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Well, that was dumb...
Old 06-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #1
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Well, that was dumb...

So I finally got around to opening up a minimal PenFed account ($5) so I could get their Platinum Rewards Visa card. As I'm not govt/military person, I also coughed up the one-time 20 bucks to join the families of military (or whatever it's called) association. PenFed said that charging that $25 to my credit card would register as a cash advance, but I didn't think much about it at the time.

So I got my credit card bill in the mail today, and along with the $25 cash advance there is a $5 cash advance fee and a $2 interest fee on the advance! So basically I paid a 28% "convenience fee" for using my credit card rather than sending a check.

Sheesh...
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
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I wish my dumb moves only amounted to $7.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
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Just think of the money you saved on the stamp! Not to mention the envelope and blank check, and on gas to drive over to the post office and mail it.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:58 PM   #4
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I just signed up too, last week, but I used my debit card.
Waiting on my cards now. I saw the notice about it, and remember that cash advance fees are outrageous.
Oh well, you'll save $$ in the long run, don't worry about it.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I saw the notice about it, and remember that cash advance fees are outrageous.
Oh well, you'll save $$ in the long run, don't worry about it.
Of course, in the big scheme of things it's no big deal, but I've never used cash advance before so I did feel a bit like I had been suckered. .

Another part of me was also fascinated (if not amazed) at how brazen some companies can be when it comes to separating us from our money...
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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Eh, the bureaucracy and fee-aucracy is amazing sometimes. Its funny how people with little or no money are fee-d to death or nickeled and dimed on small things while people with millions get a free ride.

Last week I hit my penfed visa $10k credit limit (thank you, home depot!) and called them to bump it up a little to 15k. About 20 minutes of "how much money do you make, whats your favorite color, whats the airspeed of a european swallow?" stuff and then since I'm "self employed" it required a loan specialist to look at it and get back to me in a couple of days after they pulled a hard credit check.

Today I get a call from penfed reminding me that I have lots of cd's and a visa with them (of course...), and would I like an instant credit limit bump to $50k, no questions, no credit check. "With your excellent credit history, we'll have NO trouble doing it!"

Uh...yeah...where were you last week? :
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:31 PM   #7
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To $50K??!!??!!
Wow. I've always wanted to buy a car using a credit card.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:52 AM   #8
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To $50K??!!??!!
Wow. I've always wanted to buy a car using a credit card.
I tried that once ... they won't do it ... The 2 1/2 - 4% fee kills them ... or so I was told.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Last week I hit my penfed visa $10k credit limit (thank you, home depot!) and called them to bump it up a little to 15k. About 20 minutes of "how much money do you make, whats your favorite color, whats the airspeed of a european swallow?" stuff and then since I'm "self employed" it required a loan specialist to look at it and get back to me in a couple of days after they pulled a hard credit check.

Today I get a call from penfed reminding me that I have lots of cd's and a visa with them (of course...), and would I like an instant credit limit bump to $50k, no questions, no credit check. "With your excellent credit history, we'll have NO trouble doing it!"

Uh...yeah...where were you last week? :
I was worried about a similar runaround to get my PenFed card, but it all went incredibly smoothly. Despite being "self-employed," I was approved while on the phone (for my requested $10k limit) and got my card a week or so later. Very strange, but I'm not complaining
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:21 AM   #10
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I tried that once ... they won't do it ... The 2 1/2 - 4% fee kills them ... or so I was told.
Last car I bought (last summer) they wouldn't put more than $2,000 on the credit card. I wanted to put the whole $15k-ish on the card (for the 2% back), but no luck.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:05 AM   #11
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Last car I bought (last summer) they wouldn't put more than $2,000 on the credit card. I wanted to put the whole $15k-ish on the card (for the 2% back), but no luck.
I had the same experience last week. Was only allowed to put $2,000 on our Visa Card -- wrote check for total amount.

We have two Cards (American Express Blue and Citibank Mastercard) that we no longer use because of the "Interest on Interest" policy. I called the Customer Service departments and they did refund the charges without argument. Nevertheless, we will no longer use the cards. (I won't cancel them for credit "score" reasons.)
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:09 AM   #12
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I understand that $5 of the $25 would be a cash advance, but not the other $20.

I don't understand how paying a fee is a cash advance. If the $20 fee were instead a deposit into an account rather than payment of a fee, it would make sense.

But in the end, I agree with others: I wish my stupid money moves only cost me $7!
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:24 PM   #13
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Last car I bought (last summer) they wouldn't put more than $2,000 on the credit card. I wanted to put the whole $15k-ish on the card (for the 2% back), but no luck.
Isn't that against their own Merchant Agreement? As I understood it, there's a clause in the Merchant Agreement that specifically says vendors are allowed to set a minimum limit (so you don't buy a stick of gum with your Visa), but that they are not allowed to set an upper limit.

Of course they don't like it, but they have to do it if you ask.

I've heard that if you press them, they have to let you put the whole car on your credit card. Check their Merchant Agreement.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:29 PM   #14
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I've heard that too, but if you search around on the net in discussion on other boards people have posted examples from their own merchant agreements, and the wording tends to be very vague. It usually says the merchant can make some restrictions, but isn't clear as to what. I honestly don't think it is an argument with someone, except in the case of someone who didn't really know either and just gave in because of that, which I am sure happens.

But I don't really know, I just don't think it is always clear cut...some help this post was.

BTW, I didn't post the URL's because its been a while since I read that stuff...it may have been on Diehards though...
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kombat View Post
Isn't that against their own Merchant Agreement? As I understood it, there's a clause in the Merchant Agreement that specifically says vendors are allowed to set a minimum limit (so you don't buy a stick of gum with your Visa), but that they are not allowed to set an upper limit.

Of course they don't like it, but they have to do it if you ask.

I've heard that if you press them, they have to let you put the whole car on your credit card. Check their Merchant Agreement.

The question would be.... do they have an agreement to take CC in the repair shop but not one in the new car sales?

Or can they just say... Fine, there is a fee of '$$$' we will add to your price...
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #16
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I've heard that if you press them, they have to let you put the whole car on your credit card. Check their Merchant Agreement.
If that happens, one of two things is going to be in effect. Either they'll try to raise the price of the car to compensate for the fee, or they've already made a pretty good deal against you and have enough profit built in that the fee wont bother them.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #17
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I wonder if one of the reasons why they charge outrageously for cash advances is because there is no merchant fee to boost their profit? Anyone know how much of the fee goes to VISA versus the actual CC company?
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:28 PM   #18
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I bought a brand new 06 Avalanche with my GM Card. After trade in and rebates, and the GM Card discount I had earned using the card ($2500 I think) it was around $12000 to $15000. Paid it off in full the end of the month and earned 5% on it towards the next one. They tried to dissuade me but I insisted and they caved.
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PS: I did not tell them about the card until after the deal was written up and the truck was already waxed and ready to go on the lot. I was willing to walk out without the vehicle and they knew it. No adjustments to price were made.
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