I thought I should post this to warn people about Morgan Stanley. Sorry in advance for the length.
In June 2006 I took out a credit card with Morgan Stanley with a deal of 2% cash back for 6 months which would then revert to 1%. When it arrived I started using it and everything was fine. After the second month I noticed that the cash back hadn't been applied properly as only 1% had been applied. When I contacted them I was told not to worry as they were aware there was a problem but it would be sorted out by my anniversary date at the latest. Satisfied, I continued using the card.
When I used it to purchase a wardrobe I received a call one minute after walking out the store. The phone call was from a lovely Morgan Stanley customer advisor who was concerned about the large purchase that was outwith my normal spending habits. This I found reassuring. At this opportunity I brought up the subject of the wrongly attributed cash back which was still not rectified. I was again told not to worry as they were aware there was a problem but it would be sorted out by my anniversary date at the latest. Satisfied and reassured, I continued using the card.
In April 2007 received notification that I would be charged for the privilege of having a Morgan Stanley card as of June, but they had a sweetener of 0% for three months for May, June and July. My instinct was to cancel especially since I had received a letter from Morgan Stanley saying " take out a card with us for free, no annual fee and have cash back". Alas, I purchased something on Buy Now Pay in June from a company that would not let me change my credit card details. Reluctantly and mildly appeased by the 3 months sweetener of 0%, I continued using the card.
On the 2nd of June and I lost my wallet and had to phone to cancel my card. The person that I spoke to did not seem to have any sense of urgency at all at cancelling my card. I was told that a new card would be delivered in approximately ten days time. Disappointed as a Morgan Stanley customer, and unable to continue using the card.
After approximately 2 weeks I phoned Morgan Stanley again to ask when I would be likely to receive my new card. I was then told politely that although my card had been cancelled no new card had been requested and therefore no new card was on its way to me. I was asked of I wished a new card to be issued, to which my answer was yes, whereupon I was again told that a new card would be delivered in approximately ten days time. Disillusioned as a Morgan Stanley customer, and unable to continue using the card.
After approximately another 2 weeks I rang Morgan Stanley again to ask when I would be likely to receive my new card. I was then told again that although my card had been cancelled no new card had been requested for the second time and therefore no new card was on its way to me. I was asked of I wished a new card to be issued, to which my answer was yes, whereupon I was again told that a new card would be delivered in approximately ten days time.
At this point I also asked about my cash back as this was now the anniversary and the cash back amount had not been amended with the correct amount as had been promised. I was then told that I should have called about that earlier as it was my responsibility to notify of any problems and that I should not have left it so long. When I explained that her colleagues told me not to worry as they were aware there was a problem but it would be sorted out by my anniversary date at the latest, I was told, rather impudently, that I should have sorted it out earlier, that she was not aware of any problem and that I shouldn't have left it for so long.
I then felt so annoyed that I brought up the fact that why was I being charged for a Morgan Stanley card when I was also being invited to apply for a Morgan Stanley card with no annual fee attached. I was then, rather rudely told that I could apply for the new card as long as I cancelled the one that I had. At this point I was a Morgan Stanley customer who is discontented, insulted, annoyed, actively dissuading friends from choosing a Morgan Stanley card and unable to continue using the card.
At this point I had to hang up to get a debit card to make a telephone payment to my Morgan Stanley card. When I called back, the system asks you to enter your card details. As mine was cancelled the system states "due to the status of your card you are being transferred to a customer advisor". This was not a problem, but bearing in mind that my card was cancelled it seemed incredulous to me that one of the first things that the customer advisor asked me, before completing the security check, was "would you like another person on the card". This added to the fact that I do not have a card to use, let alone share with anyone else, left me in a state of disbelieve, actively dissuading friends from choosing a Morgan Stanley card and still unable to continue using the card.
After approximately yet another 2 weeks I rang Morgan Stanley again to ask if I would be likely to receive my new card. I was then told that the card was issued and that there had been problems with the change over from Morgan Stanley to Goldfish. I pointed out that my new issue of a card problem had occurred before, during and after the change over and this was the first time that that was mentioned. I was also told that due to the post strikes that the card was probably just tied up in the post and would be delivered. If it was not there in a few days then call back. The only other thing that could be done would be to cancel the card that hadn't been delivered yet and start the new process over again which would take another 10 days. I settled for hoping that it would be delivered late and waited for a few more days. Now displeased, still actively dissuading friends from choosing a Morgan Stanley card and still unable to continue using the card.
After approximately yet another 2 weeks I rang Morgan Stanley again to ask if I would be likely to receive my new card. I was then told that the card was issued and that if I had not received it then the only thing that could be done would be to cancel the card that hadn't been delivered yet and start the new process over again which would take another 10 days. I agreed. Still discontented, still actively dissuading friends from choosing a Morgan Stanley card and still unable to continue using the card.
