Today I received a form letter from Citibank Visa. At the top, in bold, I read "Notice of Change in Terms". Hmmmm.... I was thinking. I don't owe much, I pay regularly and I have been a customer since 1985. They must be thanking me. Yep, that's what they were doing. Starting December 29, 2009 Citibank's holiday thank-you gift to me is to raise my interest rate to nearly 20% (up about 5 points). I call the company. Must be some wiggle room I think, I'm a long-time customer is excellent standing. The cheery woman on the other end of the phone tells me that, yes, indeedee there are options for me. Lucky me, I can have the interest rate slowly climb over a year vs. on the December effective date because I have been such a loyal customer for 24 years. After I tell the woman I don't know how she can work for such a company and how outraged I am and how I know that my rant means nothing I tell her that I will take the other option to freeze my current interest rate and close my account, effective the day my credit card expires, in 2013. Wow, you're luck, she tells me, you credit card expires in 4 years. Yah, I'm lucky. I also tell her that they are losing good customers, keeping the bad who have no choice. I know I'm not telling her anything she doesn't already know. And, I am actually outraged for the second time. I have already taken action with another Visa account, this one from Bank of America when they wanted to raise my rates from 8.9% to 18.9%. It's forever frozen at 8.9% and being payed it off as slowly as I can. But I'm done. I'm just not interested in funding those record Wall Street bonuses any more. And, I'm done feeling jerked around by credit card companies. My balances from now on will be paid in full or I won't buy. Better way to live, anyway.
Under Citi's proposed compensation plan, three of the company's top five executives would be paid a total of nearly $12.5 million in cash bonuses over the next five years. One of the executives, James Forese, is a co-head of Citi's Institutional Client Group, which lost $20 billion in 2008. Forese is rewarded $5 million under the plan. At least 15 other Citi executives are in line for multimillion-dollar payouts. Citi declined to say how much in total it has promised under the plan.photo from same website