In April, the Marbles credit card brand closed it’s doors to new customers.
I don’t remember seeing much in the way of publicity about this but what has come to may attention is the fact that certain existing customers of Marbles have been seeing their interest rate slowly rise.
I spoke to Marbles about this and although they are happy for customers to keep their card accounts and still use their cards for purchases, balance transfers etc. Some customers will be doing so at rates above 25% and in some cases over 29% after May 2009.
These rate rises don’t apply to all customers and in fact many customers may not have had a rate rise at all.
The reason given for increasing the rate on some customers accounts is ‘risk’ based on previous account management history. If the new owners of Marbles (SAV Credit Ltd – The people behind the Aqua Credit Card) consider an account to be poorly managed they increase the interest rate.
I have always thought if unfair to customers who may be experiencing some difficulty to be penalised with a higher interest rate making it even harder to meet the commitment.
I can however understand why people who manage credit well are rewarded with the best available rates but increasing the rate of an existing customer is completely different to offering high rates to new customers.
Customers who have been subject to a rate rise have been given the opportunity to close their account and freeze the interest rate at its current level before the rate rises in May. This would mean not being able to use the card anymore but who would want to at 29%?