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Wednesday, June 19, 2024   
 

Survey Results: Chase Bank Tries to Pull a Fast One
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker his survey originally ran in the 2/13/02 DebtSmart Email Newsletter.

Do you believe that Chase Bank's letter was deceptive and why?

70.8% of respondents said Yes
19.5% of respondents said Somewhat
9.8% of respondents said No

Comments about the letter:

 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"As a banker, I ALWAYS read the fine print. It should be clearly stated that the check can be written up to the credit limit but to remember that the transaction fees count towards that credit limit."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"I believe the letter is deceptive because it says that you may write one of those convenience checks for any amount 'up to your credit limit'. That means whatever my credit limit is, is the amount I can write the check for. The Citibank letter at least left you some kind of idea saying "hey, remember there are fees involved" when writing a convenience check. Chase should state that you may write the check for the amount up to your credit limit, but don't forget that there is a 4% charge (maximum of $50) for this "transfer". The wording is confusing. Common sense does not tell you to add other fees or charges into the amount you write a check for because it is not clearly stated in the letter. You were right when you called them, and they just have a hard time dealing with the fact that they are wrong ("the customer is always right"...) and tried to solve your problem by not answering the question and then waiving a fee for you."
--Danielle
 
Deceptive Letter: No
"This article is a result of your continuing to speak with the chase rep(s). If you would have simply taken the refund and continued to enjoy the 0% offer you could have saved yourself the headache. You knew about the 4% transaction fee, the equation should have come to mind: x + x * (0.04;max $50) = limit Let me see, my limit is 12500, 4% of 12500 is $500, ok, the max rule applies, therefore x + 50 = 12500 x = 12500 - 50 x = 12450 This, however, is far beyond what the average, even above average, customer would have, or should have had to do. You are correct in that there should have at least been fine print or at least an example of how to figure the maximum amount one could write the check for."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"There is no such thing as 'common knowledge'; to an extent, yes; but, you always run into tons of people who don't have knowledge of that particular subject. Chase should not have argued with you. If they were correct; they would not have dropped the overlimit fee. Let's stay up front and honest and there wouldn't be so much need for so much fine print where they try to deceive us, the consumers."
--Gary
 
Deceptive Letter: Somewhat
"It is just common knowledge that you have to stay under your limit and that includes fees. I always make sure that I have a cushion to prevent fees, and never use it all the way to the limit."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"The words "up to your limit" IMPLIES you can use the ENTIRE amount of your credit line. There is not one line in there clearly stating that the one time fee of $50 will automatically make you OVER THE LIMIT! We are not stupid people, just more honest than CITIBANK. As a matter of fact - I stopped using them as soon as I found out they had anything to do with me! Like when they took over accounts for FINGERHUT payments, disallowed any prepaying of payments and CHARGED ME A LATE FEE of $25! and DID NOT remove it. They treated me much the same as you, and made me extremely upset (like you)! Go get'em debtsmart!"
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: No
"Because all credit cards charge such fees, it is always prudent to understand fully what the policy is."
--Bob
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"I had the same offer and I read and re-read the letter to see, like you, if there were any loopholes. Nothing found, so I Transferred a High Rate Balance from another Card I had and Darn if they didn't charge me what they called an over the limit fee. I contacted them about it and that was their response. I felt like the letter was deceiving but I didn't fight it, I figured I'd Lose anyway."
--Terri
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"Of course the letter from Chase was deceptive--that's what banks & money lenders do best! The letter was written in a manner that inferred you should know there would be a over the limit fee. The offer was presented in a way that would make the most $$ for the banks and take advantage of people who don't have 'common knowledge.'"
--Michelle
 
Deceptive Letter: Somewhat
"Even though it doesn't say exactly the amount plus fees, I personally watch for these kind of offers & do realize what they intend. I won't be bothered. Too much energy."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"I read all the letters you provided, and they were exactly as you stated. Nowhere did Chase say the $50.00 fee was to be added directly to one's available credit limit - obviously sending it over the top! Your check was not written for $12,550! It's as though they re-wrote your check! I read and understood it to be a separate fee. VERY misleading!"
--Carla
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"It did not include full disclosure which is illegal. They should have included all the terms and conditions in plain simple english that even a 5 year old could understand. Because, evidently, today's education system is failing when it comes to learning about personal finance and money. Therefore, banks and creditors are taking advantage of this."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"I feel that all applicable fees & charges should be spelled out in the letter. Trust is something that is earned. If you've been a good, loyal customer to Chase Bank, then they should also reciprocate by presenting their offers in an honest fashion."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"It is deceptive, but that's their business. The over-the-limit fee and the ability to write a check up to your credit limit are mutually exclusive. The check you wrote wasn't returned, was it? As long as they cashed that check, they weren't lying about letting you write a check up to your credit limit. And the $50 fee was spelled out. Together this put you over the limit. I'm sure the terms of their offer state that if you go over the limit you get a $29 fee. No big surprise. Sure it's deceptive, that's the whole point. You should put that money into an ING account, you'll get a 3.25% and it's FDIC insured."
--Keith
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"You're right, but they all do it. I like Chase. I would have hit that offer myself, but I only had 700 credit left under the limit."
--Frank
 
Deceptive Letter: Somewhat
"Instead of stating, they imply that the trans. fees will be included in the limit of the account."
--Angela
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"Because the wording was deceptive. They wanted you to write the entire amount. Gambling that most individuals would not argue with them and they would be able to keep the $29.00 overlimit charge. It's a calculated trick on their part to cheat the consumer."
--Debbie
 
Deceptive Letter: Somewhat
"While I can see both sides of the story, I don't know many people that would try to use their entire credit line. That said, I did learn something from the article. Thanks for posting it."
--Anonymous
 
Deceptive Letter: Yes
"I receive too many offers in the mail that are 'too good to be true'.... if they are going to charge a transfer fee that will put me over my limit as stated in such letters, it should be CLEAR to that effect. i.e., you should have been offered 11,950 or whatever, so that the transfer fee would not affect your credit. Cash only is my motto for a REASON! :)"
--Gayle
 
Deceptive Letter: Somewhat
"I agree with you that the fee isn't described in the letter as part of the check, but I don't think I would have been so gutsy to take it all because I would figure they would do just what they did and I wouldn't have a leg to stand on."
--Aimee

Has the same situation happened to you? Specifically, that you took advantage of your full credit line as described in an offer letter and were charged an overlimit fee? (Check your statements)

17.24% of respondents said Yes
75.86% of respondents said No

Have you ever had any experience with any bank where you felt deceived?

62.07% of respondents said Yes
27.59% of respondents said No

What do you Think?
Read the Article
Take the Survey

Reader Comments

"DebtSmart has helped one of my friends just recently with deciding to consolidate his bills or get a loan. Thanks for the great ideas and warnings of deceptive banks out there!" 
--Danielle

"This is my first Newsletter and I really enjoyed it. I have had similar experiences with cell phone reps discussing charges with them! So frustrating! I would like to know if others have problems with cell phone bills and reps."
--Carla

"I'm really Glad I found DebtSmart on the Net, wish I had found you sooner but I've gotten a lot of Great Tips on getting rid of Debt also received my first Issue Of DebtSmart Magazine a few days ago. I think anyone and everyone who has credit cards or even thinking about getting them should check out DebtSmart, there's so much to learn." 
--Terri

--End--

 

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