we thelitlle people" I have been trying to get ahead by cutting back ,just like the rest of our country! Try to get a mortage right now! better have 600 pages of your life history to go with that application,i had too!! been 18 months and still no finalle??????? keep up the good work!! Dewey berglund minnesota

    September 28, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  90. Dimetria

    Credit card companies help customers get into these situations by offering large credit limits and the moment customers get into distress they kick you out of the door. Use the credit cards for emergencies and pay for everything else with cash.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  91. Artie

    Its silly to simply say, "Dump the cards." Unfortuately real life no longer works that way. Try to book a hotel or flight without a card. The card companies love to market slogans like "Dont leave home without it" or "everywhere you want to be"...give me a break, they took big fees for years, and like an illegal crap game operator, they packed up when they started losing. They took the bank bailout money pretty fast without as much as a thank you. When will they tell us the EXECT formula for FICO or is that another "heads we win, tails you lose bet" that the card companies make? Its time for regulation of an industry that can make or break our existances.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  92. Charles Sherman

    Have credit card companies gone too far? I'm not sure but I think recent events have forced transparency without CYA program policy.

    One thing we know for certain. Those of us who pay on time and in full have long been referred to as "DEADBEATS". Why? Because we do not allow the usury rates they charge but we do provide the commission on the merchant charge which is almost similar to factoring (another high profit game). In my case, through business I charge over $100k annually. That equates to about $2300 to $3100 annually for a "less than 30 day float" on around $8,500.

    I recently applied for a new card to another "well known bank" and advised that I pay my statements in full on or before due date. They replied that they do not provide credit lines under these terms. Have letter – will publish.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  93. Louise

    I purchased gas last night in Mebane, North Carolina for $2.15 per gallon. This was not at just one station but several in that area. I live about 20 miles from this city and the gas in my area is at an average of $2.47 per gallon. Just like purchasing anything, people need to shop around to find lower gas prices.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  94. Lloyd

    Have Credit Card Companies Gone Too Far?

    They sure have! First they lure us in with lower than normal interest rates, coupled with higher than normal credit limits, while constantly encouraging us to spend way beyond our means. Then when we fall for the pitch, the credit card companies change the rules mid-steam by raising those rates, lowering our limits, and basically leaving us out to dry. People should simply stop paying! Sure! Not paying would mean bad credit for us. But if we all did that, it would also mean no credit card companies, because there would be no one left for them to rip off.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  95. Anthony

    I just wrote a letter to the President yesterday about the credit legislation and a statement I just received from a bank. The statement did not have any charges as I did not use the card last month. Instead, there were 6 fees on the bill and the rate was raised to 30%. When I verified a $200 payment to them, they said that they were holding it for 14 days and wouldn't allow credit even though the automated system said I had available credit. The check cleared my bank 2 weeks ago. The President, Banks, and Corporate America are all responsible for the financial raping of American citizens!

    When it comes down to it, no one will care what our credit score was when we are dead. Life will go on without us. I tell the American people to fight back against this fraud!

    Anthony/South Jersey

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  96. Lindsey

    This report about AMEX cutting credit limits was a relief for me that I’m not alone. I received a letter last week that they cut my credit limit from $18,000 to $6,000 which is fine except that I have $7,000 on my card and now have no line of credit. My AMEX is used for my sales job, completely reimbursable, I have a credit score of over 750, and now I have to have a conversation with my superiors as to why I can’t afford that next plane flight to meet with customers until the company reimburses me

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  97. Dana

    Why would you be mad at the credit card companies. Our last president gave all our money to them so they can use it against us at 20-30% rates. Just think if the people got together and greased the guys upstairs they would look out for us. But WOW, we do. We pay their salaries and pensions. We are a bunch of idiots. This isn't a conflict of interest is it? Dana

    September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  98. rpoling

    Amex is particularly out of control! Last week I emailed them to find out how to move a couple of current charges to my Sign & Travel (extended pay) account online. I'd done it before but they'd revised their website and I couldn't find the right link. They emailed back the next day and said they were no longer allowing me to use my sign and travel – they cancelled it the day AFTER I asked about it. But I'd already charged the items knowing I had the option of paying over time if I wanted it but now they won't honor it! They checked our credit and while it's not bad there is one new late pay on our mortgage. It is from January when the lender we were refinancing ran out of money and wasn't able to close in time (after of course telling us not to make our payment because that would screw up the payoff). Every person I spoke with at Amex (one customer service rep and two supervisors) agreed it wasn't right but all they could tell me was that no matter who I talked to no one in the company could help me. They then sent me a letter dated the day after my inquiry freezing my sign and travel account. I've been a customer since 1983 and yet they couldn't help me with just 3 charges – a vet and two home improvement stores – totalling less than $700. All they would do was offer to transfer me to their credit workout department!! Right. Sure. That will only make it worse. It's not that I don't have the money, just that I'm trying to keep more cash on hand in this economy.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  99. alfred ross

    I had a credit limit with 15,100 dollars i closed it a few months ago my balance is 4,509 now interest rate went to 17.99 have being paying on time every month they are now charging me 68.00 dollars on this amount a month. My credit rating is 864 this is putting a lot of pressure on people that can not afford this !

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  100. Michael

    If credit card companies want to reduce my credit line for using them at the dollar store and walmart then we should use the banks credit card logic backwards when using the credit card. Shop at walmart and the dollar store then buy three high price items from the highter type department stores, then the credit limit should go up by at least 3000 dollars using there own model.
    .

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  101. Vicki Brooks

    Oh yeah, Tony–I forgot to mention, that the one they put on a payment plan was reduced from 3.99% to 2.00% APR. They just want to make sure they get what is owed them, and I can't blame them for that! Vicki

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  102. Ed Broomell

    Absolutely the banks have gone too far. Considering the fact that
    they took taxpayer money & received it with very, very interest rates
    if any.
    Then turn around & double interest rates, while also stating that they are going to be a variable rate! Bank Of America has been the largest
    offender. So much for putting money into the consumers hands
    that have been hurt by the recession. The recession may be ending but there are a lot of people who have been devastated by it.

    Then the banks turn around & make a bad situation worse!

    Ken Lewis .....How do you sleep at night? Ummmm, probably
    very well because you have no conscience.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  103. Tim

    It may be an inconvenience, that a credit company won't loan the amount that an individual may want or feel they are due at the time money is needed, but then again, it is the credit companies money and I can't dictate their loaning practices or the risk the credit company should take.

    To complain sounds a bit like a child dictating to a parent that "the parent has to make a decision the way the child wants them to".

    In the end, the customer has to deail with the new restrictions and the credit company will likely miss out on opportunity to collect the interest for the monies not lended. It is the credit companies right to determine how much risk they are willing to, and should, take.

