Citibank Hikes APR to 29.99%

Have I really been this out of the loop? I've recently cut back my news intake to close to nil, but how did I miss this one??

A few days ago, I received my monthly credit card statement (the only card that I still have open) and much to my shock, my APR jumped from 9.99% to 24.99%. I have held this card since 1996 and have been late on but a few payments. Tonight, I finally got around to calling customer service. I took a few deep breaths before getting my new pal on the phone. As I explained my situation, he quickly responded with, "Sir, your new rate is actually 29.99%." "Oh really? Wonderful!" I responded. It turns out, at least according to this young chap, Citibank mailed me a letter in October which outlined two options: 1) cancel my account or 2) accept a 29.99% rate. I don't recall ever seeing this letter. I'm sure they popped it into one of those letters that appears to be junk mail so their customers would just toss it.

When my new buddy said there was little he could do, he offered to transfer me over to his manager. This new lad, who had the most lifeless and monotone Flanders voice known to mankind, proceeded to tell me that they raised their rates across the board because of "economic conditions." "Is that right?" I said. "Sir, we have not seen economic times like this since the 1930s." Oh yes, I was mere seconds from witnessing my iPhone stuck inside the Sony TV that I haven't turned on in months. "Well, sir," I began, "do you think that perhaps a certain company called Citigroup had a little something to do with what led to the near collapse of our economy?" He paused. "That may be so, but that doesn't influence where the economy stands now." "Excuse me?" I shot back. "Sir, I've done the best I can do. I will get your rate down to 22.99%." "I've done business with you guys for 14 years, had a 9.99% rate and have been a consistent customer, yet the best you can do is to RAISE my rate 13% points?" "Sir, it's the economy."

If I hadn't recently found out that I've accrued quite a few frequent flier miles via this card, I would have canceled it that moment. I did, however, pay it off in full. My balance is now $0 and once I take that trip to Fiji or South Korea or Bangor, Maine, well, that card will cease to exist.

I urge you all to check your rates this very second. And where is Ralph Nader when we need him?


Anonymous said...

man, thats disgusting. thanks for posting, i will check as soon as i get home. bastards robbing us blind.

Anonymous said...

Yep. received my statement this morning with a whopping 29.99 percent hike. i never received a letter explaining that I would be robbed in January, but most thieves never do give you a warning. when i spoke to customer services the sharp voiced woman told me that was the rate and they could offer me nothing else. so apart from losing my job i have Citi bank to thank for their part in the economic collapse and for raising APR as their form of an apology. As soon as I can that account will be closed and buried for life.

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same experience. And as I don't get paper statements it took me awhile to literally DIG through their site looking for my actual APR. When I couldn't find it I called customer service they told me it should be on my account details page. Nope. nowhere to be found.

When I listened in shock to how Citi had raised my APR to 28% I was shocked. Not a late payment to speak of ever. I carry a small balance but told them I would pay it off immediately and NEVER use their bank again. As we all should. We are the customers, this is not even borderline criminal, Citibank is criminal enterprise.