I held my credit card with the Bank of Scotland for around nine years with no problems at all until the company was taken over last year by MBNA. Until recently I paid off the full amount every month but while busy caring for my dying mother I made two payments that were a few days late. I accepted the fault was my own and expected to be charged interest on these amounts, which I immediately paid.
However, today I received another statement with interest charged. When I phoned to query this I was told that MBNA charge interest and CONTINUE TO CHARGE INTEREST until an account has been 'in the clear' for a further TWO MONTHS after the original late payment! I have so far been charged £59 for having sent in full payment a week late.
When I then asked to have a full statement sent to me so that I could close my account I was told that "a) this was 'impossible' to do until the statement's normal due date, and b) this statement would show a further interest charge as I was to be penalized for yet another month for the same late payment."
MBNA insist that what they are doing is absolutely legal and not 'dishonest' because customers are warned of this. Not on their statements, they aren't! It's quite possible that this may be mentioned on some other list of 'rules' sent out separately and only once, but I think it very unlikely that people who make a habit of paying off their card every month feel the need to dig out the rules as bedtime reading on a regular basis. In fact, if this practice is legal, it is certainly not moral and amounts to charging an interest rate that far exceeds the one they advertise.
I really would recommend that anyone who normally pays their card in full every month be made aware of this as it only takes the merest slip to send a single late payment and then find you are being penalized with 3 months' interest instead of one.
If your credit discipline is great, as in you never keep a balance maybe MBNA (or any credit card company for that matter) is probably fine. The truth about how these banks treat you mainly come out when you find yourself in a some credit "hot water". First, I don't have a sense of entitlement, as in I don't believe it is my "right" that a bank do what is in my best interest. Business is business, if I got myself in a jam, it's my responsibility to get out. Long story short, I had a balance of about 14K on my MBNA. Because I was late a few times, my interest jumped to a little over 21%. I tried calling around Sept/06 to negotiate a better rate as interest was killing me!
Some of the responses I got from them was: "I'm sorry, but we're not here to help you", or "We suggest going to credit counseling, it is your best course of action". Bottom line, nothing can be done. Before you read this and think to yourself "but you (as in me) are a total idiot for being late on 14K of debt, you get what you deserve"....you may be right, but Citibank is my one and only favorite bank, I was late with them and my interest jumped to 21% as well. However I called them, and in less than 5 minutes had my interest back down to two offers of 6.99% and 10.99%. This was on a balance of about 15K.
Maybe MBNA is operating within the law, but that argument falls apart when there is another bank that is willing to make a mutual deal where everyone walks out winning a little something. The advice MBNA gave was absolute bull, credit counseling is useless. Maybe because of the new bankruptcy laws, they aren't afraid of consumers filing anymore and are trying to back you into a corner. In any case, I've paid off all my MBNA debt within 2 months, transferred some to Citibank which I am happy to give my money to. I was originally intent on closing MBNA in protest when I finish paying it off, but decided a better course of action.
First, my limit is around $14K, so to have that at 0 balance helps my overall credit worthiness. I can probably annoy them a little but continuing to periodically use the card but pay it off immediately during grace period. For those of you who don't have MBNA and are considering them, there are so many other banks other than MBNA that are better to deal with. Stay away from these guys.
It's shocking what they said to me! I got MBNA card Feb 02, 0% then 12.99 FIXED after that. I was NEVER late even once!!! I was offered small balances transfers twice and paid down to zero, then Jan 05 transferred $3,700 then transferred $7,000. Oct 05, for total of $10k+ on the MBNA card. I paid on time, then the moment it went off initial transfer rate in Aug 06 MBNA jacked my rate to $28.24%!!!
I have called 'repeatedly' and they transferred me to outside credit counseling then the last lady at MBNA, **, said to me and *****I quote, "You are not using your card in an acceptable way." I said, "I have never been late!" She said,"MBNA isn't meant to be a long term card, MBNA is meant to be a revolving, swipe your card at the store so that we can get the exchange rate type of a card." I kid you not! That's what she said. She continued, "You have been making minimum payments too long and don't use the card as intended. We want you to pay down your card and charge it up with purchases."
