I received an email yesterday from Bank of America informing me I was charged a $25 late fee on my Alaska Airlines credit card for having a past due balance.
I pooped myself when I saw the email.
Mostly because I was on the toilet when I was checking my email, but that’s beside the point.
I made an oath to myself a long time ago that if I ever incurred a late fee, penalty, or interest charge on any of my credit cards, I would immediately cancel them and limit myself to only using my debit card. Credit cards are awesome, but only when used responsibly. Fees and interest negate any benefit they may provide.
I pride myself on being responsible and always paying my bills on time. I knew I made a huge credit card payment recently so I had no clue why I was being charged a fee.
Turns out, I’m apparently a little too responsible.
My credit card statement ends on the 2nd of each month. In May, I made a payment on the 2nd that I thought would cover my June bill. Submitting that payment a full 30 days earlier than I needed too.
Or so I thought.
I guess my payment, was a few hours too early and was applied to my previous bill, since the new statement had not finished processing. Basically, while I thought I was paying my June statement off early, Bank of America thought I was just submitting an extra payment for my May statement.
This resulted in an $89 balance due on June 1st that I didn’t know I had. I was charged a $25 late fee (that’s a 28% penalty) for not making that payment.
I had read blog posts before about people who have had success getting late fees or interest charges dropped from their credit card, but had no experience with it myself since I’ve never been late on anything. I decided to give Bank of America a call to see if I could persuade them to remove the fee.
Here is how that conversation played out…
BoA: Thanks for calling BoA, how can I help you today?
Me: Um, I noticed I was charged a $25 late fee on my credit card balance this month. I’d like that removed.
BoA: I’d be happy to look in to that for you, but first need you to verify your identity.
[we discuss my personal information to verify the account]
BoA: Okay, Mr Ninja. I’ve got your account pulled up here. I’ve just removed the fee. Is there anything else I can do?
Me: Uhh, nope. Thanks.
It was actually that painless. He didn’t ask me why I incurred the penalty. He didn’t ask me why I thought they should remove it. I didn’t have to threaten to cancel my card or take my business elsewhere.
I simply asked to have the fee removed and he did it.
I always hear horror stories about credit card fees and late penalties, and I’m sure they are all justified, but so far my only experience with them was shockingly positive.
Have you ever incurred a fee that you tried to have removed or reduced? Were you successful in your endeavors?