Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Credit danger at Bloomingdale's: 93.24% Interest!

You've got to be kidding: 93.24% interest? Can't be.

I blinked a few times, read the statement again and yes, that's what it said.

If I were to pay less than the full balance on my Bloomingdale's charge card, the store would add a finance charge of $2 on top of the 23.99 percent interest charge on any outstanding balance.

And if that happens, read the small print, "the actual ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (their caps) charged on that account is 93.24%."

But wait. There's more, as I read in the really fine, gray print on the reverse of the bill.

There I learned that even if I pay this current bill in full by the due date, should I make another purchase at Bloomingdale's during the current billing period, a finance charge will appear on my next bill. And that will be based on the current balance (even though my full payment is in the mail!) plus the value of my purchase.

These terms, folks, should be illegal.

Just like all the other usurious interest rates charged on bank credit cards, and all the late fees, etc., etc. The U.S. Congress has been tinkering around the edges of credit card abuses instead of moving directly against these outrageous, confiscatory interest rates.

What cracks me up is that some of the big banks are now proudly advertising that you can opt out of overdraft protection on a credit card. Proud of what? That they've been forced by public outrage to make the "protection" optional? People were shocked to discover they had spent beyond their credit limit without realizing it and were then hit with such outrageous interest rates and charges that they amount to nothing less than theft!

So, Bloomingdale's, I won't be using your charge card ever again.

And the lesson to us all is to remember that the discount you get on the day you agree to take a department store charge card is a weapon that might just wreck your finances.

Just say no!

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

One imagines the corporate bigwigs sitting around a polished conferance table having a good laugh about these practices. There is no shame at the top!