The Haphazard Blog

Tag: credit line consolidation

Credit Card Cleanup

by on Oct.16, 2010, under Finance

Inspired by my brother, I got my credit cards in order this week. I had 4 non-store specific credit cards. It turned out that 2 of my accounts were closed (both at Bank of America). One was my New England Patriots Visa and the other my West Virginia University Visa. I only used each card once (back in 2002 and 2003) so it’s not much of a big deal, but I did lose the credit lines ($5,000 each) on the two cards. That could have a minor impact on my credit score.

I also had a Sony card with a larger limit along with a Chase Freedom card. The Freedom card is the card I use pretty much exclusively. The Sony card was also with Chase, and considering it somehow had -9600 points it was pretty much useless for rewards or buying Sony products. I have no Sony products now anyways. I called up Chase and tried to have them move the credit line to my Freedom card and was told they no longer do that. My only other option was to request an equivalent raise in my credit limit on the Freedom card and then close the other account. It seemed like a good idea until she told me the request was denied one minute later.

Thanks to a helpful post on the FatWallet Finance forum (lots of good information there) I called up the lending department and mentioned I had other accounts and wondered if they could move the limit from one account to the other. A few minutes later, the credit line was moved and my Sony card account was closed. I got what I wanted, but I did have to have a hard pull on my credit report to get that initial denial. But from what I’ve read, that initial denial is necessary to get help from the lending department.

Also, I recently made an international purchase and didn’t even think about any type of fee until my brother asked me about it. I looked into it, and I was hit with a 3% fee. It’s odd though, because I was in Vancouver in 2008 and I don’t remember ever getting any fees. I wondered if the fees were just built into the currency conversion and the Credit CARD Act of 2009 has exposed the fees as a line item. I tried to do some research on it, but I didn’t see anything specific to foreign transaction fees, but some banks have said that the fee would begin to appear as a separate line item. However, I came across an interesting article talking about how the credit card companies are trying to recoup all the lost fees. It looks like in an effort to protect consumers from predatory practices and excessive fees by the credit card companies, the credit card companies are going to find ways to ensnare the consumers who pay their bills on time and in full every month. This isn’t a shock but it does suck.

So at the top of my list now is get a Capitol One credit card since they have no foreign transaction fees. I’m really late to the game on this and I have a feeling it won’t be like this much longer, but it is now something on my radar to watch out for when choosing a credit card in the future.

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