    As a consumer, my responsibility is to react in a productive way that is the best solution for me. I will just have to retrain myself to operate more on a cash basis where I can.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  104. Dianne Carder

    Yes ! They have gone too far going beyond your credit score to determine limits. Once a credit card is approved, what you use the card for should be private as long as it is legal and the cardholder is paying payments are described in original application agreement. Being a nurse, I would hate to think that we changed our 'minds' on how we decided to care for patients because of their past or present conditions or history. It's like the credit card issue, a patient comes in sick, we help them to our ability. We ask credit companies for help, they agree to allow us credit. Investigating circumstances of our lives should not be allowed for monitoring accounts. We should have some respect and privacy so that everyone is not trying to keep track of everything we do in life. People use credit cards for different reasons; for me, its a backup for urgent or emergency situations that I don't have enough cash for. My payments are paid on time; that should be sufficient and good faith for the credit card companies.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  105. Kristy S

    So now they are going to punish people for being responsible? People are trying to save money by shopping carefully at discount stores, etc. They are saving money to save for their children to go to college ( the prices for that keep going up) and are just trying to live within their means. Should that warrant the credit cards that ability to judge us? No! I think they just want us to be more in debt instead of being responsible consumers. Shame on them!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  106. Brian

    Everybody seems to forget that credit card companies are profit-seeking corporations, not charities that exist solely to augment your buying power. If you really hate credit card companies that much, don't do business with them. The same stores that accept credit cards also accept check/debit cards, and cash is pretty much universally accepted. It seems like most of you that are having problems either don't read the fine print or have WAY too many credit cards in the first place. I don't think that what the credit card companies are doing is right, but if more of us cut up our cards and closed our accounts (instead of whining that we are getting slammed for being overextended), they might change their ways.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  107. Ed Broomell

    The American People are being subjected to Loans shark
    tactics.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  108. rpoling

    By the way, the person who wrote "First off this is a very old news report and in May 2009 President Obama signed the Credit Card Consumer ’s “Bill of Right’s” that prevents this type of action by Credit Car Companies." is wrong – that Bill of Rights doesn't go in effect until February 2010 – that won't help me now!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  109. Norman Daniels

    Deal with credit card companies or deal with the Mafia. There is no difference in how they operate. The only difference between the two is that credit card companies are legal and the Mafia is not. The credit card companies have brainwashed the public into believing that we can not survive without credit. That is not true. I have not had a credit card in over 40 years. Pay everything with cash or check and I get to keep all the money that would otherwise go to interest payments. Get smart, cut up your credit cards and bid the credit card companies farewell. Unless you don't mind giving a portion of your paycheck to the credit card company each month.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  110. cami

    The credit card companies are breaking laws maybe we the people should take them to court for 1. Unconscionable Trade Practice 2. Unjust Enrichment 3. Breach of Contact and showing a Partial failure of Consideration. These are laws that are set to protect we the people.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  111. James Granfield

    Don't know what country your living in , but this has been going on since credit crards were first used to track you spending habits, etc..
    Paying in cash is also tracked, those litte plastic cards the stores give you to lower you price of goods, once swiped by checker, the store knows what you buy and all that goes with it, Americans are the most spied on people on the face of the earth. From the top of Government (IRS) to the 99cents store.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  112. Kay

    Thank you for this report. I want to point out to everybody’s attention that it was American Express, which did it. They did the same to me, and once I called them they refused to re-review there decision or my credit manually (you realize that it is a computer which is programmed to whatever they watch for and make those adjustments), saying that they make there review on there schedule and I can not request the review: my FICO is 769, I make 200k plus, do not have debt , except mortgage, have the same Amex for 11 years and was never late. No Visa or MC ever did to me.
    I am so discussed with Amex that would drop them if Costco would start to take some other card. Boycott AMEX everybody!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  113. Ken Robinson

    I just saw the report on the credit card company, American Express. This company created the scenario expressed in your piece with me. Every two years, I pay off my cards that are "credit cards". With AMEX, I had 4 cards, 2 personal (Green and Blue) and 2 business (Business Platinum Optima and Business Platinum). Only 2 were credit cards, the other two were charge cards. I recieved a call from the "Blue" people indicating fraud when I charged $15 for getting a boarding pass in Las Vegas. I tried to explain that it was a legitimate charge, but they cancelled the card anyway. It took them over 45 days to replace the card, but in the meantime, I paid a payment on the previous number, and the check was returned as "unknown account". After recieving the new card, I found that my credit line had been reduced from $55k to $45k because they said "..I didn't have the ability to pay, and that I'd missed a payment". They had prevented me from doing those two things, and subsequently cancelled the card, along with the other three cards. Mind you, I've paid all four cards to ZERO 1 year prior.

    Exactly 6 months later, I was sued by AMEX for over $12K more than I actually owed, without them giving me any opportunity to resolve the issues. They stated that my history "meant nothing" after being a member since 1976. I'm fighting the lawsuit, but under the current credit laws, my credit is already messed up for the next 7 years.

    AMEX did all of this after being bailed out by the Bush administration. Bank of America was next, as they sited the credit report that AMEX screwed up in the first place. One problem with BofA is that I owed them nothing, and they created an account, took monies from my business accounts ($1,000) to pay this made-up account, then charged the account off on my credit, despite my showing them that the account they were charging off wasn't mine!

    Like you, I'M TIRED OF THESE COMPANIES! They affectively put me out of business.

    Thanks for listening...

    V/R,

    Kenneth Robinson

    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  114. F. Carl Mahoney

    The whole "industry" is based upon voodoo economics. Putting aside the notion that the practices have an unseemly odor of invasion of privacy that is prohibited in most spheres of American life, the only behavior that ought to matter is the actual past behavior of any given person with the issuers of credit who entered into a legal contract with that person. Thus, if an individual fails to honor the terms of his agreement with ABC credit corp., it becomes legitimate to have the agreement reviewed and for a new business decision to be made. Nothing but a person's past behavior can be said to predict with any validity what his future behavior is going to be. The legions of green eyeshades behind the type of predictions based upon whether you charge 50 bucks at a dollar store or entertain Japanese clients and pay the tab at a bar are unscientific and wrong. This crowd should be constrained from applying such ridiculous and indefensible snake oil methods.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  115. Kyle

    enlighten me if i'm wrong but American money is already loaned with interest from the reserve? credit companies also ask for interest. So in fact it will double the overall debt, which will lead to things like credit companies checking accounts to help lower the overall debt but it does not solve the main problem, debt overall. I use cash. American currency is accepted where ever i go. Let the public control our own currency and base it on American supply and demand.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  116. Bonner Sawyer

    Check this out,

    I run a small company, I had a card with a 15k credit line, I had used this card just for my company. I would make large purchases then when my customer paid me I would pay off the card. I kept a running balance or about 6 to 7 k with 11 to 12 k spikes. All of the sudden the card company cut my limit on this card from 15 k down to 7K at the time I had a 8K balance this made me over the limit and they demanded payment, charged "Over Limit" fees. I took operating captial out and paid down the card to below the new 7k limit. Next every other card I had personal and business dropped limits across the board. This caused my score to drop. Then some raised interest rates because I was in a "high risk group" The next dirty trick was to change due dates, I have all of my card payments setup to pay automatically each month from my bank account so the due date changed I did not catch it because I pay more than the minimum and had not been using cards I had not looked at the card statements, so now I have late payments and late charges this caused higher interest rates, now I am just able to make the minimum payments because they changed the % of the total debt required for minimum payment . Round and Round it goes they are short sighted and will cause more defaults with the tricks they play.

    So my advice is watch all of your accounts like a hawk every month for changes, they want to use every trick they can to make more money before the new card laws go in to effect Feb. 2010 . The game changes and the rules change so we have to out smart them and read the rules every month

    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  117. John G.

    The actions of Amex were totaly devistating to me. I was making huge monthy payments and being very responsible. These actions should be illegal. I've even read that my credit score could drop because of these new rules. Is congress going to step in?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  118. stephen hodges

    I really have no problem with this. We have been complaining banks aren't being diligent enough. Now we are complaining they are too diligent.

    Card companies have been checking transaction usage for fraud detection reasons for years.

    Whether you like it or not your card behavior is a better predictor of risk than the credit score. Not allowing banks to use this information will result in higher losses which will be passed on to ALL customers in the form of higher pricing.

