Recall, they sent a notice out saying they would start charging a $1.50 minimum finance charge, UNLESS they received a written request to reject the charge. Recall that I heard about this from a friend who also has a pseudo liberal Working Assets Visa. At the time I wrote that blog entry, I hadn't even found the small print describing this fee, which I thought was buried in the Privacy Statement.
Well, I found the notification of the finance charge, and Bank of America has a reason for assessing this finance charge:
We added a Minimum Finance Charge to your account primarily due to a change in our business practices.
Well NO KIDDING. They've changed their business practices to ... collect a finance charge.
Bank of America has also changed its Monthly Minimum Payment. Before, there was a cap on the minimum payment required each month. Now, the minimum payment is simply a fixed percentage of the outstanding balance. OK, I can live with that. But, again, the reason they give is a bit pathetic:
As a result of federal guidance, we are changing the minimum payment calculation on your account.
This surely is intended to make it sound like the government is forcing B of A remove the cap on the minimum required monthly payment. However, the reality is probably more like the following. Credit card industry lobbyists bought off Congress to "modernize" the credit card laws and create more "flexibility" so they could compete in the global economy. Then, the credit card regulators were lobbied to change the regulations to remove the cap on the minimum payment. In response, the regulators revised their guidance, allowing credit card companies to remove the cap on the minimum payment. This might even be a part of the bankruptcy reform law, in which the credit card holders receive a favor from big brother, designed to help them keep up with paying down their debt and avoid bankruptcy.
A year or so later, the credit card company, B of A in this case, turns around and tells the public, "As a result of federal guidance," we're going to add a little more pain to your life.
Surely, if the people were in charge of this country, they wouldn't let this kind of thing happen.
How to Reject the Finance Charge:
By May 1, 2007
B of A
PO Box 15088
Wilmington, DE 19850
Identify yourself and your card number
Say: "I reject the minimum finance charge of $1.50."