Oops! Unexpected Balance Transfer Fee

I logged into the Chase web site to check on my latest 0% balance transfer and was shocked to see a $75 balance transfer fee on the account.

When I performed the balance transfer, the customer service representative assured me there was no fee for performing a balance transfer over the phone when I activated the account.

I immediately called Chase's customer service. After calmly explaining the situation to the customer service representative, I was told that the 0% balance transfer offer with no transfer fee was only valid when I signed up for the credit card, not when I activated it.

I assured the customer service representative that the person I spoke to told informed me several times that there would be no fee to perform a balance transfer. The only reason I performed the balance transfer when I activated the credit card was due to the assurance of the representative of no transfer fees if I performed a balance transfer immediately. I told the representative that if he could not reverse the fee, that was fine, but to cancel the balance transfer. When that didn't work I asked to be transferred to someone who could help me.

The customer service representative promptly reversed the $75 balance transfer fee without even hearing my story. While it was a headache for about 20 minutes, I was able to get the problem reversed with no permanent damage.

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Comments (13)

Glad that they removed the charge, but they always charge $75 for balance transfer with existing cards. Also make sure you read the statment especially when you pay off the balance. I usually don't read the statement when it has nothing but BT. However, for the two Chase cards that I used for BT, I found they charged me $1 under the "Finance charge due to periodic rate" and I called them a couple of times but the issue wasn't resolved.

Yes - Chase doesn't seem to be as "balance transfer" friendly like Citi Cards and others. However, I have had co-workers that were able to take Chase BTs with no problems. Hopefully I won't have anymore.

For some reason banks always try doing stuff like this, adding hidden fees trying to see what they can get away with. I'm glad you were able to get your money back without too much hassles.

This happened to be with MBNA and it sucks because over the phone, there is no record of the conversation. I am glad they reversed the charge. MBNA did the same for me which was nice.

Yeah, i've had problems with chase before, same card too. Sometimes that's how they make money. Cheating and stealing so morally wrong but they still do it.

Consider yourself lucky. I am surprised they reversed the charge in that situation. Good for you.

The Chase offer I had plainly stated the $75; I did try to resist, but they wouldn't budge. However, I went ahead with the transfer (knowing about the $75 fee) because they gave me $15k for 15 months, and I thought $75 was a fair price for the cash.

BTW - I received a Discover mailing the other day for 4.99% lifetime on balance transfers w/ no fee. I haven't see these lifetime low rates very often. I'm not going to apply, because I'm trying to build the FICO up after a string of 0% deals, buying a house, and financing a car.

I am glad you got your $75 back. Considering the amounts you are transferring, that wouldn't have been an "ouch" type thing anyways for you. :)

* If you are a good customer

Most of the time you can get any fees removed that have been applied if you talk with a manager or something with the authority to reverse charges.

The 4.99% from Discover is not really a good deal. Just recently there were some 1.99% and 2.99% for life and I believe there was a 0% for life as long as you made 2 purchases every month. I think there were 2 companies, 1 being Discover and the other being Chase or Citi. With 1 of those companies you could spend .01 twice per month to keep the low rate.

There are many good opportunities out there, just find them and read the small print and read up on places like fatwallet.com to better utilize the opportunities that you may know about, but are not sure how to maximize.

Recently many if not all credit card companies seem to be instituting fees on existing credit cards. In the past even existing credit card holders would receive 0% offers that normally come with new accounts only.

You are playing with fire with these balance transfers. You will get burned at some point. These credit card companies aren't in business to give away free money.

Heh...it's like the saying goes, "Power cedes nothing without a demand." The Chase folks would be foolish to deny your request, considering how competitive the 0% balance transfer offers are these days. Alienate a good customer over $75? Not worth it.

Nice to hear that Chase reversed all your balance transfer fees. Today I encountered a different surprise. There was a balance transfer fee of $927 and $40 for over the limit fee. I made this kind of transfer before to enjoy zero or low interest rate, there always was $75 maximum fee. When I called about it, they refused to reverse it. After asking for supervisor, I had no success either. They claimed there was a note about unlimited transfer fee with the offer and I don't believe there was any such thing. I only remember the usual $75 fee. Has anybody experienced similar thing? I will try resolving this by writing to Chase Public Relations Department and US Department of Finance and maybe I need to seek legal assistance.

You have probably resolved this to the best of your ability by now, but I will state for the record that if a credit card issuer has ripped one off, and one can't get anywhere within the layers of bureaucracy of the card issuer, these banks are overseen by the Controller of the Currency, a federal agency based in Houston. MBNA ripped me off before it sold its credit card business to B of A, and it was resolute in its unethical stance (it offered me a promotional rate with cash advance checks and then closed the account without notifying me, which I discovered after the $7500 check bounced and caused me a big headache). I complained to the Controller of the Currency and got a refund for all fees incurred, along with a letter from one of the MBNA executives. Another potential avenue is the AG's office of consumer protection in the state where the bank is based. Maybe even Visa or MasterCard would help if the issuer is clearly wrong. Good luck.

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