    Why don't we focus instead on the stupidity of consumers who take credit and then don't pay back?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  119. Susan

    Aren't insurance companies violating the Health Information Privacy Act (HIPPA) when they analyze usage at doctor and counseling offices? HIPPA protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information – why isn't this maintained when you use a credit card? Billing information about you at your clinic, doctor, counselor etc. is supposed to be protected...maybe who you are paying needs to be masked from the credit card companies!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  120. Cinda

    I was paying up to 200% more than the minimum due every month and I have a excellent credit rating – BofA gave me two options – 1) I could freeze my balance at 7.99% and no more purchases or 2) continue to use my card at their new 12.99% rate – Why did BofA do this? They did it right after they got their bailout and right after they bought my mortgage company "Countrywide" and saw my debt ratio – you see, BofA got my tax dollars via the GOVT and then saw that my house had been over-valued by Countrywide. Result – I now have a worthless credit card I can't use anymore because I'm not going to pay BofA a higher interest rate! Big banks – I hat them all and they shouldn't be allowed to put such a burden on those of us who have an excellent credit rating.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  121. Jacquelene

    Tony,
    these credit card companies are getting rediculous! They have to keep in mind that if they keep over analyzing credit info, they will lose good customers to competitors. Now they begin to analyze consumer expense report? responsible customers cut back spending by shopping at less expensive retail stores because they want to save more. what's wrong with that? these customers will get penalized for being responsible?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  122. Michael Thomas

    They have my money already, $700 billion. The American people should have seen a reduction on the loan interest rates, as part of our stimulus package. Instead we saw an increase. When I took a Political Science class in the mid 70's the instructor said that the most powerful groups in America are the banks, insurance companies and the Auto companies. If you buy a car, on credit, you have the banks, the insurance companies and the auto companies looking into your life. You will find that they already have the answers about your life. The caller ID gives them info on you and the address gives them a host of info on your life. When they ask you questions about yourself they already know the answers, due to the phone number and home address!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  123. Jackie van Wienen

    Tony get this...

    I received my Macys bill on a card I've had for 15 years and has a $500 balance. I've been paying the interest plus $25 each month. I'm a realtor in Las Vegas. Last month I received a letter in my statement, informing me that as of Nov 3, 09. my interest will be raised from 24.99 to 30% and if I choose to opt out, my card will be canceled and payment in full must be made. RU kidding me?? I am paying it off Oct first, will cancel it and never shop there again!

    Keep giving them hell Tony, we love you and appreciate the voice.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  124. Debra Kelley

    When the credit crisis hit, the bank slashed my credit card limit from $40,000 (that's not a typo) to $2,000, even though I paid off the card every month. I found out the hard way that when a bank reduces your card limit, your FICO score goes down. For me, that meant I was unable to refinance my home for 14 months.

    I raised my FICO score by obtaining two more credit cards from different banks, and successfully refinanced my home in July.

    Is any part of my story logical? Of course not, the Keystone Cops are in charge now.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  125. Samantha

    if this is true, tony, then I believe we're all being watched and the financial companies are big brother! Cutting credit based on WHERE you shop sounds like a civil rights issue. Maybe you should have Jeff Toobin on for comments on this one?!
    Maybe I'd be better off living in a country that admits to being somewhat socialist???

    September 28, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  126. Alex

    Recently I received a a follow up card from my Credit Union which asked me to rate my recent visit. Problem is I did not visit them in over a year. I do have a credit card with them and thought it may be from that.

    After checking my free credit report I found this Credit Union had run a credit check on me, without my knowledge, two days before the visit mentioned above and also eighteen months before. This appeared to suggest Identity Theft.

    When I asked the Credit Union about this it took a long time for them to come up with any kind of answer. Their response is that they did a "Soft Credit" check for a promotion they were to offer me and it would not impact my credit.

    I asked if this could be stopped,

    FYI: I never did anything with their promotions but shred them and throw them away. I am happy with the services that I signed up for and do not want any more but was told that's the way it is done.

    Has this scenerio happened to anyone else?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  127. Larry

    Whats next??? lowering my limit because of where my ten year old grand daughter may shop when she reaches age 20???? These guys are loan sharks in gleaming towers.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  128. David aikens

    We used credit cards most of our lives,we are now retired.just think of how much money that could be saved if we just put away the interest payed.
    I hear the talking heads about how important it is to use credit cards to keep your credit score high,that is bull.Those people that is talking that way gets something from those banks.....
    I payed off our cards and now i have extra cash in a savings acc.as a back up.
    I use a checking debit card.We make sure we have the money to pay for what we want.If we have to take money out of our savings then we pay it back as quick as we can. In other words we set up our own credit card company(mine).no interest......
    A good bank such as fifth third will or can set you up with a flex line acc. They will give you credit limit.Use this only as an emergence.
    CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARDS>>>>>

    September 28, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  129. Jessica

    Please get rid of that woman (or make her apologize) who spoke with Tony & told him that its our fault if credit card companies are looking at what we buy to judge us as card owners. In these times you're paying her for this job?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  130. Robert Stokes

    Credit card companies have the right to look at whatever information they have at their disposal. They are making unsecured loans. If you do things that make them think they will lose their money, they don't have any kind of moral obligation to loan it to you.

    On the other hand, they are a business. If you don't like their business practices, then don't give them your business. Give your business to companies that treat you well.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  131. Robert

    Consumer Profiling, kind of like Racial Profiling, Only the financial institutions are now able to ruin your life with one stroke of the key because you chose to buy from Wal-Mart instead of Macys. Where is the justice in allowing these practices by the very institutions that put us into this mess in the first place. Fair, that was the place I remember my folks taking me to once a year to have fun and enjoy the carnival atmosphere. Where is the fairness in allowing Corporate America to get away with this.
    GAS PRICES; Why is it when you guys report falling gas prices, you sugar coat it with the stats from last year, what about the prices from 2-years ago? What about the stats pre-hurricane katrina, when the perfect storm for the oil companies gave them the opportunity of a lifetime to push the envelope to its limits on the american consumers. First time in the history of the industry to post "BILLION DOLLAR PROFITS", first time in its history a by-product from the production of gasoline, Diesel Prices surpassed gas by over 200%, Planes, Trains, Trucks, Ships, Military, etc., the largest consumers of Diesel Fuel helped this industry post those profits at the cost of the american consumer. Cost of goods and services to get to the consumer, more than doubled in less than a year passing on this cost to the consumer. Now we are in a Recession, the cost of delivering goods and fuel cost have dropped, but not the cost of goods and services? "The Down Sizing of America", thats what I call buying a product in the same size package, but the amount of product in that package has been reduced, has anyone bothered to look into that. It seems that people are either blind to this, or simply don't see what companies are doing to increase there bottom line. If they pay the same price for the product, how are they going to notice a 2oz reduction in content? But if you the media, who are suppose to be watching out for the consumers as most people think, or is it the advertisers who are in control of what you report on and to whom you give information.
    SSA; I am confused on the announcement by the SSA that we won't be receiving a cost of living raise for the next 2-years, because they don't see a rise in the cost of living to justify it. What FANTASY ISLAND DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE ON...... Can your money people help me to understand this.
    Robert

    September 28, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  132. ricktoman

    most of the banks in the mannor in which they obtained money from the gov. have not used it the way for which it was intended, to help the small investor. all they did was shore up their own portfolios. along with that they havefattened profits by hiking credit fees to exorbant rates they want no risk we the people should put them oout of business by cutting up the cards and sending them back

    September 28, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  133. Harry

    It is despicable to see how these credit companies cheat and deceit the consumers that bailed them out.
    I have worked with these companies and have paid enough attention to their way of operating.
    1- First of all they do not like you to use the card and pay off the balance at the end of the month. Why? Because they do not make any money except a small 2.5% of the purchase price sharing it with credit service providers. They love for people to keep balances and pay high interest.
    2- They constantly change the due dates to confuse the consumer and charge them $35 for late fees.
    3- They use a third party information, whether right or wrong to raise the rate on consumers.
    4- They will allow you to go over the limit by a few dollars to charge you over limit fee of $35.
    5- Last but not least they love for the consumers to default on their cards. Why? Here is why. Imagine you having a balance of $5000. When you default, they start charging you late fees, then over limit fee and a default rate of 24.99% to 34% every month and depending when they close the books, and report this loss as tax deduction this amount can add up to two or three times the amount owed. And then they will sell this account to a collection company for pennies on the dollar on the final account balance, which could be three or four times the original amount of $5000.