After approximately yet another 2 weeks I rang Morgan Stanley again to ask if I was ever likely to receive my new card since after asking FOUR times one had still not materialised. I was then told that the card was issued and that if I had not received it then the only thing that could be done would be to cancel the card that hadn't been delivered yet and start the new process over again which would take another 10 days. I agreed although this time I asked for recorded delivery so that it could not get "lost" in the post. I was told that there was no supervisor on that could approve that but that they would ask in the morning when they started but that they could not see that there would be a problem with granting recorded delivery due to the circumstances. I am now Morgan Stanley customer who is dissatisfied, exasperated, actively dissuading friends from choosing a Morgan Stanley card and still unable to continue using the card.
I now find that I have paid for a card in June, the same month I lost the card, that I have not been able to use, and will not be able to use until September, if it arrives. This is the 5th of September and no card has arrived. I have paid for a card from a company that also offered me a card with no annual fee. The a sweetener of 0% for three months for May, June and July has now expired without my being able to use the June and July at all. Yet my bills have managed to arrive on time. As have my payments to Morgan Stanley.
What hasn't arrived has been a replacement card in the months where I had a special offer. Also what looks entirely unlikely to arrive is a letter of apology or a goodwill gesture of any sort even after I wrote a letter of complaint. I will be sending this to them attached to another letter of complaint.
So I thought you might be able to offer some advice. At the very least publicising this may dissuade others, beyond my circle of friends and family, from taking a Morgan Stanley card. Incidentally, I have also added it to my Bebo site, and will upload it to my Facebook site, that way not only my friends, but also their friends, and their friends etc. can be aware of Morgan Stanley's poor, appalling customer service
Kind regards to all.
PS this is also posted on MoneySavingExpert where one person replied to say that they also received problems with the issue of their card
Would recommend this card to anyone who wants to earn cash for existing spending ***as long as you pay off the monthly balance***
This is an excellent credit card package with no annual fee. I was enticed originally by the cashback bonus, but can't find any reason having taken it to get rid of it. The bonus really does make you money, if you're in a position to pay off the balance each month. If not, there are cards with lower APR which might be more cost effective. You can earn 1% on the first £2000 and 0.5% on the rest up to £20,000.
The customer service number is freephone, and generally seems to be answered relatively quickly by helpful and knowledgable staff, the website is excellent with downloads to MS Money or Quicken if required.
The online application process seemed simple and quick, and I was using my new card less than 2 weeks later. They apply payments promptly, and have some special offers which give great bargains too!
Overall my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Morgan Stanley Platinum card credit card is a nice looking card which comes in silver or black (you can choose). It does not charge an annual fee, and the APR is currently 15.9%.
As I pay my balance off each month, the reason I got this card was because it had the best introductory cashback offers at the time. The normal cashback offer is 1% for your first £2000 of purchases each year, plus 0.5% for all purchases in excess of £2000. This may not seem like much, but by putting everything on my card I got a cheque for a nice amount at the end of the year. It did take a few weeks to arrive though - first they sent me a letter congratulating me on my cashback, so I rang them and said it hadn't actually arrived. Oh, they said, we haven't sent it yet - apparently I had to wait 4-6 weeks. Not sure what the point of the first letter was then.
Morgan Stanley have a guarantee against online fraud - you won't be responsible for payments if someone steals your card details. I haven't had to test this yet, luckily.
You can also get a cheap balance transfer - the APR is cheaper but be warned that they will charge a 1% fee on top.
Managing your account
I manage my account online through the Morgan Stanley website. It is easy to set up (you can choose your own user ID and password) and straightforward to use.
You can view all of my past statements, and print them out, and you can also export the details of the statement to Microsoft Money or Quicken.
You can also pay your bill online using a debit card - you get a page to print off in case you have a query in the future.
I have also paid over the phone by debit card in the past, once I found my way round the automated phone system.
One thing to watch is the due date on the bill. The money may be due by this date, but you will need to pay it at least 2 days before this, or you will get charged a late fee (currently £12) plus interest. The quickest method is to pay be telephone (2 days in advance). If you pay online, you need to do this 4 days before the due date.
You can use the online system to apply for:
A card for an additional cardholder (free)
Payment protection (76p per £100 of balance per month) - this covers you if you are unable to pay your balance due to illness, or pays the balance if you die.
Card protection (£20 per year) - covers you against fraud (online fraud is covered without paying this fee), having to get all your cards reissued, provides an emergency loan if you lose your money and cards abroad and sorts out changes of address - for up to 5 people in your household.
Travel Insurance - policies from £45, so not the cheapest on the market.
I have called customer services on several occasions. It is a freephone number, although you still get charged if you call from a mobile. It is definitely worth trying to find a landline to call from, as you will be on the phone for AGES.
First you have to key in your account number, then your date of birth. They the automated system gives you whole bunch of information (balance on card, how much you have left to spend this month, etc) that you probably didn't want to know anyway. There is no way to skip this part. Then it is a case of trying to guess the right option to get through to a real person. If you are eventually lucky enough to get through to a real person, in my experience, they are usually quite helpful. The advice has been good, and I haven't been told anything incorrect yet.
