Watch Out for Penalty APRs If You Miss a Credit Card Payment
It seems credit card companies are always coming up with creative ways to gouge their customers. Everyone knows you have to pay a late fee if you skip a credit card payment, but some credit card companies will also throw a "penalty APR" at you.
In other words, if you miss a payment, the issuer could significantly hike up your interest rate. Of course, if you pay your card in full and on time (and you should), this isn't a problem. If you carry a balance, though, it could really cost you and throw off your
. Over at the
Went in to pay my AMEX card as I usually do each month (on time), and saw this gem of a notice highlighted in my face as I went to click the "pay" button:
"If we do not receive your Minimum Payment Due by the Payment Due Date of 09/08/17, you may have to pay a late fee of up to $38.00 and your APRs may be increased to the Penalty APR of 29.99%."
Umm.. WHAT?? A Penalty APR? 29.99%?? Is that a warning or a threat to your perfectly-paying loyal customer for the past 7 years straight? I know I never give you any interest fees, but damn - didn't know it was going to be like that .
It's another example of how one small mistake can trap you into a downward spiral of
if you DO slip up, which you will - because you're human - call them up right away and
begput on your sweetest, most sexiest voice, and ask them to please waive it for you as you've been a loyal customer and plan on giving them more and more of your hard earned moneyover time. If they say no, ask to speak to a manager and then repeat (if the manager says no, hang up and try again!).
We've told you how to negotiate with customer service, specifically when it comes to APRs, too. Let them know you've been a loyal, paying customer over the years and politely ask for a reduction. It won't always work, but it's worth a try, and if you've been issued a penalty APR, it's a must.