She also attacked my credit, which I had a copy of and said, "You owe too much on credit cards." I said, "That's my business, and I have never missed a payment, so what do you care?" She said, "You're $45k in debt, that's too much." I said, "Not if I make $135k a year, it isn't." Get this- she said, "Well, if that was true then you'd have paid all your balances down by now and have really excellent credit." I said, "It's none of your business what I do with my money. What if I own 3 properties, then is that acceptable to you?" She said, "Well, we're getting nowhere with this, do you want to speak to a Manager?"
I said, "You better believe it." But he naturally wasn't available, so I called back today, Oct 16 2006 and she closed my account "per customer request"!!! I paid ON TIME every single month, NEVER once late. I cannot believe this treatment. Today I transferred the balance to my credit union, California Coast, They have always treated me right. I will NEVER do business with MBNA ever again!!!
BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA -- I have read through most of the MBNA comments on this site and if I had only read them sooner. I was introduced to MBNA back in August of 2005. I kept getting junk mail from them wanting me to consolidate my debt by using their line of credit. One day I figured what can it hurt, so I called them. Everything was done over the phone and happened very fast.
A few days later they called saying I was getting a line of credit. I was asking for $25,000. I ended up getting $26,500.00. This all happened in August and I didn't receive my first bill until mid September. I don't recall ever hearing anything about being charged to get the money put into my account. But when the bill came, it read "BALANCE TRANSFER TRANSACTION FEE $750.00". Also they talk you into getting the credit protection, which I said I didn't need. They said, "you can cancel it in 30 days if you don't want it."
"CREDIT PROTECTION PLAN COVERAGE $247.23" which with this fee plus the transfer fee of $750 it automatically puts you over your credit limit. Which brings you to this response: "Your account is over limit. To avoid an over limit fee on your next statement, we must receive a conforming payment, that brings and keeps your account balance below the credit line, within 20 days of the above statement closing date, and not go over limit again."
Which brought me to my first bill with them $908.23, my payments are $661.00 and the interest alone was $568.93 with an APR of 25.74%. WOW!!! I called them several times and talked to supervisors, they just stated it was my fault for not paying attention. They said that they could pull my credit report and see if they could lower my interest rate, I fell for that once, which they pull it and tell you, "no you will have to check back in 8 months and maybe they can reduce it then," due to my credit score. At that time my credit score was 714.
Since September I have paid down $6,442.71. Never late and yet my interest rate just keeps going up..... now my APR is 27.24%. Since March of this year they have been offering me this deal "$15 REDUCED PYMT OFFER THIS MONTH. FIN CHRGS ACCRUE. PYMT MAY NOT COVER FIN CHRGS. LATE FEE IF PYMT LATE." I just wanted to give someone else a heads up, wishing I had known then what I know now.
I would never do business with MBNA or their affiliate Bank of America ever again. Lesson learned. Once they are paid off, it's a done deal. Thank you to everyone for putting their comments out there, it's never too late to let someone else know what is going on with this company.
If you have one of these cards, get rid of it, or don't use it. I've been a customer of MBNA for 7 years. Perfect credit, never been late. $16k credit limit. I use the card for business expenses and travel. I just paid $11k on the card after running up a considerable balance for travel to Europe and some large equipment purchases. I went online to check that the payment posted OK and noticed an available credit of only $376! My credit limit had been reduced from 16k to 5k overnight. No warning, nothing! I called then figuring it was a computer error or some such.
They told me my credit report had been "reviewed" and that they decided to reduce my available credit. I asked why and the person said that I had too much outstanding credit. I became worried that perhaps I had become a victim of identity theft, as I only have 3 credit cards and perfect credit. I was also told that "a letter explaining we had done this was sent out to you today". The same day my card went from having $11,000 free on it to $376.
I pulled all three of my credit reports, worrying that I would find a bunch of bogus cards in my name or some such. Nothing. No new cards, inquiries and no negative items. I canceled the card immediately and paid the rest of the balance off. I have no idea why they would do this to a 7 year customer with perfect credit and history with them who regularly uses the card. Only thing I can guess is that they figured I would use the card, which would pretty much instantly drive it over the "new" limit and incur some ridiculous interest and penalty charges. Of course that would lead to me canceling the card anyway.
