I have a Capital One credit card that was at a rate of 8.9% when I first got it. I really loved my ‘no hassle’ card until they decided to hassle me. They increased my interest rate to 13% so I could keep the card open. They were doing some changes and gave me two options.
1. Keep my current rate and have the card immediately closed or
2. Accept a higher rate and the card would stay open.
I decided to keep the card open because I thought I really needed it at the time. This was my lowest interest card and I had been using it to save money by transferring balances from my cards with higher interest rates.
This was all a few months ago and I have not used the card since the rate went up. Instead I have just continued to make payments on the card and I was watching the balance go down.
Save Money with Phone Calls
I would call Capital One about every two months and ask for a rate reduction. Each time I would be denied, as they would say that this was the lowest rate I could receive.
I also would call every two months, alternating with the interest rate calls, to ask for a credit line increase. Again I would be denied because there was just no way to increase the credit limit at this time.
When I got my Chase card I put the Capital One card on autopayments from my ING account (email me to got a link for the $25 bonus cash!!!) and put the Capital One card in a drawer and forgot about it.
I was then offered a sweet balance transfer from another card and transferred the balance from the Capital One card to a lower interest card. It was not a 0% offer which would be ideal but it was considerably lower.
I paid off the Capital One card and stashed the card away in the desk, never to be used again. I was not going to close the account because it is one of my oldest cards and it helps my credit score to have it open.
Capital One Makes Me an Offer
Imagine my surprise when
not quite 3 weeks after paying off the Capital One card I get a letter from them offering me a nice deal.
The letter basically said they noticed that although I have not been using the card for a while I qualify for a balance transfer at 0% for 12 months, with a 2% transfer fee.
I thought about it for a few
seconds minutes and decided to take the deal. I transferred $1200 from a card that I had at a higher rate. I was getting charged $29 a month in interest on that card, without making any purchases.
The transfer fee for the transaction was $24 and since I would be saving about $348 in finance charges over the 12 months I think I made the right decision.
My goal is to have the card paid off before the end of 12 months because then the Capital One rate will go back up to 13%.
The thing I am most pleased about is that I will be able to have the balance from that card go down faster because I will not be paying interest on that amount. If I keep sending in the amount I was already sending in then all of it will go to the principle amount and will kill off that debt faster.
Now I know that Suze Orman would say that all debt is bad…even at 0% but when you are broke this is a GREAT deal!
Here’s to me saving money by not paying finance charges on that money right now.
I totally agree with your reasoning, since it paid for itself in one month. You just have to make sure that you don’t continue to use the card(s) anymore, except maybe once a year on something you were going to buy anyway, and pay it off immediately, in order to avoid them canceling the card(s).
The problem, of course, comes when you have an inevitable emergency and you are tempted to use CC’s to bail yourself out of a problem. The danger is that you will have more emergencies, until your debt level is higher again.
Anyhow, good job on slashing your interest to zero.
Jagular, that actually is the plan. I will not be using the card at all for purchases except for one small thing to keep it open.
If I do have to use the card for an emergency then hey that is what I have to do. I am just hoping that I can get some more 0% out of it at that time. In a couple of months I will be asking for a reduced rate on the card and will continue calling until they give me one. 🙂
Nice score on the 0% offer, especially with only a 2% fee when the standard fee is 3%. Hey, any way you can save money right?
I hope your persistence pays off with a rate reduction.
I hope so too. I am already itching to call and ask for the reduction but since it has only been two days since I paid in full it is too early.
A rate reduction would be nice because I have a comfortable level of credit available….I just don’t want to access it because of the potential interest charges.