    WHY WOULD NOT THEY LOVE FOR YOU TO DEFAULT? MAY BE SOME OF THE EXPERTS CAN LET US KNOW.

    Harry

    September 28, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  134. C.Walter

    Tony
    Gerry is on the wrong side of truth & justice on this one. I had four cards. Three of them increased my rate to 18% even though I paid on time, usually two weeks early and twice the required amt. Yes, I did call & point out I was one of their best customers and they agreed, refused to lower the rate and in essence said have a nice day. One did maintain the rate- 10.99%. I had been using the cards mainly for business expenses related to real estate in order to survive and continue to work. I have paid off one card completely. (They cancelled the card when I would not agree to the new rate). I am well on my way to paying off another.
    My new motto-pay as you go, if you can,t pay don,t go. Thank you for your attention to their despicable practices. CW Dover De.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  135. Kate

    Credit is our generation's opium. Just as the Chinese in the 1800s were powerless to protect themselves from the corrupt powers who profited from creating the opium trade, we too have become powerless victims of powerful, corrupt financial institutions who created and now control our credit "habit." It's time for a real tea party. Dump those cards and live free.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  136. Dorothy klinger

    I was shocked to hear the negative comments about credit cards. My husband and I are both retired with pensions and we use them all the time; even at dollar stores. I have many credit cards. Some of them I receive miles and I now have enough miles to travel abroad. I am paying off a debt that my daughter incurred with 0% interest. I have gotten the $24,000 debt down to $14,000 in three years rolling the debt to a new 0% interest credit card each year. I have the mimimum payment deducted from my checking account.

    I have another credit card that I can use for large purchases because they charge no interest. If it is $99 or more I have 3 months to pay with no interest and if it is over $200 I have 6 months to pay with no interest.

    One of your viewers wrote that they are in charge of the game. Play by their rules and we can be the winner.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  137. Mike in Alabama

    Tony,
    I think that if the credit card companies consider some these businesses so risky that it impacts your credit score, they should provide the card customer a complete list of business to avoid. Perhaps we need more federal oversight of the credit card companies; a lot more.
    Mike in Alabama

    September 28, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  138. Henry

    They have gone way too far!
    Cutting credit is not the only thing that these scammers have done!
    When you buy a service on line they allow some scamming company to automatically re-charge and re-scribing you for this service without you even knowing or asking for it.
    Then if you protest that you didn't ask for this charge the companies are allowed to send a bad mark to your credit score and then the credit card companies use this to downgrade your service with them.
    It is pure extortion!
    The mafia has nothing on these thieves do they?
    Government stops loan sharking so why haven't they jailed some of these credit card executives or fined the banks who allow this crooked behavior? This behavior is not isolated but is found everywhere. It is common practice!
    Another trick that is used involving credit card companies is for a company to advertise a product and offer a sample for free but you must pay for the shipping..OK, but it requires a credit card to ship it. When they get your card number they automatically ship this product to you each month charging you full price of course, without you ever asking for or wanting the product.
    When you try to get this stopped you can never get anyone “with the authority” to stop it. Then when you refuse to pay for it the credit card company again uses this as criteria to down grade your credit score and worse yet you can end up with collection companies on your but if you don’t pay up!
    Tricks, tricks and more tricks! I have no sympathy for banks who are in trouble with defaulting credit card customers! The customer has very little recourse other than to withhold their payments to even the score dealing with these thieves in three piece suits!
    Our government should not help them but conduct a full investigation into their racketeering behavior and start issuing indictments!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  139. Mardell Princen

    I shop at thrift stores that are supporting good causes. I see it as win win. Bigger bang for your buck, funds for charities, and if I should default, the monsters have made a contibution to the good.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  140. chelsea

    Credit Card companies started cutting credit lines last summer, right before the big "financial meltdown", and CNN is just now reporting on this.
    I can't believe CNN, would actually tell people to pay cash for bar tabs, so the CC companies won't think your jobless and drunk and cut your credit?
    Really?

    in 2005, the credit card companies, gave out bonus points for using a card from everything from groceries, to gas, to Louis Vitton bags, to bar tabs.
    Now it's the very reason they are cutting people off, wether a person really is having financial troubles or not?
    These are the very banks that got billions of tax payer money, and the first thing they did was cut off consumers credit. Almost tall of these companies have recorded record revenues in the first quarter of 2009.
    This is just the next chapter in Corporate America's fleecing of the masses.

    Everyone needs to stop thinking that your FICO score matters, stop paying the outrageous fees, and fight back!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  141. Darryl

    I used to work for the credit card department of one of the largest commercial banks in the country, where my job was to help forecast the amount of money the bank could make charging fees. This bank made over $1 million a DAY just on late fees. It was a stunning number. What was even more astonishing was the line-item on their financial statements estimating the amount of money lost due to death of card holders!!! They have some of the smartest people with graduate degrees in mathematics and statistics analyzing your spending patterns to ferret out profit opportunities. Sadly, I was not surprised by your story, Tony...I saw first hand how the bank operates myself. Working for the bank was an emotionally moribund experience. I would recommend paying in cash or use a debit card tied to your checking account, along with one gas card and one credit card with a $1000 limit.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  142. Darryl

    Don't utilize a credit card for ANY impulse buying! Maintain ONE credit card that can be universally used for an emergency. Use a debit card or pay cash for all other purchases. Say to yourself and mean it..." If I don't have the money today... I can't buy it today ".

    September 28, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  143. Mary Cat Young

    I'm not angry at the credit card companies (I pay mine off every month)
    I am furious at the CREDIT companies. Why are they given so much POWER? They affect any loan you try to get, my auto insurance, my homeowners insurance–and no surprise–credit card companies. I would wager that at any given time 25% of the information on these credit companies is flat WRONG! Because I have a common name mine is 50% wrong! But good luck trying to change the information. You have to jump through hoops like you can't imagine AND you CANNOT CALL THEM OR EMAIL THEM! If anyone wants to start a class action lawsuit against these power mongers, COUNT ME IN!

    September 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  144. Margaret

    Yes, Tony!
    Amex has long been discriminatory. When I first applied to Amex I was turned down because I was a women. Then I re-applied using only my initials & they magically gave me a card. Addressing it to "Mr ..." I had that Amex GOLD card for 29 years until they cancelled it last year. No late payments, 800 FICO. They requested to see my IRS TAX RETURN of 2 YEARS! "...to verify income & update their files..." It was around the time AMEX was applying to become a bank. I refused, they cancelled. I only use credit cards for convenience & advantage of low % offers, not liking to carry large amounts of cash. If AMEX & all credit cards would screen their applicants better instead of giving out cards too freely, there wouldn't be such a large problem. I think credit card companies want the holder to fail, then make money on charging higher interest rates. It is our obligation as consumers to live within our ability to pay/repay, and boycott any business or credit card company who uses unfair practices.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  145. V. Chuck Gilliam

    YES! Credit card companies are totally out of control! Those of you who have had your credit lines lowered and your interest rates increased, should refuse to pay one penny until they have restored your original lines of credit and interest rates.

    Personally, I would recommend that ALL CREDIT CARD USERS, QUIT PAYING ON THE CARDS!

    They are real quick to ruin your credit score by lowering your lines of credit, so why worry about your credit anymore? It is only the poor people that cannot afford to pay cash for their items that use credit cards in the first place and those are the very people that the rich Bankers prey on.

    If every one would refuse to pay their cards, maybe our Politicians will get up off their buttocks and reign in the Predatory Lenders so we can restore some economic stability and sanity in this country.

    Rest assured, by refusing to pay credit cards will not hinder your chances of buying an automobile or a home.

    This so-called democracy thrives on credit and those who hold security backed loans could care less about credit card debt.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  146. Debra

    This is an opportunity to remind others that every time they use their credit card, the fees the retailer has to pay increases the cost of doing business and makes the credit card company wealthier. In my retail business I noticed many young people rarely carry cash and often charge as little as $3.00.

