Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Looking for a credit card company

I know this is like looking for a unicorn, but can someone out there recommend a credit card company that -- well, if it's not good, at least it isn't as evil as the usual suspects? I need two accounts: a backup credit card for me** and I just discovered yesterday that Emmie's credit card company is charging usury rates for certain transactions, so I'd like to find her someone better.

Before anyone suggests it, I won't get a Working Assets card because it's issued and administered through FIA Card Services, which is the company that's been ripping Emmie off, and, as I recently discovered, is also now a Bank of America company and was formerly the incredibly evil MBNA -- it's getting near impossible to stay away from the BOA business monolith these days (we barely dodged that bullet when we pulled out of Merrill Lynch late last year)!

So, non-FIA, non-BOA, non-MBNA credit card? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
**This is why you need a backup credit card: on the 4th of July, some nefarious evil-doer started charging thousands of dollars worth of stuff to our credit card from an IP address that's supposedly somewhere in Africa. I don't know how our info got out (we only deal with well-established online merchants and reputable local businesses), but fortunately, the bank (Mass Mutual, who have been impressive in the time since we hooked up with them post-Merrill) flagged the activity as suspicious, shut down the account and we won't be out any money. On the downside, though, our credit/debit card is offline until they set up a new account and mail us new cards -- which will be some time next week, after we've left for our upcoming vacation...


Sandy on Signal said...

Our rates went up about a week ago. My husband called Region's (is that the name? The new Scam South?) and complained about it. In fact threatened to leave the bank, we got a call back stating there is nothing they can do about it because it is through FIA. They are receiving many complaints he said.

Well, Region's is one of those banks that failed the stress test. The sooner we get our money the hell away from them, the better off we will be. Let me know where you go, and I will do the same.

alice said...

I talked with a Regions Bank manager today about FIA (they're Emmie's bank), and they're just as frustrated as the rest of us. I am generally impressed by Regions for local banking services, but they only offer FIA credit cards, so I'll have to look elsewhere for that particular function.

I am very impressed with Mass Mutual so far (we switched to them at the end of the year). Let me know if you want a local contact for their services.

Scott said...

I just switched to Simmons Bank. Check out their rates.

takahana said...

By far and away its American Express. I recommend the green card for starters and may be an upgrade at some point to gold (platimun is good only for people who travel 80 or 90 percent of the time for business.

The green and gold are mainly "pay the balance at the end of the month" types. The advantage here is enforced discipline about using the card, i.e. can't pay the balance at the end of the month you are finished "til you do.

They offer some "run a balance" type cards but in my opinion down that path lies madness.

Amex offers free pay the balance on line service. You can also check your current balance, etc.

I have found the AMEX people friendly. That's a help as well.