Cash, banks, credit cards, and all that jazz.
I recently had a credit card change enforced on me. After having an Egg Card for several years, Egg's owners decided to flog the business off to the highest bidder and sold their card business to Barclaycard. Which is why, a few weeks ago, a new card was sent with strict instructions to use it from the 7 November as my old one would be cancelled.
The Egg card was my main credit card and I used it a lot. It gave me 1% cashback off everything and as I had it set to pay the full bill automatically every month, it was the card that paid me to use it. I'd opted out of paper statements since day one and used their online facility a lot. It had nice things like getting an instant PIN reminder, displaying it on the website if you entered enough security details. But with the switch I'd have to get using Barclaycard's service instead.
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It was all very exciting. And great. And I waved it around a lot and went "Wahoo!".
Then I put it down on the table and left it there until I had chance to pay it in.
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I confess I didn’t quite expect was what came through the post a few days after opening an account with the Principality - a genuine, bona fide building society passbook.
The story that the BBC is consulting its staff on what basically amounts to the end of its final salary pension scheme has naturally been whirling around my mind recently.
As an idealistic 19 year old, I’d voted against demutualisation of the Halifax believing - as I do today - that an organisation based on serving its members first, is better than one that puts it’s shareholders first.
Of course there are the occasional flaws and black marks, and some are heading towards AA Savings from me right now.
So about two months ago, a substantial amount of my money ended up stuck in the British operation of a failed Icelandic bank, known in the UK as Icesave. Well after a bit of a wait - and nowhere near as long as most people originally expected - my cash has now been returned.
Seems the whole Kaupthing Edge clean up continues. It’s taken them some time, but it finally came - the email…
It’s not so long ago that I wrote about failed bank Kaupthing Edge, and the fact that it’s new owners hadn’t reduced interest rates, nor removed its high paying fixed term rates for existing customers. It seems they’ve finally caught up on that front…
The recent banking crisis has caused me a few issues here and there.
The recent collapse of Icesave resulted in me pondering the future of my bank accounts.
They say a week is a long time in politics. Maybe they should add a new one - a week is a long time in banking during a credit crunch.
I had hoped that my exposure to the whole credit crunch/banking crisis would be limited at watching my HBOS shares slide and slide before being effectively forced into agreeing to a takeover by Lloyds TSB. Shares I’d got for free - bar the fact that I’d decided things couldn’t really get any worse, so why not take up the rights issue and grab a few more, cos in the long term…
Who would have thought that an angry, ranting post about GE Money, would result in so much feedback? And not all of a good kind…
After all the hassle recently with GE Money, my gut reaction was to close my credit card with them straight away. In the end I decided to give their complaints department the benefit of the doubt and see what happened before taking a final decision. As it happens, they’ve decided to ditch me before I ditch them.
I came back from holiday to find my July credit card bill from GE Money. Not an amazing occurrence - such things happen all the time. This time was different for it featured a “Late Payment Charge” and a wad of interest. Which rather annoyed me, because I’d just set up a direct debit for the account so that every month, the full balance would be paid off. When it comes to credit cards, I’m the annoying person that the banks hate because I always - and I mean always - pay off my bill.
There’s an article on BBC News Online about the decision by Lloyds TSB to impose a £35 annual charge on credit cards account holders who don’t use their cards.
Well it’s been over a year since my last rant about the Alliance and Leicester’s incompetence, and you may be glad that this will be the last one ever. For today the last accounts were closed.
Step 1: go to cash machine, and insert cash card.
I recently got an Egg Money card thanks to Mint stopping its Cashback, and Lloyds TSB deciding to ditch Accucard (again, losing cashback in the process).
Rather oddly I’ve just had a call from Mint querying some transactions on my credit card. I’d wondered if something was up when I came to pay for my newly upgraded travelcard at Colliers Wood tube station, and the guy in the ticket office had to phone up to get the card confirmed. Then at Sainsburys I had the same problem - I just put the whole £8 on a different card.
So the debit card has been cut, and the cheque book shredded. And that was before my current account transfer had been even completed to them.
I open the envelope and there’s my shiny new PIN complete with message telling me to destroy this slip and memorise my number.
Don’t you just love it when you contact a provider and say "Why am I not able to do this? What’s the logic in not being able to do it? It makes no sense."
Well I’ve used the internet banking services of a few banks so far, and none of them come close to sucking as much as Alliance and Leicester - they’re have become a shining example of how to frustrate and annoy at least one user. Me.
Twice I’ve tried to apply for a current account with Intelligent Finance online. And twice it has failed for no apparent reason.