Newest Review: ... 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... more
I'm the surfer who doesn't exist
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Member Name: sue.51
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Date: 28/03/02, updated on 28/03/02 (459 review reads)
Advantages: Low rate for the life of the balance
Disadvantages: None that I am aware of at present
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.
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.
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 -
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:
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.