    In the event of a power outage, natural disaster or sunspot storm credit cards could become useless. One should always have cash on hand, including smaller bills. During an earthquake in California, cash was required to buy anything and stores quickly ran out of change.

    And yes, if you pay your bills on time, that should be all that matters.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  147. Aris St. James

    Have credit companies gone too far? The two perspectives that count when considering the above issue are.the creditor and the debtor. And, when you really think about it every one of us has had the experience of BOTH. Having said that I say that YES, creditors and the credit bureaus have gone too far to the point where aggressive legal action must be taken to protect consumers privacy. Receiving credit should NOT be justification to wave a person's right to privacy. Consider the financial institutions and their meltdown due to not solely lending to consumers, but their spending habits e.g bonuses. We, that's right the “lame" creditors GAVE them money to get back on their feet. Which one of the banks bailed out has ever done that for consumers? And, just what was done with the bailout money? Since we Americans are now creditors do we have the right and opportunity to peer into the private lives of the companies we bailed out? I think not!

    September 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  148. charles

    Tony,
    Please report how these #$%# cards companies borrow their money to lend from the Federal Reserve ( which we tax payers guarantee ) and lend it out to 29%-39% COMPOUNDED plus FEES and PENALTIES All COMPOUNDED. They created this whole mess and deserve breakup and public suits. They are surreptitiously taking over our private lives and control of every aspect of our private information. They circumvent this by getting the borrower to relinquish all info when signing, surrendering all legal rights. I believe that our Name is our Brand and they have control of our BRAND. They should pay us for this information and it's use and be HELD LIBEL for miss-use in any way.Our Social Security number has been hijacked by these loan sharks and they should not be allowed to use a secure government assigned number as a universal credit tracking of individuals. It is all part of the Corporate Takeover of America. Please sunlight these crooks.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  149. Fred L. Johnson

    Hi Tony,
    I agree with all your points except one. This is because credit cards
    are a trap for too many people who consistently run a balance of owing with an unfavorable ratio of debt vs income. Onlly a sucker would incur the added debt of high interest payments for an item that could be purchased for cash at list prices. Buy what you can afford, for cash and to hell with the money lenders. Also, thank the banks for the favor they do you by estimating your rating, probably better than all debtors rate themselves. A sucker is born every minute.
    Fred Johnson

    September 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  150. jorge miami

    Banks have forced Americans into debt, they only way to raise your fico score was by obtaining credit though the same banks that were making millions in fees and charges. For many years Americans were being swindled and again banks are at there old games. How did Americans really benefit from the bank bailout? No Loans, No Money, No Credit and No Help, that’s what America got for there billions.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  151. George Marquis Smith

    Credit cards are not the problem. Miss use of credit cards is part of the problem. It is the part of the problem WE have control over.

    Benefits of credit cards are significant. In addition to convenience, it gives us a high degree of safety. If you lose your card, it's not like carrying/losing cash. We can make purchases online and by phone. If you make a purchase using your card and the product or service doesn't live up to the standard we were promised, we have a powerful advocate in disputing the charge depending on who issues the card. Many cards have an rebate/bonus program. You essentially have access to a loan that you have negotiated in advance. Especially in an emergency, you don't have to go through the process of applying for a loan. Your rate is significantly cheaper than those charged by "Payday Loans" loan sharking operations.

    Personal Responsibility is at an all time low in this country. For some reason we think "It's not my job." Collectively, Americans do a poor job of educating themselves in the area of money management. It IS our job, individually and collectively. In as much as we are "innocent" victims of predatory lending practices, we do have some control. Additionally, the Obama administration is trying to create a public watchdog for the financial services industry. Lets educate ourselves and contact our elected representatives to ask that they act in OUR best interest for a change.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  152. Charles Bosworth

    I was one of the first subscribers to the American Express credit card in 1958, over 51 years ago. Although I pay my bill every month, and on time, I received a call from American Express a few months ago saying they were not going to honor any more of my charges.The individual could not tell me why only that my card balance was too high. This person acknowledged that I paid on time but could not tell me why I was being cut off. I used to put everything on the card so I could use their rewards program. I made payments of $4000 to 6,000 every month but that wasn't good enough for them. They wanted me to pay the balance off. Banks, insurance companies and our elected officials (democrat, republican, independent, and at every level of government) make me naseous with their outright greed. They all make used car salesmen look like angels.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  153. Charles Sherman

    How about everyone in good standing with their credit cards do a "time-out"

    Let's say we pick BofA cards first. No Charges for the week of 11-23 through 12-1.

    Amex – 12-1 through 12-7

    Show the banks the power we have with merchant commissions.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  154. Dan

    People,
    Don't blame the credit card companies for your actions. If you wouldn't have gotten the "fantastic plastic" in the first place, this wouldn't happen. I got myself in to that mess with more cards than I can count. How stupid. I bought out of convenience, not realizing the future consequences.
    I am happy to say, since I cut my cards up, all I have left is 2 vehicle payments and mortgage.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  155. John

    Tony:
    American Express certainly does not have a crystal ball. Some time ago, they solicited me as a high net worth individual and persuaded me to sign up for an account for both my wife and myself. They charged me $60 per card and then proceeded to offer me only a $7500 credit limit. My wife can spend that in a single week! I provided them with bank statements showing liquid assets of over $10,000,000. My credit score is over 800. They still refused to increase my line above $7500. I promptly cancelled the account and demanded my $60 per card back. Now it amuses me that I regularly get further solicitations from American Express. My advice to anyone is to cancel their American Express Card immediately. Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted and generally do not charge an annual fee anyway

    September 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  156. Jerry

    Tony ,
    These card companies are what we let them be.
    I have one gas card to pay off, and I will start living like I was told to live 35 years ago . I thought my Grand father and father just did not understand the new world ,and it's ways. Yeah it took 35 years for it to sink in . That ,or they were both screaming down from heaven you dont need there credit. They are robin you blind.
    We all make mistakes , I wont make this mistake ever again. They credit card companies just lost this sucker . I am now have extra money ,and am doing a complete audit of all my past credit accounts . I want to be able to see exactly what I have been avoiding ,and for years have known in the back of my mind what these cards and credit accounts actually cost me over the years. I really just need to see that I could probably bought a house for what I have paid them.
    Best Regards
    Tony

    September 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  157. jorge miami

    Banks have forced Americans into debt, they only way to raise your fico score was by obtaining credit though the same banks that were making millions in fees and charges. For many years Americans were being swindled and banks are at there old games again. How did Americans really benefit from the bank bailout? No Loans, No Money, No Credit and No Help, that’s what America got for there billions.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  158. Fran Wilson

    Dear Mr. Harris,

    Thank you for raising this question. Because the incident involved an African American man, I must ask, "Is this another form of racial profiling?" If it isn't profiling, I wonder what companies the bank has invested in. Perhaps their customer was shopping at the competition?

    Best regards,

    Fran Wilson

    September 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  159. Justin

    Wow–lots of horror stories here. I'll take the opposing position just for the heck of it.

    I carry a few credit cards with moderate credit lines around $5000-$6000. I've never really had trouble with the companies. I am typically very responsible about paying them off every month, but occasionally, I do get a payment in a few days late–not because I don't have the money, but because I simply forgot to make the payment (typically, the due date was earlier than it was in previous months). Whenever this has happened, I've simply called the company, and they've waived any penalty, and it never shows up on my credit reports, nor has it ever affected my credit line. Then again, I typically keep fairly low balances.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  160. Muhammad Hassan

    I feel also a credit card company has gone too far. As always the good guys have to suffer. Bank of American down graded my $15000 credit limit to a $4800 limit with a $4600 balance after they had offer a balance transfer from other cards at a lower rate. Thougth that was a great deal. Thought the transfer was confirm. But the reality it never went thru. Than they down graded the limit. I have good credit. This has taught me a lesson. I need to always pay with cash. Bring down the debt. Get rid of the credit cards.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  161. V. Chuck Gilliam

    Some people making comments about, "it is the credit user" that should be more responsible and if you don't like what the credit card companies are doing then, "Don't get, nor use their cards".

