Thursday, March 02, 2006
Warning: Deceptive Providian 0% APR Offers
I've been had once by a Providian 0% APR offer. I just got another offer in the mail today with the same offer, and I wanted to share my experience so you don't get caught up in it as well. In most cases, 0% APRs affect new purchases and/or balance transfers for a period of time. Well, in Providian's offer, they offer a 0% APR on purchases if you do a balance transfer. In nice bold letters the offer letter says: Get an introductory 0% APR on purchases when you transfer a balance NOW...But the bold fails to mention balance transfer gets treated to a nice 8.9% APR. The 0% has nothing to really do with the balance transfer. It's the only 0% offer I've seen do this. After being charged a nice interest charge for the first month, I called their customer service and had to talk to 3 tiers of service representatives, until finally the manager credited my account. I also asked them to close it, because at this point I was very upset. At least they credited the charges back, I guess. Sure it's my fault for mis-reading the offer, but still it just doesn't make sense. On a side note, I always look out for balance transfer fees before doing a transfer. So far, Providian has been my only bad experience while doing a balance transfer. I hope to write a post on 0% offers in the near future and my experience. In the meantime, here's a great post @ MyMoneyBlog on 0% offers.