Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Reason to Love the Banks

I somehow neglected to pay my January MasterCard bill. I guess I missed it in the flurry of activity after the reduction in force at Autodesk that week. When my February bill arrived, I noticed the error, swore at myself for making such a stupid mistake (I always pay my bills on time!), and paid the full balance immediately. Of course that included a hefty interest charge (over $100; ouch).

I just looked at my April statement, which appeared online yesterday, and noticed a small interest charge. Looking back at the March statement, it also included interest. I called BMO Mastercard to ask why, and learned that when you miss a payment, they continue charging you interest for the next two months. This is mentioned in fine print on the back of the paper statement: avoid paying interest on new Purchases, you must pay your New Balance in full by the payment due date for two consecutive months.
This condition does not appear on the online version of the statement, nor could I find it elsewhere on the BMO Mosaic MasterCard web site.

I also noticed that the amounts of interest charged for March and April were wildly different (about $55 and $5 respectively). It turns out that is based on the number of days between the issuing of the statement and my full payment, even though my full payment was made before the due date each time.

The good news is that my phone call to inquire about this was answered quickly by a human, who promptly transferred me to her supervisor when I said I wanted to dispute what I considered outrageously unreasonable interest charges. The supervisor explained their policy clearly, understood my displeasure, and immediately agreed to refund the last two interest charges because I was not aware of the policy. Now I am, and so are you. If you have another credit card, you may want to check if they have a similar deal.

1 comment:

  1. Yet with stuff like this banks still manage to loose money!
    - Sherley