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"Double Dipping?"


2sirius
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I've had a credit card account with CapOne for several years. Recently, CapOne purchased a completely separate credit card account I had through Orchard Bank. CapOne charges me an annual membership fee. Orchard Bank also charged me an annual membership fee. When I received notice that CapOne was in the process of purchasing my account from Orchard Bank, I called and requested that they combine the two accounts into one credit line since they would now be handling both. I was told no, that it wasn't possible to combine them. Two separate accounts with the same company didn't make much sense to me, and neither did what I was told next, which was that I would still be required to pay two annual membership fees (one for each account). How could that be? I'm only one "member," after all. Since CapOne was now handling both accounts, why would I have to pay two fees?  

 

I went up the usual chain of customer service reps until I finally reached a "boss." I asked him why I couldn't combine my two credit lines since they were now both through CapOne. After all, they're the ones who purchased my account from Orchard Bank. It's not like it was MY idea (I did have the option of closing my account with Orchard when I was notified that CapOne was buying it, of course). The boss told me that this would constitute a practice known as "double dipping," which is illegal. But to me, the consumer, it sure feels like CapOne IS double dipping, and I'm the one being, er, dipped. Two membership fees I have to pay them now? Could someone please explain this to me? Thank you in advance.  

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Membership fees are based on each account, not on each member.   Since you had the option of closing the Orchard account, it's kind of difficult to complain to Cap1 now.

 

I'm not sure that combining the accounts would constitute "double dipping".  It all depends upon banking laws and regulations.  Also, the supervisor might have misunderstood you. 

 

In any case, perhaps you could transfer the balance from one card to the other (as long as your credit limit allows) and close one of the accounts.  That being said, a closed account doesn't always benefit your credit score.  You'd need to look into that.

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That being said, a closed account doesn't always benefit your credit score.  You'd need to look into that.

 

While it is true that closing a credit card might have a negative effect on your FICO Consumer Scores (the ones we're allowed to see) and your FICO Bank Card Scores (the "sucker score"...the ones that CCs use to determine who they will make money on), it will have a positive effect on your FICO Mortgage Scores.

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I've had a credit card account with CapOne for several years. Recently, CapOne purchased a completely separate credit card account I had through Orchard Bank. CapOne charges me an annual membership fee. Orchard Bank also charged me an annual membership fee. When I received notice that CapOne was in the process of purchasing my account from Orchard Bank, I called and requested that they combine the two accounts into one credit line since they would now be handling both. I was told no, that it wasn't possible to combine them. Two separate accounts with the same company didn't make much sense to me, and neither did what I was told next, which was that I would still be required to pay two annual membership fees (one for each account). How could that be? I'm only one "member," after all. Since CapOne was now handling both accounts, why would I have to pay two fees?  

 

I went up the usual chain of customer service reps until I finally reached a "boss." I asked him why I couldn't combine my two credit lines since they were now both through CapOne. After all, they're the ones who purchased my account from Orchard Bank. It's not like it was MY idea (I did have the option of closing my account with Orchard when I was notified that CapOne was buying it, of course). The boss told me that this would constitute a practice known as "double dipping," which is illegal. But to me, the consumer, it sure feels like CapOne IS double dipping, and I'm the one being, er, dipped. Two membership fees I have to pay them now? Could someone please explain this to me? Thank you in advance.  

I understand not wanting to pay two fees, but you paid two fees before, you're paying two now.  Other than paying the fees to a single creditor instead of two different ones, what's the difference?  If you had opened two of the same type of accounts with Cap1, would you expect them to not charge you a fee on both accounts?

 

I don't see that they are doing anything out of line.

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@2sirius - all above comments are great suggestions.  If you don't like paying two fees, get another card.  There are a lot of other offers out there with no annual fees.  Depending on your credit score, here is a page on our site which gives some suggestions to other offers out there that might fit your needs.

 

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/cards/cards-good-credit.shtml

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I understand not wanting to pay two fees, but you paid two fees before, you're paying two now.  Other than paying the fees to a single creditor instead of two different ones, what's the difference?  If you had opened two of the same type of accounts with Cap1, would you expect them to not charge you a fee on both accounts?

 

I don't see that they are doing anything out of line.

I paid two fees before because my cards were issued by two different companies. Makes perfect sense. Now that both cards are handled by the same company, why should I have two different accounts in the first place, let alone two separate fees? Transferring the balance of one card to the other would entail increasing my credit limit. No dice. Canceling one card and keeping the other would entail losing that entire line of credit. Also no dice. So CapOne purchased my account, refuses to combine the two credit lines, refuses to increase my credit limit to make a balance transfer possible, and now collects two separate membership fees from me, all because not doing so would constitute double dipping, according to them. That's ethical? Really? 

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@2sirius

 

The law allows a bank to acquire the accounts of another bank.  Unless a law or regulation requires the bank to combine a purchased account with an existing account, Cap1 isn't doing anything wrong.

 

I know we get frustrated and angry with big banks, but we have to remember that opening a credit card account is a choice.  While the banks have screwed up in some ways, not everything they do is illegal or unethical.   What we consider unethical may not be defined as such by the law.

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I paid two fees before because my cards were issued by two different companies. Makes perfect sense. Now that both cards are handled by the same company, why should I have two different accounts in the first place, let alone two separate fees? Transferring the balance of one card to the other would entail increasing my credit limit. No dice. Canceling one card and keeping the other would entail losing that entire line of credit. Also no dice. So CapOne purchased my account, refuses to combine the two credit lines, refuses to increase my credit limit to make a balance transfer possible, and now collects two separate membership fees from me, all because not doing so would constitute double dipping, according to them. That's ethical? Really?

Yes, it's ethical.

I don't understand what's difficult to understand about this. You have two accounts now because you had two accounts before. It's within their right to maintain two accounts for you and to charge you fees on both accounts. They could combine them if they wanted to, but regardless of whatever reason they gave you, the bottom line is they don't. It's your choice to keep both accounts open and you have chosen to do so.

If you don't like their business practices, take your business elsewhere. American free enterprise, baby!

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Guest usctrojanalum

can't really see how its possible to combine both accounts. are you paying the same exact interest rate on both accounts? if yes, thats fine but i'm sure the orchard agreement and cap1 agreement had different terms and conditions.

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