I would like to say that I know all about the interest rates on credit cards - but I don't. I pay off the balance each month, so to me, the only attraction on a credit card is the "added extra". If you were expecting anything about APR's and interest rate games, quit now! This is about the quality of the service you get - not how to juggle credit. I have had a Morgan Stanley (Dean Witter) Platinum card for about four years and in that time they have paid me a cheque every year for my custom. MSDW use a policy of awarding you a percentage of your spend with them as a cheque at the end of the year. Noticeably over the years, the percentage has gone down. Initially the card paid 1/2% of the first 2k spend, followed by 1% on everything else. That changed in the last year to 1/2% on everything. Sneaky... Since I used to use the card abroad a lot, I noticed when they started adding a surcharge recently of 1% of your transaction amount for exchange rate transfers - they charge you 1% of the amount for changing from whatever currency back into good old pounds, shillings and pence. On top of that, they give you an exchange rate based on changing whatever into dollars and then into GPB - because MSDW are a US bank I presume! So what they give with one hand they take way with another. Fair enough, I can still see some advantages of using the card. All I now do is pay for as much as possible with my Amex Blue and where the Amex isn't accepted, use this. Man cannot live on cash alone, not in the modern world. Where I thought initially that MSDW gained was the Customer Service. "We're open 24/7/365" they claim - and as far as I have tested, they are. Initially you always got to spe
ak to a human being straight away, now there is an automated telephone system to navigate. After entering card number, DOB etc and the automated system telling you you're balance (But I don't want to know!!!!) you hold and are eventually connected to a human being. Takes a while, but at least the call is free (0800 number) Now, if you have a problem with a transaction, you talk to the Chargeback Department. I am probably going to malign people here, but, speak as you find - the whole review is, after all, based on experience, not the ideal world. I had a problem with Europcar, covered in a previous review, the crux of the matter being that I was charged for damage to a car (cigarette burn) which I didn't do - for the record Europcar, I DON'T SMOKE!!! They included the charge for damage into the rental charge and this I disputed, via MSDW. MSDW's charge back department were somewhat haphazard. I had to chase them for the normal dispute forms (twice) then explain the situation over the phone to get the charge suspended (placed into dispute). The process then began for the charge to be taken to a tribunal with Mastercard. In the meantime, MSDW's rules say that any item in dispute for more than 13 weeks are automatically released - so I then had to chase them to place the item back into dispute. MSDW represented me/their own interests to Mastercard and won the case - plus costs. Strike one to MSDW!! Since that time, MSDW were (allegedly) paying the remainder of the money owed to Europcar. I paid them the balance, net result, matter closed. Not so. MSDW sent the money somewhere, but not to Europcar. So now, I have paid MSD
;W and I am being taken to court by Europcar for non-payment. Trying to get MSDW to engage now is like knitting fog - not our problem, we've paid everything, got all the documentation to prove it. Documentation - Chasing MSDW, I am quoted the Data Protection Act and the divulgence of information. According to Section 7, 8 and 13, you are entitled to get information about or pertaining to you, in hard copy - MSDW don't appreciate this and I am fighting to get the information about where my money has gone from MSDW, so I can pass the trail on to Europcar. MSDW refuse point blank to do this on my behalf, Data Protection Act gov, more than my job's worth!!! So, my experience of MSDW - good to start, but things go downhill. Benefits are eroded and the facade wears thin. I don't think they are the worst credit card supplier, but they aren't the best either. There comes a point where they are not interested any longer. I've used MBNA, RBS, AMEX, EGG and all vary - some give you less and are OK, others give you more and help less. Summary - MSDW used to be one of the best freebie cards on the market, IMHO. Now, the story has changed. They give a little, but miss out on a lot. I'm beginning to get the impression that with Credit Cards, you get what you pay for...so I may be getting a Lloyds card soon Good spending...!!!
I have had a MSDW Gold card for a number of years. I have a number of other cards which, together with MSDW have high credit limits and high outstanding balances. I always make payment on time and never exceed my card limit. Last year my card limit was increased (by them). Last month I noticed that my annual APR had been increased from the advertised 14.9% to 19.9%. I received no notification other than the usual credit card bill insert advising me that they have the right to ammend my terms and conditions whenever they feel like it ! I contacted their customer service manager who advised me that it was the decision of their credit department and could not be altered. The fact that my account remains within limit and receives regular payments seems to have no bearing. She could not understand why it had happened or even point to any event which would have had a bearing on the decision. Apparently their decision was a "business" one ! I always believed that card companies move all customer interest rates together when base rate changes or individually if an account is in default. It now seems that they watch account balances carefully, and if you show that you are unlikely to repay the balance immediately or may not be able to balance transfer, they have got you by the "short & curlies". Complying with all terms and conditions of the card apparently means nothing. It is clear that they tempt you with high limits, then selectively bully anyone who uses it. I am now looking to move balances to another card (if I can). Beware !
