Newest Review: ... can to help and support us. Yes, we've been paying a whopping rate of interest to Capital One for several years now...but based on the i... more
Great for fraud, crap for interest!
Member Name: eowyn3066
Advantages: Proactive fraud prevention
Disadvantages: You'd better be sitting down when you look at your new interest rate
ON fraud protection and id fraud they are so hot it's truley scary! We have had our card replaced on no less than 7 occassions due to fraudulent (real or suspected)activity on our card. On 3 occassions fraud had actually taken place. In the first, someone was having a lovely time buying super outsized sportswear in the Houston, Texas, US fat capital of the world - I so don't need that image in my head!! The second, was petrol, how dull, can you not think of something more interesting to spend my money on?? And the third was truley inspired, 12 flights from Athens to Heathrow, I lived in the hope that the police and anti fraud squad met them at passport control!!!
On each occassion they contacted us (from a UK call centre). They went through our statements line by line. We then received forms to sign confirming they weren't our transactions, cards were stopped and new ones issued and received within 7 days - except for the time they went missing in the post (but that's a whole other review!!) So as you can see in the area of fraud they are impressive!
We also had the payment protection insurance (PPI) on our card. If you have read any of my other reviews you will see that my husband has unfortunately been made redundant 3 times in the last 5 years, so we have had plenty of opportunties to use our insurance. Now I know this type of insurance takes a bit of a bashing, and there are cheaper ways of insuring your credit card payments via third party companies. However, our insurance was with capital one and paid through our card on a monthly basis.
Once again on this I am unable to fault them! Yes the cost is higher than if you insure your credit card debt through a third party, but until recently we didn't know you could do this, so for the purpose of this review I can only comment on Capital One. The claims procedure was fast, you speak to a UK call centre, who goes through your details. They then send you a form to fill in which has to be partially filled in by your Jobcentre, confirming when you signed on etc. Within 4 weeks, on all three occassions we needed to claim they had come back and confirmed they would pay out. I would say at this point that there is no point having this insurance if you are a contracter or casual worker, it only pays for permanent staff.
Each month we had to fill in an ABI1 form at the jobcentre with it signed and stamped by them then send it to Capital one with details of what we had been doing to look for work.
They pay 1/10th of your balance, so considerably more than the minimum payment on a monthly basis so long as you send them the ABI1's. They do only pay out for 12 months or until you return to work. One major down side is that you do still need to pay your premiums while you are not working. But as the payments they make more than cover the premium, it's not a huge issue. They also allow you to take a short term contract job for up to 6 months, your payments stop while you are working but start up again when the contract ends. They don't however pay out on full time contract workers, unless you have had a 12 month contract renewed once, or a 6 month contract renewed 3 times, they don't pay out at all on contract workers on shorter contracts.
So that's two good points, now onto the bad, and I'm guessing you already know where I am going next!!
For many years they have been bragging in their adverts about their fantastic rate of 9.9% average! Well I would love to see how they work that one out! Within 6 months of having our card the interest rate lept up to 18.9% that's a 91% increase!! We had never missed payments, our balance was hovering at a similar level to when we took the card out. I called to ask why the huge hike, and was informed it was a customer wide increase! OK said I, they why are you still advertising your cards at 9.9% interest for new customers?? The answer will make you laugh - "Its for brand new customers only" Now where have I heard that one before! As a jesture of goodwill they did move the interest rate down to 12.9%.
But and it's a big but, that's not the end of my interest story! As mentioned above my husband is currently redundant, and in the current climate finding a job is nigh on impossible. For the last 12 months our insurance has duly been paying our monthly bill for us, however, our insurance has now finished (it only pays out for a year). During the last 18 months the interest rate had again crept up to 18.8%. The only notification of this being little addendums on your monthly statement - very crafty!
Anyway, there we were insurance finished, having to take on the payments again ourselves when out of the blue we receive a letter from them saying that due to the current economic climate our interest rate will be going up to a whopping 26.88% again a massive 43% increase. At this point I feel that I should add, we have still never missed a payment, never paid late and both have excellently rated credit scores.
Once again I phoned them and again was told it's a customer wide increase, once again I asked why then do you still offer new customers 9.9% - why should I be subsidising your new customers?? The response, "It's for brand new customers only" !!!!!!!!!!!! This time they wouldn't move on the rate they set, so I have written a complaint letter to them and am still waiting for a reply. If they don't decrease the rate I will go to the financial ombudsman, who I gather currently have rather a large number of complaints against CO going through!
So where does all this leave me in terms of rating Capital One?? If you are someone who always pays off your monthly balance in full, but who worries about id theft go for it, the fraud prevention is superb.
If you are looking for good payment protection, I have no complaints about this one, but you can get it cheaper elsewhere, try Martin Lewis's moneysavingexpert.com for suggestions.
If you are looking for a good rate of interest - FORGET IT!
Summary: Run away FAST!
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