Update on Discover and US Bank

December 10, 2009 at 8:22 am (credit cards) ()

I had to call all my credit cards and change my address. Luckily I did! My Discover card’s 0% transfer balance rate ended on Dec. 4! I thought it went through February (which is a year from when I began using it). Now I have to transfer all of it back to my 5% SBA bank loan (which should just fit).

Another thing I found out, you can get a 0% transfer balance offer from an existing card – I thought only cards that were seeking new customers did this. But apparently the customer service rep on the phone told me that I might be able to get another offer by the time my SBA loan matures next summer. Something to look forward to, as I’ll have to find a home for about $15,000 on my existing 3 credit cards (Discover, US Bank and Citibank which will be closed in 2011 since I opted out of their rate increases). Unless I can get an increase in the limit of my personal line of credit.

When I called my US Bank card to change the address, I asked when their 0% rate expires, and the guy on the phone said he didn’t see an expiration date?! What? Does that mean that I don’t get charged anything on this balance transfer until I pay it off in full? Why yes, it does! I didn’t know that could happen. I thought it was for the 6 months or year offer, and thenit got jacked up to a higher rate. I’m not sure if he’s making this up or didn’t know where to look in the system, but I’ll be checking in every few months just to make sure. I know it will be a year in June, so I’ll pay close attention in May and June.

I was also chatting with the Discover gal and she was trying to sell me on the items that have the 5% cashback bonus in this quarter (retailers of course). I said it really didn’t matter, since I wasn’t planning on using it all. I know how the credit card companies work. You have an existing balance with a low or no % rate. You make an additional purchase and that is at a higher rate. You pay your bill, and it all goes in one lump sum towards the lowest balance. It’s not until that is paid off that payments go towards the higher rate balance. Apparently that is changing with the new credit card legislation. In February, she told me, the minimum balance will go towards the lowest rate first, and the remaining extra amount will all go towards the highest rate. What?! How wonderful! Not that I will be racking up extra credit debt or anything, but it’s nice to know that’s changing for all the other people in credit card land.

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