Over the past four years Morgan Stanley have paid me nearly a thousand pounds for using their Platinum card - and I haven't paid them a penny in charges. -o- The Cashback -o- Towards the end of 1998 I received an unsolicited mailing from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and when I read about the cashback bonus scheme I had no hesitation in completing the simple application form and posting it back to them. Less than 2 weeks later, I had a shiny new platinum card, with a £10K credit limit (£3.5K for cash advances), and I began accumulating my cashback. I earn 0.5% for the first £2K spent in a year and 1% thereafter, this is paid annually, by cheque, on the anniversary date of taking out the card. -o- The Charges -o- I pay the full balance every month by direct debit so I don't run the risk of missing the payment date which would incur a £20 late payment fee in addition to the interest charges. I probably wouldn't choose this card if I didn't pay it off monthly as there are lower APR?s available: the current rate on purchases is 14.9% on the Morgan Stanley platinum card (versus 13.2% on the gold version) - and there's a whopping 20.9% variable APR on cash advances PLUS the 2% withdrawal fee. To entice new account holders, there are frequently reduced APR offers for transferred balances - currently 0% for 6 months. -o- Using the Platinum Card -o- In general, it's much like any other card: get the timing right and you have nearly 2 months interest free credit; you must make at least the minimum payment (the greater of 2% or £5) by the due date shown on your monthly statement; you can choose from various payment methods - by phone (see below), direct debit, internet (if you have an on-line banking service), or by post with a good old-fashioned cheque. They guarantee against fraudulent use on the internet, so long as you comply with the T&C's, and there's a package of complimentary travel bene
fits to supplement the high travel accident cover (up to £250,000). -o- Call Centre Support -o- Operating 24/7, I've always found the call centre refreshingly easy to contact (although they do have the dreaded IVR to navigate) and I like the fact that calls are not merely charged at local rate, as is the case with many other finance houses, this card comes with a freephone number. If you don't wish to talk but want to check your current balance, or make a payment (key in debit card details), the Automated Telephone Service is pretty straightforward - you have to key in letters from your password as a security check to utilise this service. -o- On-line Facilities -o- The on-line account management service is useful, registration is fairly simple, the site is easy to navigate and quick to download, and aside from viewing your latest statement and current balance, you can select from a menu of e-mail alerts - I use this facility to warn me if I'm nearing my credit limit, notify me when a new statement has been produced (you still get a copy in the post) and confirm when my monthly payment has been processed. You can also apply for a card on-line and check out the current offers - go to www.morganstanleycard.co.uk. -o- When Things Go Wrong -o- The acid test for customer services ... what are they like when you have a problem? I had a real crisis a couple of years ago; I was told over the phone that I had reached my credit limit, spending £10K in just 2 weeks. When I'd picked myself up from the floor, an adviser talked me through the details and it transpired that my card had been used to pay for flights and a 2 day spending spree in Spain. After further investigation it seems that my card was swiped through one of those duplicating machines. Morgan Stanley's support during this time was excellent; they sorted everything out and quickly credited my account back with all the charges I informed
them were not authorised by me. Since this happened, I do not let any of my cards leave my sight (eg in restaurants) when using them to pay for goods and I would urge you all to be as vigilant. -o- Overall -o- In summary, this credit card is right for me, rewarding me with money for doing nothing more than shopping with it, and not costing me a penny when I need to contact Morgan Stanley by phone. The cashback is fantastic - my anniversary date is early December so my cheque arrives nicely in time to cover my Christmas excesses; there is no annual fee; the on-line account visibility is convenient; the card is accepted everywhere you see the MasterCard logo; and I've been delighted with the service. Recommended unreservedly to everyone who pays their monthly credit card balance in full.
Okay, my main reason for this card wasn't their reputation as a large credit company, but the temptation of 4.9% for a balance transfer for the life of the balance tempted me I applied online but after 10 days hadn't heard anything so I phoned them. They hadn't received it. Bad show considering I used a workstation on a megastream connected PC. The woman on the phone was very helpful and kind and took the details again. Don't get the payment protection or else you will be paying the full rate for a purchase. It's great to get your credit cleared this way but even if you pay off your cards each month, you could do worse than give this card a go. The platinum card offers cashback.
Well apparently so anyway, if you want to be able to get credit facilities - don't buy a new house - and now someone has won a court-case preventing electoral roles from being sold to third parties, rumour has it that if you have moved anywhere in the last 7 months, you won't be able to get credit anywhere - and will have to write to the likes of Experian and Equifax to prove your worth - well back to the issue in hand. Morgan Stanley - one of the biggest investment banks in the world - I can vividly remember their chain of advertisements when they first hit the UK market with images of people puttying walls with their old credit cards - well it looks like they have got their feet firmly under the table and are here to stay. I decided after seeing a variety of advertisements and reading material about the company, that with my introductory rate about to end it was time to move on again and MSDW Gold card fitted the bill. I trundled off to look at their web-site, where you can apply on-line, although you don't get an instant decision. I was about to apply on-line when I recognised that this wasn't a good idea as I didn't have a post-code recognisable on company's computer systems. I therefore opted for their telephone application system and was greeted with helpful, friendly operators. I explained to the customer service lady that I had recently moved to a brand new property and therefore had only just been issued with an official address and postcode, and asked if this would be a problem. She confirmed that it was highly unlikely to cause a problem and asked if I would I like her to take me through the application process - to which I confirmed yes - BAD MOVE. Upon completing the application, she advised me that my address didn't exist in the system (I'm sure I had already told her this) and that my postcode was allocated to an area of the city only accessible with a passport.