    That sounds pretty simple except for those young people coming into the work force and NEEDING to buy things to survive can very easily be brainwashed by the higher educated bankers, and suckered into the "buy now pay later" philosophy. Once they are trapped into the 'credit merry-go-round' the predatory lenders know exactly how to keep them indebted for the rest of their lives.

    This not only pertains to the young people, it pertains to all people who do not possess the intellect to know that they are getting ripped off.

    That is pretty obvious when you consider how difficult it is, for a poor person, from a indigent background, to get into college. Many of the people who never attain a college degree are those who have never had enough hardly to live on; are high school drop outs, and look for a better life maybe by becoming a foot soldier to fight and die for the very ones who keep them at the bottom of the economic totem pole.

    It is no different than our so-called 'educational grants' given to us as a result of the State Lotteries. It is only the poor people who buy tickets by the billions of dollars worth across the country. The very ones who can least afford to buy a ticket are supporting those rich people who never buy a ticket.. With the odds against winning being so astronomically high, most poor people who buy the tickets are totally unaware that their chances of getting hit by lightning is better than winning the lottery. That one lucky person in 176 million or more, that does win, is of course the ONLY ONE benefiting enough to get himself and his family out of the gutter, and perhaps generations of his future offspring, will one day be competitive with the existing power structure in their time.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  162. Moreno

    Tony,
    I do understand that credit is a luxury, however I believe the credit companies have gone too far with their new policy. Without knowing the underlying circumstances regarding your purchase, who are they to decide your "risk-level". Analyzing risks usually involves gathering as much information as possible, they couldn't possibly know what the circumstances are regarding your purchase, so how do they even consider this "risk-analysis"?
    Shame on them... again taking advantage of the limited regulation we have coming from our elected leadership in Washington D.C.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  163. Cathie Black

    That's why I will be an old women with a million dollars sewn into my mattress! I have never owned a credit card and never will no matter how hard they try to force me to get one!

    September 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  164. Dan

    People know what they're getting into when they sign up for a credit card. The information is provided in the paperwork. Credit card reform isn't needed; people reading the paperwork they're signing is needed.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  165. Lisa

    I never had late fee, over limit fee or anything that usually triggers an increase in interest rates, but every credit card I have raised my interest rate 5-7 points. I closed the accounts. BOA and Chase are the worst.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  166. Natalie

    I had built up a credit line throughout college that got too high and am now paying it all off and living very frugally. Chase just finally cut my $9k line down to $2400 because I finally learned to stop using it and I feel they finally learned to stop giving me the unneccessary and excessive line. (I also have two Bank of America's I'm paying off, am unemployed and barely able to make my private health insurance payments)

    September 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  167. Rob

    As badly as we want to attack the credit card companies for being overbearing, we must remember that a having a credit card is a privilege and not a right. As long as the loaner doesn’t discriminate in their handling of customers, they can do whatever they want as long as it’s stated in their agreement. This is why we need to stop using them and go to cash or debit cards.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  168. Kevin

    As a former Credit and Collections Analyst for a NYSE affiliated corporation I am outraged by a political system that seeks to fix it's problems by extending a line of credit to a broken system, this offers the idea that spending more than what you're worth is either acceptable or responsible. A comprehensive education program is needed, implemented as a mandatory course teaching High School seniors about what it means to use credit cards. The fact that predatory lending practices often go unchecked and illegal collection practices by collection agencies are overlooked in favor of the large corporations is a sad fact that should be addressed now, considering these issues have led to the collapse of our economic stability.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  169. Michelle Sanders

    Credit card companies need to pull up they already control us by giving us a card, charging us over the limit fees. When I was working I was VIP now that I'm in the ranks of the unemployed now I'm UD-C (Undesirable-Consumer). I asked for a payment plan with Premier and because I couldn't make the payment date they refused to help me and cancelled my plan. How is that helping me while I am down and out go figure.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  170. Dan

    Fran,
    Why does it have to be "racial profiling"? It doesn't matter if you are black, white, hispanic, blue, yellow, purple. The credit card companies are going after ALL with equal opportunity.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  171. Kevin

    Not only the credit card buesness but I heard the Insurance companies are starting to use credit score to adjust premium. This might be something to look at. So your credit score is low your premium is high?

    September 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  172. Brett

    The inability of the majority of Americans to adequately analyze their ability to fulfill their financial obligations is precisely the problem that got us into our current situation. Financial institutions are doing precisely what we've asked them to do: protect the financially responsible few from the financially irresponsible masses. If you have recently begun shopping at discount retailers and started marriage counseling...and suddenly need another credit card?! ...You almost certainly don't have the resources to repay your debt.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  173. Linda

    I fully support companies pulling back on limits or cutting off credit if the cardholder is not paying their bills or their FICO score drops. However, if it is true that behavior in spending is monitored, than I worry that they are becoming too intrusive. I understand the need to protect themselves from those who are or become credit risks but there have got to be better ways to access that than by whether someone goes to marital counseling or starts charging alcohol on credit cards. I'd really like to hear the credit card company's side of the story.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  174. Kristen Shaffer

    Absolutely Not. These banks grant you a line of credit and take a risk that they might not ever get their money back from you, especially in this economy. These 'evil beings', as people often like to look at them, did not have to grant you a line of credit in the first place and they actually did you a favor in allowing you to live above your means. Those banks have the right to cut your line of credit or examine your purchases at their discretion, at any given time to take steps necessary to cut risks and prevent losses.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  175. Fred Miller

    I think something has to e done to stop the stranglehold credit Card Companies such as: Bank of America, Chase, American Express, Sears and a few others have on the American People. Its Criminal..
    I have excellent Credit; and i have had my Credit limits Sladhed from $24,000 to $16,000. I have had my interest rates thrippled by the Companies mentioned above. I have been charged $15.00 t0 $30.00 to call in payments on my own accounts.
    I think the recent Credit Cards bill of Rights is far to weak. Its a joke.

    Fred Miller

    September 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  176. Kristen Shaffer

    I find it interesting that so many people are using the word "Steal" in reference to credit card companies. How is this stealing when they didn't force you to open a credit card, nor did they force you to use it. In fact, these companies are extremely up front with you in your 'cardholder agreement' that you have to sign upon opening the card. It is your responsibility to read those terms and if you do not agree with them then be responsible enough with your own finances to not live above your means. No one is holding a gun to your head to buy things you can not afford. What got us in this current economic state? Oh, it's easy to blame the banks – but it's our own fault for living beyond our means.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  177. Charles Sherman

    Dan: September 28th, 2009 12:20 pm ET

    People,
    Don’t blame the credit card companies for your actions. If you wouldn’t have gotten the “fantastic plastic” in the first place, this wouldn’t happen. I got myself in to that mess with more cards than I can count. How stupid. I bought out of convenience, not realizing the future consequences.
    I am happy to say, since I cut my cards up, all I have left is 2 vehicle payments and mortgage.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey Dan:

    Don't get all righteous just because you think you're ahead of the game with just "2 vehicle payments". I have none and drive very late model vehicles. All I have is my home which I accelerated payment on AFTER I paid off my vehicles. I'll be done in 2010 with home. No contract debt after that.

    The issue here has more to do with those that PAY ON TIME AND IN FULL. WE have emancipated ourselves. The Banks don't like this. Debt is the 21st century slavery. Even those with moderate reserves are being subject to the fear of he ruling powers that they will lose their last gambit of subjugation.

    I use my cards to keep people employed. I have no problem not using them for awhile since I am in good financial shape. But what would that do to my employees?

