More on credit cards

Mar 9, 2010 | | 0 comments |

My last post on credit cards got me thinking about the recent change I made to one of my cards.
At the end of last year, Citi jacked my interest rate up from 11.9% to 24.9%. I've never missed a payment with them, and have never had any fees incurred. I called them to find out why and the excuse they gave me was "it's to maintain the level of service you're accustomed to". In other words "we're jacking the rates up before the credit card reform bill prevents us from doing it". So I decided to cancel the card and got put through to one of their customer retention people. After some wrangling, they offered to drop the rate by 1%. I pointed out that I could cancel the card and sign up again on their website and get a 4.9% introductory rate but it didn't make any difference. Then they offered me 50,000 miles for my American Airlines account. Time to play them at their own game. I took the dropped interest rate and the 50,000 miles and let it lie for a month or so. Once the miles had shown up in my AA account, I then signed up for a Delta Amex card. They had an introductory rate of 4.9% but it only went up to 11.9% after a year. And for signing up I got 10,000 Delta Skymiles. Sweet. Next I did a balance transfer of everything left on my Citi card to the new Amex card, for which I earned another 10,000 Delta miles, and zero percent on balance transfers. Finally I used all my American miles to buy a ticket to England in business class, and used my new Amex card to pay the taxes and fees, for which I earned another 10,000 Delta miles - because it was the first purchase on the new card. Once that was done, I cancelled the Citi card.
So to recap - Citi screwed me, so I screwed them for 50,000 miles then closed the account. By changing to Amex I earned 30,000 miles on Delta, and got a massively reduced interest rate. Win-win for me. Lose for Citi, win for Amex.