I tried telling her otherwise but she wasn't having any of it, adamant that I couldn't possible live where I told her I did. It was confirmed that the application would have to be referred to the company underwriters and that a decision should be received within a week - (don't worry I will get around to telling you about the card) - WRONG AGAIN - a week later, I received a letter to my home address telling me that it didn't exist, and that if I wanted to prove that it did, then I would have to send them gas or electric utility bills issued in the last three months showing my name and address exactly as it had appeared on the application form I had never actually seen. IMPOSSIBLE - having only been in the property around 6 months, and having had the postcode for one month - it couldn't physically be done. Another call to their call centre in Glasgow was very helpful, told the young lady what correspondence I did have, and would this be OK - apparently a well-endowed bank statement is not enough and such things can be registered under any address (so can someone tell me why we had so much hassle getting an account for my then 11 year old daughter). Well anyway, correspondence from my solicitor and a council tax bill did the trick and I was awarded my little gold monster. WHY WAS I SO PERSISTENT? Well, I didn't actually want a credit card to spend on, just to transfer the last of my balance from a more expensive card over to at 4.9% for the life of the balance - far cheaper than any loan - it makes a saving of around £20 a month on a card of 18.9% APR and a balance of just over £2K - if you follow the links off Lycos, it will calculate savings for you on a whole range of balance amounts and cards. The current offer runs until 1st April 2002 to take advantage of this, but knowing the way my luck goes, they will possibly reduce the rate further at this point, bering in mind tha
t interest rates have remained static. STANDARD Rate for the card is still quite competitive at 13.9% and 19.9% for cash advances (this includes a charge of 1.5% of the money advanced - and not a cheap way to do things unless you are an MBNA card holder who do have some superb offers on such transactions from time to time). Interest free period I believe is around 55 days, (10 more than Egg, 4 less than MBNA) - and minimum payment is 2%, £5 (whichever is the greater) or the total balance if less than £5. Like most of the competition, there is a 2.75% charge on overseas transactions, although where they actually hit with this I don't really know, as I have never encountered any charges out of the ordinary when using my card overseas - and most of the time it stills work out to be cheaper than taking cash or travellers cheques. LATE FEES are £20 for doing anything out of the ordinary like missing a payment, going over your credit limit etc. (again fairly standard fayre compared to the competition - with the exception of Liverpool Victoria so I believe who don't make any charges but there again don't give you enough to credit to actually do anything with). ADDITIONAL CARD HOLDERS Additional card holders are allowed on this account, and the feature I particularly liked is that each card has a separate account number (the main cardholder remains responsible for both accounts and the credit limit is shared) - this means that if one of you loses your card, then only that card gets stopped and thus the account is not frozen - most companies give the same number with both cards, thus if one of you loses it, the account is frozen until new cards are issued, not funny if you are a long way from home. INSURANCE Like most of the competition they offer insurance against repayment of balances to cover things such as sickness, redundancy and death (up to a maximum of £15K) at 71p per £100 of outstandi
ng balance - there are cheaper deals around on cards if not taking advantage of the balance transfer rate - but make sure you always read the small print - if you are on temporary contracts, have a pre-existing illness or are self employed, you could find yourself wasting money on something totally useless to you. ON-LINE - you can access your account on-line and can: (From the site) * View the latest transactions on your Card Account * View your current Cashback Bonus award online * View a real time summary of your Account * View your last 12 months' statements online * Sort your statements by transaction type, date and amount * Download individual monthly statements in to Microsoft Money or Quicken You can also set-up the account to notify you via e-mail when a payment has been credited to the account, and when a statement is available for viewing, much faster than 2nd class snail mail. You cannot transfer balances or make payments on-line - although they do take Switch/Delta payments over the phone via the automated telephone service, or of course you can use telephone or internet banking. Things are getting very confusing these days as each company appears to have as different rules on this - * Marbles you can pay on-line but not over the phone, * MBNA you cannot pay on-line OR over the phone, although you can use your internet/ telephone banking. ANY PERKS? With rates like this, who needs perks? The standard card offers the same rates as the Gold Card, the Platinum (usually the cheaper cards on the market) actually charges higher rates, although they apparently offer a 0.5% cash-back on all purchases up to £2,000 in a year, and 1% thereafter. - if you spent £3,500 on the card in a year, you would get back the grand total of £25 (thanks but I'll settle for lower interest rates). They have deals with Orange for extra perks when taking out
