Change Of Plans: Your Bank Wants To See You Again

With new credit card legislation a couple of years ago, card issuers can’t increase your credit limit without your consent. Remember that their main goal is to have you owing the most amount of money and making the smallest payments. THAT is how they maximize their interest income.

These days, you’ll get a notice on your statement that you qualify for a limit increase – you just need to call. Or they’ll send you a separate mailer, and may even phone you from their call centre. Don’t do it – unless your limit is really low, it generally becomes more temptation.

The trend of getting you out of the bank and to the ATM machines is changing. Think about it: They can’t solicit or sell you very well if they can’t see you!

When I was at one of the big no-service banks last week, I overheard the teller next to me tell people: My screen just showed that you qualify for a limit increase on your card. Want me to go ahead and put that through? Is that clever or what? And in the few minutes I was there, this teller was three for three. She converted all three people she asked to a higher limit. Great for the bank…often not so great for the person thinking they’re being flattered. Scotiabank does it through their ATM machines. If you’re up to bat, they’ll have a screen that advises you that you qualify for a Visa limit increase and just click here. However, it’s not as effective as seeing you in person.

What the banks want to do is to make you sticky. That’s bank slang for having you deal with them on as many products as possible. The more diverse business they get from you, the lower the odds are that you’ll ever leave them. If you have an RRSP, your mortgage, savings, a term deposit, your checking account, and a credit card, they’re betting you’ll never go through the hassle of shopping around and moving somewhere else.

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