MBNA Informative - Be very careful when doing balance transfers!
AKRON, OHIO -- I called MBNA to take them up on their 0% for a year credit card balance transfer deal. My credit card currently sits at 9% (not bad, but 0% is better when we're talking $6000.
During the application process, I spoke with Michelle and I asked her how many balance transfers I could do on this card. She told me they were unlimited. I asked if there were any fees involved, and she told me, "It's a zero card, no charges for a year." So far, so good. I balance transferred the amount charged to do waterproofing to my basement and then told her I would be balance transferring $2,300 more for the balance on the driveway reconstruction in a few weeks. Do you know what this idiot did? She balance transferred the payoff to my old credit card (good) AND sent them $2,300 more. So now, I have a $2,300 credit on my old card.
Long story short, I called MBNA. The girl was at a lost to explain it or to do anything about it. I called my old credit card company and explained to them what happened. They said they could send me a check for the over pay amount in 10-14 days. Meanwhile, MBNA charged me $222.00 for the balance transfer.
Looking at the small print on the paperwork that then came with my card, written information I didn't have BEFORE I did the balance transfer, they charge 3% of the balance tranfer in fees, you know, the fees I asked about? Furthermore, the way it is written in the paperwork makes it sound like this is what I will be charged AFTER the year is up, not before.
So, I called MBNA again, explained to Rep what happened. She transferred me to another department. They said I had been transferred to the wrong department and that I need to speak to a manager. I was transferred again. Then, an automated voice said, "We are unable to transfer you at this time. You are exiting the system." By this time, I'm not upset, I'm not confused. I'm angry. I called again, was put on hold for ten minutes before I talked to a nice human being. I asked for the manager as I was told to do. He asked if he could resolve the problem before "bothering the manager" with it. I'm thinking, "Isn't his job to be BOTHERED with customers?" I remained calm and nice. I explained to him what happened, that I've been lied to about fees, my account has been screwed up by $2,300, I have been transferred, cut off and put on hold. To this, I added, "I will pay you every penny I owe you, but I will not pay a balance transfer fee. I asked questions about fees. Michelle screwed up. If I knew it was going to cost anything to do this, I wouldn't have agreed to it. So, no offense, you won't be getting this money from me."
He was very nice, he put me on hold, he spoke to someone and said, "Since we sent the money you were going to balance transfer to your old card, charge the balance on your driveway to THAT card. The money credited on that card we sent should cover your new charges. We will cut the transfer fee to $100. I said, "How about $50?" I agreed to this because I AM using their money interest free for a year, and because I figured he would agree to it. He did. He sincerely apologized and that settled it.
I learned to make sure to ask the right questions-asking about fees was too vague for the idiot I first talked to. I needed to ask about balance transfer fees. Two, I should have just asked her about allowing an additional balance transfer and not mentioned the amount.
Be careful when doing balance transfers. I have good credit, so I get 0% offered EVERY DAY in the mail. If you look at this information, which I took another look at, it doesn't mention anything about a 3% interest charge on BT's. If you use the 1-800 on these papers, be very specific in what questions you ask and get them to clearly explain the answers. I just trusted them to do the right thing and that was my mistake.