    Granted – I don't have many but if you were one facing a layoff because I decided not to use my credit cards, how would you feel?

    Those of you who do not work for yourselves and are not responsible for other's livelihoods will never understand.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  178. Perverted credit.com

    It is understandable why any consumer is upset with credit card companies violating consumer’s privacy rights. Although there is more media attention now due to the Wall Street crash in late 2008, the credit card companies for many years prior have been violating consumer’s rights. For the people that have blogged stating essentially that if you do not have the money then do not buy it I truly could not agree more. However this is no excuse for any one company to overstep the laws and violate people’s rights. Credit card companies as well as other banks and creditors need to be changed. Sometimes however desperate times call for desperate measures. What if even just a large amount of consumers stopped using credit cards? Even though this would temporarily affect Wall Street it would “make” all creditors wake up. We need to let credit card companies know that we will not take the abuse from them anymore.
    I am currently starting a movement for “credit reform” and I need all the help I can get. I am a consumer advocate that is against creditors “violating” consumer’s rights. I have fought creditors and certain state government agencies for not upholding the law but one person at a time can only do so much.
    We can complain all day long but at the end complaining does no good. What change can be made from not having a solution? Now is the time that we “do” something. Now is “our” time. It is no longer the creditor’s time. Understandably to some degree credit is a necessary evil but this by no means that we should all sit back to have these creditors walk all over us. We are people, not doormats. The financial problems today will only bring about more creditors choosing to break the laws. We will see more and more collection agencies start to emerge and unless we choose to do something about it there will only be more problems with our personal finances.
    If you are interested and would like to give your story please visit me at http://www.pervertedcredit.com.
    Thank you,
    Joey Jensen

    September 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  179. Jeffrey

    This is against everything our founding fathers wrote the constitution for. Its just wrong if you pay your bill you should have good credit period. When others dig into your lives they make judgements on you by what you buy how terrible! Really horrible things happen to people and the credit card companys are making it even harder to live with thats unforgiveable. A lawsuit shoud be raised against those companies.
    My advice is to find 2 credit cards you trust and has good service. Then work on keeping good credit with them. Furthermore I believe If you pay on time every month every 6 mounths they should raise your credit limit and slightly lower your percentage rate. Its not right that people with more risk have to pay outragious % rates one card i had was 29.99% thats a rip off.
    This is just bad politic's

    September 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  180. Bob Roubal

    Tony, You bet they've gone to far. I'm 48 yrs old. My first home I owned for 24 yrs. I sold it, traded up, and i've been in my new home for 4 yrs. During this time my wife and I purchased 9-10 new cars. now here is where it gets interesting. We got a joint credit card, just after we were married. Over the years because we had payed our payments on time, and never the minimum, the company raised our credit limit to 20,000 dollars. Just recently we came across a couple of better credit cards that offered much lower interest rates, and offered more perks. so we decided to close the account to take advantage of the better deals. Before we closed our account our credit score was 766. In here lies the problem, because we had only had our 2 new cards for only 20 months, it was'nt enough time to proove ourselves as being woorthy of a higher credit limit. so the new company lowered our creit score to 603. We checked all our credit reports and the only thing we found was a 17 year old bill from a Dentist for $18.96. I checked my insurance papers and found a statement claiming this bill was payed in full. we've been trying for months to get taken care of , but have had no luck. What we were told is that it is much better to leave an old charge account open even if you only use it once a year. In these tough economic, we were just trying to get a better deal for ourselves, but instead it will probably cost us hundreds ifnot thousands of dollars in extra interest costs due to them lowering our credit score 163 points. All i can say is look everything over 5 times before you make a decision you may really regret.
    ,

    September 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  181. Dan

    Hey Charles,
    I don't think I am ahead of the game. I am fortunate, thru hard work and sacrifices to be where I am .
    The only one who is Holier than thou is Jesus Christ. Put your hope and trust in him and you can't go wrong.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  182. alexlyrics

    We allowed these banks to go way too far and all they do now is rip off the consumers.

    These banks do nothing but screw popel over and get away with it.

    Highway Robbery, and discrimination

    September 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  183. Charles Sherman

    September 28th, 2009 12:16 pm ET

    I was one of the first subscribers to the American Express credit card in 1958, over 51 years ago. Although I pay my bill every month, and on time, I received a call from American Express a few months ago saying they were not going to honor any more of my charges.The individual could not tell me why only that my card balance was too high. This person acknowledged that I paid on time but could not tell me why I was being cut off. I used to put everything on the card so I could use their rewards program. I made payments of $4000 to 6,000 every month but that wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted me to pay the balance off. Banks, insurance companies and our elected officials (democrat, republican, independent, and at every level of government) make me naseous with their outright greed. They all make used car salesmen look like angels.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    AMEX uses actuarial tables as well and if you have been a cardholder since 1958, in their analysis you have surpassed your "usable credit life". Talk about "death panels"!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  184. Perverted credit.com

    We all have our different opinions about our creditors and that is certainly our right; whether or not creditors behave legally or illegally. But creditors certainly do not have the right to break the laws, but they do this anyways. Right now there is no law stating creditors can or cannot judge based on our spending habits. Truly this act is wrong for more than wrong reason.
    It is our right to seek counseling (without being judged). It is also our right to stop using any account (credit card) that seeks to break the laws or violate our privacy. Now obviously creditors already know what we purchase and even in a sense how we live. It shows on the monthly bills we get every single month. But to know that we are being judged in such a way that determines what our monthly payment will be is almost – incongruous. For those of us that are not doormats and are not willing to sit back and allow creditors to walk all over us… stop using them. Pay these creditors off as fast as you possibly can then cut the cards up. If you continue to use them even though you know they are abysmal then you have only you to blame. We stopped using our credit cards several years ago and although it took some adjusting we get by just fine. As a matter of fact we are in a better position because sooner or later you are not only have your credit card payment but you also have the same necessities such as food and gas.
    Pervertedcredit.com

    September 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  185. jean wilkey

    I have always had good credit but I received a letter from my credit card company that my limit was dropping from $11,000 to $4,000 because I don't use my card enough.

    September 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  186. Messani

    How loudly can one say YES!!!!!!!!!! This is indeed ridiculous! How can that be legal? I don't want the government in my business anymore than they have to, but this is one of those times that they should say something and say it with no uncertain terms.
    How in the world did credit card companies get the right to decide our credit worthiness anyway? How did FICO weasel their way into our financial wallets/pocket books? How did their opinion on our credit worthiness become an accepted norm? Somebody (the consumer) got to stop the madness............ If they don't have us how will they be of any use to anybody?!!!!!!!!
    Cardholders unite!

    September 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  187. Mardell Princen

    Have you seen this come-on yet. Citibank raised the % on my account to 25.24, added a yearly fee of 30.00. Then they offered their deferred interest , no pay , or no interest paid in full, 6-36 months etc. which they MIGHT offer at a future date as a teaser. AND they reserve the right to make changes blah blah to existing and future balances, as allowed by law. Does as "allowed by law " mean law allows them rights to usury; do you think they won't be able to get around new restrictions?

    September 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  188. Ms. Jackson - California

    I hate credit card companies. Good credit or bad, everyone is treated the same - LOUSY. I say credit card holders unite. Let's show some solidarity and choose one day TO NOT USE ANY CREDIT CARDS!