a new monthly contract phone, although I should imagine you can probably find just as good deals browsing your local High Street. Cheap wine crates from Laithwaites - and a free bottle of champagne with your first order (don't like champagne) and you can probably get a better deal in Tescos or Sainsburys. Cheaper telephone calls with QUIP - assuming you are not taking advantage of any of BT's special offers (if you are not then you need you head tested) And their own travel service - The First Resort - http://morganstanley.thefirstresort.com/bridgepage/index.asp the site apparently offers things such as savings on long haul travel, 3 nights for the price of 2 on short breaks, and various other savings - although I would have to see how it compared with the High Street and other internet travel agents before making any decisions - there always seems to be a sting in the tail of such offers. =================== As you can probably gather I am fairly cynical of most 'deals' provided by credit card companies - so long as they get my statements right, charge me a competitive rate of interest and give me a decent and sensible but usable credit limit (the amount of times I have actually had to ask companies to reduce my limit defies belief), a freephone telephone number for customer services and are nice to me when I telephone them and don't keep me waiting too long, then I am easily pleased. On all counts so far, I am pleased, * Good service, * VERY, VERY, security conscious, * Excellent rates of interest, * A good usable credit limit, * Friendly helpful staff * A freephone telephone number and * Short waiting times on the phone. any more than that we shall have to wait and see. But if you have recently moved to a brand new property, (or in light of recent legal changes - within the last 7 months) you may just have to prove
who you are. Fancy a go: http://www.msdwcard.co.uk/uk/data/index.html or telephone: 0800 028 0838 Lines open 9 til 9 Monday to Friday and until 5.30pm on Saturdays, closed Sundays. If your application for a Gold Card is turned down, you may be offered a blue card instead. Sue
MSDW as I abbreviate it to were one of the unfortunates in the September 11 outrage, yet despite that they have carried on providing an excellent service to customers. I used to be a member taking advantage of their 1.9% balance transfer rate a year ago, but when that ended, I cancelled. Now I have applied again, this time on the Internet, the first time I have trusted this medium for such an important function. This is after talking to an MSDW call centre operative, who was as pleasant and helpful as I have become used to expecting from this organisation. A credit to the group. He said that the telephone department responsible for taking telephone applications was only open to 2100 and as it was getting late, I asked if the Internet was another method of applying, and he gave me the address as http://www.morganstanley.com/cards. On logging into this late at night, I found that it was immediately redirected to http://www.msdwcard.co.uk/uk/data/index.html where there is/was a banner on the right stating the 4.9 percent fixed for the life of your balance transfer. There is a gold and a platinum card image, with “Apply Now” under both. You have to look at the link for details of each before finding out what the difference is. It all boils down to the Platinum being a higher APR (interest rate) when paying for purchase over a period, and having a 1 percent cash back. The gold has no cash back but the APR is lower for purchases. Any road up (as we say Oop North) who cares, as I am advising you all not to use the card for anything else than transferring your other more expensive credit card overdrafts to this card. When selecting the Gold card to apply for, you are taken to page that asks if you have lived in more than one address in the last 3 years. If yes click that option or leave it pre-filled in with a dot in the NO option. Either way you are taken to
page1 of a SEVEN-page form to fill in when you click on “proceed”. The first page asks for name, age date of birth, marital status, home address and telephone/mobile number and email address. The second asks for Flat, House Name, House No., Street, District, Town, County, Postcode, Time at present address? Residential Status. The third page asks for Employment Status, (Select Employed Self Employed Temping Unemployed Homemaker Retired Student), Employer's Name, Building Name, Number, Street Name, District, Town, County, Postcode Business Phone, telephone STD number, Occupation, Time in Present Employment. The fourth page asks for information on Total Individual Annual Income, Spouse/Partner Annual Income, Monthly Rent/Mortgage, Outstanding Mortgage, Value of Property, Monthly Outgoings (loans, hire purchase, etc.), Visa Card? MasterCard? Diners Card? American Express Card? Storecard? Bank / Building Society Name, Sort Code and Account Number, and finally Time with Bank / Building Society. The fifth page asks for Password, Payment Protection Plan, (at just 71p per month for each £100 of outstanding balance), Card Protection Plan? In addition, when would you like your statement to be produced each month? 1st - 10th, 11th - 20th, 21st - 31st . There is a warning that it can take up to 7 days to arrive. The sixth page asks for balance transfer information, the amount you can transfer will depend on your Credit Limit. Up to 4 cards can be filled in on the form. Any more and you will have to apply to transfer more once you are accepted. Offer ends 01/04/02. Please note that the minimum Balance Transfer amount is £250 and that Balance Transfers must be made in accounts held in your name. He seventh page is just the Submit Application page where you can cancel if you change your mind, submit, or go back to a previous screen if you want to change something. <
br><br> Interestingly enough (if finance can ever be said to be such) if you mess up the name, or some other section, so that it takes you to a page with what is wrong mentioned, there are NO previous or back buttons, and when using the browser back button you are told to refresh. When you refresh you are then asked for retry or cancel, and clicking retry takes you back to a credit card screen that has no mention of the 4.9% offer. Which makes me wonder if by getting lost you may end up applying for a card with NO ability to transfer balances at 4.9%. So be warned, take care when filling it in to avoid missing any fields or putting in wrong data. If you do get to page 6, the balance transfer screen, it will mention the 4.9% if you are OK. If not, abandon the attempt and try again. After succesful submission they send the documents in the post that to be signed (as required by law), and returned in the prepaid envelope provided. You might find the telephone application easier to handle if you prefer feedback immediately from a human. I was given 0800 028 0838 by the gentleman on the helpline. The automated telephone helpline is 0800 02088 990. If you want to speak to a human, DO NOT PRESS 1 after it answers. The instructions say what to do. Note that this is intended for the customers of MSDW so only use it if you have problems with the 0800 028 0838. I was not accepted due to the number of other credit cards I have, which is their right as a lender. I am not unduly upset however, especially as I have accepted an offer from the American Express for exactly the same 4.9% for life balance transfer offer !!!!
