(Thanks to BT for the photoshop.)
Terrific: Bailouts for Citibank, rate hikes for their cardholders.
Reader Elizabeth e-mails:
I have been a Citibank cardholder since 2002. I have a better than average credit score and a perfect payment history with Citibank. My current APR on my Citibank credit card is 7.99%. Yesterday, the same day I find out Citibank is receiving $25 billion in bailout cash from our tax dollars, I received a notice with my billing statement stating my APR would nearly double to 14.99%. The notice also said I would be given the chance to opt out of the rate increase and keep my current rate until my card expires, at which point my account would be closed, and I could pay off the balance at my current rate. When I called to opt out, a Citibank representative assured me that I did not have any problems with my account that would have prompted a rate increase and read me a canned message about the “current economic crisis” and how Citibank would otherwise be “unable to keep its doors open” if it doesn’t increase its cost of extending credit. It is my understanding that last week, Citibank told the Wall Street Journal it would be raising APR rates 3% on average and the rate increase would affect about 20% of Citibank cardholders. Sure. My fiance also received the same notice despite his high credit score. When he called Citibank, he was given the same canned speech.
A blogger who had the same experience is calling Citibank out.
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