    September 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  189. Joyce Hammock

    Well, based on what I have read on this issue, various opinions rage over the credit card company practices. There is one thing that is true, when a person pays off their balances every month, the cc companies don't make as much money off you. That goes against the purpose of those cc companies. Everyone is out to make a buck, the oil companies, credit card companies, and insurance companies. It doesn't matter to them how they make this buck, whether it causes a hardship on a family, or not. Let us think about this a minute. If someone wants to buy a home, you have to have a credit score high enough to qualify for the loan, along with a salary that will insure that the loan will be paid. In order to get that credit score you have to have CREDIT. You have to be IN DEBT in order to get a credit score. You cannot get a credit score if you are paying cash for everything. So anyone in America that wants to own the American Dream of a house with a white picket fence needs to be in debt. Along come the credit card companies. So, you, the consumer, buys and pays on the credit card statement, whether it be in full or in payments. Your credit score raises, your available credit balance raises. You get the American Dream house. Now, you are in debt, and the credit card company that you have a card with decides that you cannot pay your debt anymore because you decide to shop at Walmart, Kmart, the Dollar Store, or some other low-priced store. The rates go up, now you are having trouble making your payments. For whatever reason, so the credit card company raises your rates again. This makes perfect sense to me....if you are having trouble paying a credit card bill at 9.25%, the cc company decides to raise it to 29.37%. This will get your bill paid off much faster and the cc company will get all of it's money, yeah right in a pig's eye. This is where the government needs to step in. Not so much about the cc companies checking you spending habits (which is not right either, but I'm willing to compromise), but how much they can raise that interest rate. Regulating the credit card companies needs to be done. By the way, the reason credit was even started was for that time in history when there was no way to save to buy a piece of furniture, white goods, car, or any other big ticket item. Reason: inflation. Thank goodness, the price of big ticket items has stayed stable for years, so saving to buy is now possible. So, to echo those above, try to pay off those credit cards, and pay cash for what you need. But then you are back to square one if you want to buy a house. It is a vicious circle where no one is the winner, except the credit card companies. Unbelievable.

    September 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  190. Sebastian

    Although products liability law generally revolve around manufacturers, the principle is that when a product is designed defectively and leads to injury, whether physical or mental, those responsible in the chain of distribution can be held liable. When I get credit card offers or see bank advertising, they refer to their "credit card products" and "mortgage products." Those products were defective, they knew or should have known they were defective and a bunch of people should be suing. It isn't much different than the Ford case and the Pinto. Some state Supreme Court needs to find that products liability law applies to these mortgage and credit card "products" offered by the banks. After all, when the Ford case was resolved, cars and other products seemed to start getting the proper attention and care so as not to cause serious injury or death. The banks need to be subject to the same liability.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  191. bruce

    Very simple, what do you call interest rates over 10%-usury.
    When the fed rates is 1/4%, credit card issuers and banks charge rate which are exorbitant. Their cost of money bears little relatiionship to the rates they are charging.
    Get behind and your rates are 30% or more.
    Tell me, if you can pay 10% on your outstanding credit, what will happen if it goes to 30% – you are forced to default. They say they have to charge higher rates because a lot of people are defaulting. This is a deceit, people are defaulting in part because of the rates they are raising. Where is the wisdom or humanity in this? Of I forgot, this is brute capitalism, no humanity here!
    The consumer needs laws to protect him or herself from abuse by the credit card industry.
    If you pay your cards on time, it should be illegal to for your rates to be raised with that issuer when interest rates the banks pay the government
    and their depositors are stagnant.
    The credit hard industry should be supporting recovery, not killing it.
    And so on...... More then 10% is USURY in todays market!
    Write your congresssmen and senators.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  192. Donald R. Krause

    No, I don't think they have. Where one spends does indicate certain things about an individual. I personally don't go to cheap discount stores! I like to go to upscale stores to purchase quality items and not have a whole lot of people in the pay lines.

    If I noticed a neighbor or friend from the club going into a discount store I would tend to think they are having problems.

    One would certainly form an opinion if they noticed someone going into a strip club or stopped in a prostitute/drug invested area.

    September 29, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  193. Ines

    Credit Cards = legalized loan sharks

    September 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  194. MR.AL

    HAVE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES GONE TO FAR?

    I think it's a question that an answer is YES. There shouldn't be any boubt. The intrest rates are too high and the minnimum payment pays only the intrest. At the present time with the recession credit card debt is out of sight.

    September 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  195. marsh

    Gone too far –Stop using credit card if u dont like it-only poeple using credit cards is people dont have money at moment–if u dont have money dont buy it . or put it on layaway–IF U DO USE CREDIT CARD DONT COMPLAIN ABOUT FEES---USE CASH

    September 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  196. Sophie

    Yes I think they have gone way to far! I had my Old Navy credit line reduced from 1k to a measly 100 dollars. I had no balance, never paid late, and have great credit history! It is nonsense that the federal government is letting these credit bullies get away with it. This is why the economy is going to continue to tank and I hope Old Navy or more specifically, GEMB Bank goes with it.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  197. Keith Colovos

    Banks in general have gone to far. they charge you for everything you do. from atm fee's to overdraft fees, monthly service charges, ext.
    It is just amazing how, if my credit card is at the top limit, and i get charged my monthly service charge, i am now over the limit, and get charged for that fee as well.
    In stead of banks being able to charge you a daily overdraft fee. They should be only allowed to charge you once for each transaction while being overdrawn.
    it is pretty sad that if i overdraw my account by $10, i get charged $36 a day till it is evened out. Then once i even it out to $0, they seem to hit me with my monthly $15 service charge. Guess what I am overdrawn again. Somthing needs to be done about this problem. And it should not include bailouts for the greedy banks.

    October 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  198. Christi

    These robbers have raised our interest rates on ALL of our cards despite a good credit score and ontime payments. This means most of our monthly payment goes to the interest, not the principal which is exactly what they want.

    Even worse one of our credit cards had the nerve to run a so called "random credit check" and decided that since we have balances (in good standing mind you) on those cards they CUT OUR CREDIT LIMIT TO BELOW WHAT WE OWE AND HAD THE NERVE TO CHARGE US AN OVERLIMIT FEE! OUTRAGEOUS. I called and threatned litigation and they reversed the fees and raised our credit limit by 500 dollars. We previously had 5,000 dollars left on our limit. 2 months later the SAME card company sent us another letter saying the same as the first and AGAIN lowered our credit limit to 5 dollars above what our current balance is.

    They are not ethical in their business practices and due to my disability and our student loan payments these dirty tricks turned honest paying customers into people preparing to file for Bankruptcy! Let them choke on the 0 dollars they will get from us instead of the overinflated monthly payments the were getting, we simply can not afford it as my disability is currently preventing me from working and we have 2 small kids.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  199. James G

    Instead of complaining about this. We all should get a good law firm and start a Class Action Suit against the banks and watch what they will do then. First they couldn't give you enough then after they got billions of our tax money to pay the higher ups bonuses for ruining the companies they were supposed to make money for and then started to want more of our hard earned money or what's left of it.
    We also should start a recall of the Congress, both houses for taking our tax money back into thier pockets from the banks and not taking care of us taxpayers.
    Revolt.
    From the blogs looks like American Express is the biggest thief.

    October 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  200. Richard Warren Morris

    There are "Predator Banks" and "Normal Banks". MOVE YOUR MONEY from the Predators to the "NORMAL" banks. VOTE WITH

    YOUR MONEY. EXAMPLE: Bank of America is the nastiest of predator banks, BB&T is the opposite!! I have accounts both places. I HAD cards with BofA they more than doubled from 6% to nearly 13%. They hit you with charges EVERY WHERE they can get away with it. You walk in the door, they think; "Here comes a new sucker". NONE OF THIS IS TRUE AT BB&T!!! I'm still 6%, they are delighted to see me and have my cash there. I get several FREE srevices, with a smile. If ALL of BofA customers simply take the time to move there money, Bof A would just be left with egg on their faces. They became HUGE by screwing their costomers, Wake up!!

    October 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  201. Denise Meridith

    The lastest outrage is American Express demanding to see your income tax returns! This is unbelievable! The first 2 questions I always ask when I call to complain about yet another harassment: 1) how long have I had a Gold card and 2) Have I ever been late? Answer are "since 1982" and "no." So what's the beef?

    October 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm |