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We just received our monthly statement which indicates that our interest rate increased by more than double to 20.49% for cash advances. In the past year we have used our card sparingly for new purchases and have always made our payments on time and in an amount equal to or above the minimum required.

I called Customer Service and was given the same speech by three employees who told me that this was a company decision and they had no authority to change interest rates. They gave me no satisfaction and could not transfer me to anyone who could explain why our account's interest had increased.

They said they sent us a letter in June - which we never received. They said they have no other interest rates available. I asked them if they are still sending letters to prospective clients offering low interest rates. They said they are still sending them but they are only for new accounts.

I asked if they could close my account and transfer the balance to a new account at the lower interest rate. They said no, that I would have to pay my account in full first, then re-apply and wait for approval.

I told them that they should not be allowed to change the rules on past balances unless the consumer has defaulted but they said they are allowed to do so.

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