All I can say is, I should have done this a long time ago when I became aware of them turning into a used car lot rather than a bank. Can't imagine what might have happened if they did this while I was traveling overseas.
I was a Credit Card Member for six years with MBNA. I used this Company for all my credit card needs. They started out treating me well. Low rates, secure and I was now able to use this card as a tool in my active life. In six years I paid the card off in FULL two times, and never had a late payment to this Company. April of 2006 was not a great month for MBNA and myself. Easter week-end I open my statement. And what do I see. They doubled my rate. from 9.99% to 20.99% WOW! So I called them.
I found out that they had sent a letter stating that this would happen. And that I have to reply back to them with a letter that states "I don't want this to happen." What a concept! The Consumer has to reply or it increases, as if I want to agree to that, or any Consumer. So I talk to a rep on the phone...That was a great experience in itself. Long story here made short. I asked them to move it back to the old 9.99% rate. It wasn't going to happen. They could put in a request for a better rate, but it wasn't going to be 9.99%. I cancelled the account and paid it off.
I will NOT be used like this again. With many card offers today, why would a Company do this to a six year client?
Oh yeah...$$$$. With finance charges and their HIGH rates. The public is getting robbed. This Company had no consideration for account history, reliability of a client, nor do they care to keep a good client. I spent a large amount of money with them in 6 years. As most of you know, that have used card services for life, business, and home. I will never use this Company for services again.
I encourage the American public to look into their accounts fully. Make sure the Legal Loan Sharks are stopped. This is bad business in my opinion. I have managed a better way to utilize my money and spending, with a Debit card service that draws interest also. US BANK. I will see how they treat me in the next few years. Hope you found this opinion interesting. And I am sure there are many others in the USA that have had the same treatment from their Credit Card Service. Good Day, Good luck in life.
OTTAWA, CALIFORNIA -- I won't leave my individual stories about how rudely I was treated by MBNA. I just want to advise anyone that is thinking of dealing with them. Times have been tough and we may not have been able to make consistent payments but the people at MBNA have been ridiculous. Leaving beyond rude messages on our answering machines. Calling us "immature" "irresponsible."
I don't care how far the payments are behind you don't treat your customers like that. Even when we do make a payment they are so unorganized that we get like 3 different people phoning us saying the same thing. This company has rude service and bad organization and I pity anyone who deals with them.
When I signed up for MBNA's Worldpoints program, I was told that when I acquired a certain amount of points, I would receive a free round-trip ticket to wherever the amount of points would take me (i.e., 60,000 points to Greece, then free r/t ticket). When I called to redeem my points, I was told that they pay only a certain amount, and that I would be responsible for the rest. Not only was I on the phone for 1 hour being passed around from one department to another, but another hour arguing with a manager about what I had been informed.
After I was given responses like "complimentary doesn't mean free" and "our staff would never tell you that," I was finally told that when MBNA was bought out by Bank of America, the points program changed, and that other customers had also been given incorrect information. I am still disputing to get credit for something I don't believe I should have to pay. I was told each time I called to check my points that I had a free round trip fare to my destination (Greece). This is false advertising, and I feel since I have spent over $80,000 on this credit card, this greedy company should reward me with the round trip fare I was promised.
If you are a member of Worldpoints, beware because you are not receiving anything free. Your points only pay a certain amount, and then you are responsible for the rest. There are many other credit cards that will honor you with what they promised.
MAGOG QUEBEC -- Tried to get a new credit card; had to call at least 6 times because the person answering spoke so poor french that I could not understand half the word she was saying. So I tried in English, the first time it was even worse in English. After 6 times I finally got somebody that could speak some understandable English. I had the feeling that I was transferred to an Indian answering service just like in the movie, everyone of them was speaking with a gross foreign accent. If this is the indication of the kind of service they provide when I want to subscribe for a card, imagine what it is going to be like when I do have a real problem.