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Old 03-06-2020, 02:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Using your credit card for the points? Don't make payments too soon!

Six months ago I decided to try to accrue credit card points and then made payments within days. However, I have been charged $22 in interest while earning $14.50 in points. Losing $7.50 isn't a huge deal, but it shouldn't have happened, I should have earned $14.50.

Each month I am confused that I have any purchase balance at all and that I am charged interest on it. I called Navy Federal and the lady did not have any idea why I was being charged interest, so she suggested that I talked to her supervisor. The supervisor gave me a long and complicated explanation. I asked "I am making payments too soon?"

"Sir, I did not say that!" She then gave me a longer and more complicated explanation. I asked what my current purchase balance is (which I can only ever see on my statements) and she said $436.95!

My balance is $215 lower than it was six months ago, but I have over $400 in recent purchases?

I said "I will make an immediate payment of $436.95 and then stop using your card because I am making payments too soon. Have a good night."

With altogether too much enthusiasm she responded "You too!"

The problem is that I made payments on pending charges, so $222 went towards my balance transfer, and the rest went for recent purchases. Somehow I do not have 30 days to pay off purchases before paying interest because I have a balance transfer.

They are not required to have a grace period?


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Old 03-06-2020, 03:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your title is click bait because you leave out the important detail until the end of your story; that you had a balance transfer. Then you've omitted the terms of the balance transfer (is it interest free for a period of time, what are the rules for paying it off, etc).

So you've missed some fine print that said something about how payments in excess of statement billing pay down the balance transfer, and it sounds like that caused you to carry a statement balance beyond the grace period.

All of that would be avoided if you'd do your banking online (do it between Youtube videos) and set automatic payments up, and observe the current charges (you don't need a paper statement to see those).

I know it's frustrating, but you've learned something here. Consider that a cheap lesson.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Balance transfers incur instant interest.
Usually less than 5%.
I only did it once, about 14 years ago, only took once for me to learn, I didn't read all the fine print.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I asked her what my purchase balance was because it is not listed except on my statement.

Navy Federal does not charge transfer fees.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I asked her what my purchase balance was because it is not listed except on my statement.

Navy Federal does not charge transfer fees.
You're telling me that if you log into Navy Federal and click on your credit card account, there is no place that lists line by line the charges to your card?

Every online portal I've used in the past 15 years has included the option to "show recent transactions" or some such thing.

...and the grace period is not from the date of purchase, but from the statement date. That means if you purchase something on the 1st, and the statement comes on the 31st, you get those days for free, plus the grace period to pay the statement balance.

I just signed up for a card with a 2.5% cashback on all purchases. It has a $100 annual fee, but it's 1% higher interest than anything else I could find. The first $10k spent on the card makes the fee back, and anything thereafter is extra money. I pay nearly everything on my card, so exceeding $10k will be easy, though I do have an Amazon card that gives 5% back on all purchases on Amazon.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Key take away is if you want zero percent interest revolving balance transfer debt you neEd the card to be ONLY for that purpose and a completely separate card for daily transactions
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It does not show my purchase balance.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have found credit union card services have been pretty lacking. Even as of 2011 credit Langley fcu had basic see your balance and that's about it on line access.
All the big consumer card companies had real time itemized card access for around 10 years at that point.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My HealthEquity HSA account with $1,000 balance has a monthly $4 fee. I was outraged, so I transferred all the funds to my other HSA and incurred a $25 account closure fee. Vipers, all of those bankers.

Anyhow, I found out my company is paying the "maintenance" fee, so I'm moving funds back so I can put them in an index fund instead of getting 0.0000001% interest in savings.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I stopped using credit cards in the 1970s because it reminded me of my [first ] ex-wife. Now I'm reluctant to handle cash with my bare hands because reasons.

I've determined I'll need to get a smart phone, and fortunately the $150 Pinephone is shipping. It runs any flavor of Linux rather than iPhone or Android OS. I know it's easy in some countries to do contactless payment via QR code. Is that possible in the USofA?

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