Credit cards, like dentists and estate agents, are one of life's necessary evils - everyone despises them with every single fibre of their entire being, but they have little choice but to make use of them at one time or another in their lives. Credit cards are designed as a convenient and easy way to buy products and they are almost mandatory if you want to buy goods over the Internet, although increasingly these days companies are starting to accept Switch cards as an alternative. Credit cards have many advantages in that they act as an insurance in case there is anything wrong with your goods and obviously they save you having to lug around huge amounts of cash, but people are understandably concerned about the high degree of credit card these days and reticent about such dangers. However, it's not this that is the main problem, but rather the ease with which you can let your credit card account get completely out of control and run up large debts which can become the bane of your life. In many ways, credit cards are simply too convenient and easy to use for buying goods - see that shiny new computer which is just too good to miss out on? No problem, che-ching, stick it on the plastic, your flexibly spiteful friend and forget about it, at least until the end of the month when your statement comes. Of course, if you have willpower and are prepared to settle your balance in full each month when the statement comes, they can be a positive boon, giving you extra buying power and letting you delay the day you need to settle up, but who the hell has willpower these days when there are so many wonderful things to buy and so little time to waste. Of course, credit cards got an awful name for themselves back in the 80's, leading many people into unsustainable debt and creating untold misery, but over the last few years they have risen their very shiny, very ugly heads again. I got into difficulties with credit as a young
man and vowed that I wouldn't ever do the same again, but you try getting a flat rate ISP service without a credit card - can't be done. Okay, sermon over, let's get on with the detailed matter at hand - the Morgan Stanley Credit Card (apparently now the proper term because Morgan Stanley Dean Witter seems to have gone out of usage as the brand). You can get details of the Morgan Stanley offering at http://www.morganstanley.com/ and can apply for an account online. In fact, the site says so: "Give yourself all the advantages of carrying a Morgan Stanley Card. It only takes a few minutes to apply for your Card online - simply click on the apply button and you could be enjoying all these benefits. You could save money when you apply for your new Card with our exceptionally low Balance Transfer rate of 0% APR fixed for five months*. What's more, there's no annual fee to pay for your Morgan Stanley Card. *Going to 16.9% APR after five months for the Platinum Card and 13.9% APR for the Gold Card, click here for full details." It is surprisingly easy to get an account - you just fill out the details online and a few days later you receive your welcome pack which indicates that you have been accepted (or not, but I had no trouble and if I qualify for one then anyone will) and you then just have to check the details on the confirmation form, sign and return it in the Freepost envelope provided. Soon afterwards you will get your card and you just need to ring them up on a free 0800 number to activate the card and away you go. At the moment, MS offer you a 0% APR on your account balance for the first five months, so it obviously makes sense, although beware because that can quickly lull you into a false sense of security and get you reeling out of control, so watch it. You can manage your account from their website and it seems to work pretty well, although it is very Americanised in approach an
d presentation. They also offer a cashback bonus award which promises to pay you 1% of every purchase you make. This was on the Platinum card which was the one I applied for, but I assume it applies to other accounts too. MS Promise "we will work out the Cashback Bonus award you have earned and pay it to you by cheque shortly after the end of each year. We will show a provisional running total of the value of the Cashback Bonus award you have earned on each statement." However, they do say that the bonus has to be in excess of £3 and that if you are more than 2 months behind with your payment or die or are suspected of fraud you will forfeit your rights. Happy souls, hey? MS also promise that "if the credit card is lost, stolen or misused by someone who obtained it without your consent, you may be liable for up to £0 of any loss to the Bank." However, if it is misused with your permission watch out! What a strange clause, a bit like "Do not put pets in this microwave with the power on!" Okay, enough said ... the Morgan Stanley credit card is probably as good (or bad, whichever way you look at it) as most any credit card around these days, so if you really do want to put temptation in your way and you like the look of one of these stylish little brutes, please feel free to mosey on over and sign away your soul...
