Maxed Out has left me with a greater sense of fiscal research duty, so I opened the fat envelope and pulled out a disjointed handful of papers. Everything about this envelope seemed designed to discourage actual reading. That made me suspicious, so I trudged on.
The cover sheet told me how my account was improving and listed lots of great new features but no drawbacks. Nothing in the cover letter merited a legally mandated update.
On the second page I found gold- for the credit card company- a 3% increase on all cash and cash-equivalent advances. This increase applies to new and outstanding balances. Nice, eh? Then I found the part they worked so hard to discourage me from reading:
You may reject the APR increase by following the Rejection Instructions described below.Seriously? Well, yes. They don't make it easy though:
1. Write to use at [postal address only]. Clearly print or type your full name and full credit card account number and state that you reject this change. You must give us the notice in writing it is not sufficient to telephone us. Send this notice only to the address in this paragraph. Do not send it with a payment or any other type of customer service request. This mailbox is ONLY for rejection of the Annual Percentage Rate Amendment.So by writing a letter in which we emulate Bartelby's "I prefer not to" we can maintain our 3% lower rate? No wonder they make that paperwork so boring.
2. We must receive your letter by [date approximately 3 months in the future] or your rejection will not be effective.
Even though we don't ever use cash advances, I'm sending a letter in on principle.
Not reading these things can cost us real money.