Here’s a nightmare credit card story.

John, of New Falmouth, Massachusetts, said he answered an ad for Household Bank’s Platinum Mastercard, which offered a 0 percent introductory fixed rate for the first 12 months for purchases and balance transfers. John’s existing credit card charged just over 9 percent, not a bad rate these days. But being a thrifty consumer, John said he wanted to take advantage of the offer of 12 months without interest. So he applied for a card.

And here his troubles began. When he received the bank’s “welcome kit”, he attempted to transfer his existing balance to the zero percent card. The balance transferred at thirty percent, though, because the bank processed the request as a cash advance instead of a balance transfer. The bank refuses to budge. But wait! There’s more!

“Because of the high interest rate, combined with the second balance transfer check I sent, my request was not honored by Household Bank because it would have put me over my credit limit,” John said. That check, John says, ended up bouncing, causing late fees and raising the interest rate on his lower-rate credit card.

Banks are not in the business of helping consumers; they’re in the business of making money. You’ve got to be suspicious of anything a bank is trying to sell you. The official Get Rich Slowly position is still: do not carry credit cards.

[via The Consumerist]

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