Sure it has a slick advertising campaign and looks quite nice but after that it is fairly average. Essentially this is exactly the same as the Platinum card but will have a lower credit limit. Interest rates and fees mean its designed for people who like to pay their bill in full each month. For those that don?t there are the Blue and Gold versions which offer no cashback but a lower rate. Once the introductory rate of 0% for the first 6 months has gone though there are more attractive rates around. What is marketed as up to '1% cashback' is actually 0.5% on the first £2000 and then 1% on everything on top of that, there are other credit cards that give you the full 1% on everything. Amex Blue and Halifax to name two off the top of my head. Even Egg, who now offer 0.5%, give you payment protection insurance that MSDW Black lacks. Online fraud protection comes as standard with most cards as does online accounts servicing. MSDW seem to have overlooked one thing with regards to the latter and that is that you can only view statements online and not recent transactions. I imagine once most people have the statement they don't really want to go near the Internet (although it does allow you to obtain it during that window when it is in the post). I personally found this a bit of a shag when I was trying to check how much money I had left whilst on holiday. Applying is fairly straight forward. You can do it online, over the phone or by post. The best option though is to have a chat with and apply though one of the rather raunchy oriental promo girls they seem to litter airports and stations with. Along with the sexual satisfaction you'll also get a free gift. Customer service is freephone and they seem to have done well here with, in my experience a below average waiting time. I actually filled in a rather lengthy questionnaire related to this and they already seem to have implemented the service according to the resu
lts by giving you an initial choice between a person or automated system. However all this really is is a card offering you average benefits that has been marketed very well.
We got the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter card back in November 1999 and the reason we changed was because of the cash back facility. You get 0.5% on first £2000 and then 1% on any purchases after that. The date you get your card is your anniversary date and then every year they give you the cash back you've accumulated in the form of a cheque. We actually got about £70 back last year. It shows the amount you've earned on every statement and you can also go on-line and look at your account. I am sure the APR is about average although as I pay my card off every month I have no idea what it is. I also find that because of the cash back facility I use the card more to get more cash rewards! I am very satisfied with this card and as it is a MasterCard it is accepted in most shops. They do have quite high fees payable if you do not pay the minimum payment on time though. Overall I would recommend this card as you are getting money back that you wouldn’t normally get on another credit card.
It seems like every day there is a mail shot in the paper trying to convince you to take out a new credit card. About six months ago I was unhappy with my Nationwide card so I decided to give Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MSDW) a try. Previously I had read a newspaper article on this Company, which suggested they would dominate the UK credit card market in a few years but they had made a mistake by not giving the card a short snappy name. The article went on to say that MSDW have an excellent name in America where they are well established. I received the card a short time later and it was easily activated and working that day. The credit limit was far in excess of what I needed and everything seemed great. The problem with Nationwide is they refuse to take payments by debit card so you have two options 1. post them a cheque 2. visit a branch and pay them. The branch then sends a cheque to the credit card company! The delay in the branch processing my payment has lead to me being charged a late payment fee on more than one occasion. So with MSDW there was the option of paying them on a free phone number where the card was debited the same day. The staff are extremely helpful and there is a 24-hour service so I really couldn't think of any more I wanted. However, I received a letter two days ago to tell me about the new MSDW website (www.msdwcard.co.uk). On the site you can access your last 6 months statements and set up email notification. This can be set to let you know when statements are ready to view, when payments have been processed and when you are in danger of being late with a payment. Finally the card offers a 1% cashback reward. Although the examples all companies use to demonstrate what the 1% might get you are unrealistic, this is still a decent reward program and I would recommend the card without it. Check out the site and sign up, you definitely will not be
After repeated mailshots attempting to persuade me to apply for yet another credit card, the balance transfer rate offered by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Gold Card was finally too attractive to refuse. So what? - virtually all credit card companies are playing this money moving game in an attempt to find new customers. Actually, the reason I've chosen to write about this new piece of plastic has nothing to do with its interest rate (although this is favourable). When I received my first MSDW statement, I was pleasantly surprised to find a leaflet giving details of several online facilities which the card had to offer (the original mailshot had said nothing about this). Acting on the information in the leaflet, I visited MSDWs web site, where I was able to register as an online user. Now I can view my statement at any time, as well as receiving email notifications informing me when a new statement is ready, a payment has been made or missed (you can pay by direct debit, so it's always handy to know if your bank should ever miss a payment), and even when I'm approaching my credit limit. MSDWs online facilities are not yet quite as sophisticated as Egg's, (where you can adjust pending direct debit amounts - [upwards only!]) but no doubt they'll improve with time. If you're looking to transfer credit balances to cards which offer you greater control over your finances in the form of online access, it might be worth sending in the next Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Gold Card application which comes through the letterbox!