American Express Complaint - AMEX Optima Interest Rate Rise
I have had the AMEX Optima card for many years. Recently, like everyone else, my interest rate was risen by 50%. I just looked at the online statement today and realize the minimum payment for this month has also increased by 15%!
I called the representative and he explained to me why my minimum payment increased. He said that since my interest rate was increased the minimum payment is based on the greater of 2% of the balance OR 1% of the balance + finance charges. Since my interest rate was jacked up, the second method created a greater payment.
He could tell that I felt defeated in my voice. I could tell he felt my pain. He said, hold on a minute and let me see if I can do something. He came back to tell me that I have the lowest rate available, but to call back EVERY MONTH and ask for a lower rate and they may reprice it for me. He said every month I receive a statement to make the call. He seemed as if he was trying to suggest some relief may be on the way.
Everyone knows times are hard and increasing minimum payments and interest rates on consumers will definitely not help the economy improve as consumers are hit this new tax. Yes, finance charges and minimum payment increases are just like a rise in taxes. It takes money from you that you can't put back into the economy and since we will have less disposable income that is less money to spend at the mall.
When Citi doubled my interest rates, I was mad. Now with the AMEX deal, I feel defeated. Now, I must work hard to pay down these debts and never again. It's almost laughable under the new laws, companies can't increase your interest rates. When you have folks with good credit sitting at 30% APR, how much higher would they want to take them.