Credit Cards Changing Terms and Interest Rates

Watch your mail very carefully for information sent by your credit cards. Not only are many (AMEX, Citibank, Wells Fargo to name a few that I have personal knowledge of) reducing your overall credit limits but they are beginning to aggressively circumvent your use of credit by changing the terms.

I just got a letter from Citibank giving me the right to opt out of new terms on my existing credit card. The interest rate will go from 14% to 24.99% and can go as high as 29.99% for any new purchases after tomorrow. If I don't agree to that change in terms then I can continue with the current rate on the existing balance (as long as I don't miss a payment or am late with a payment) until the end of the card membership year or the expiration date on the card, whichever is later. At that poing the account will be closed, making any balance remaining payable under the new, higher interest rate.

Thankfully I just had a new card issued with an expiration date of mid-2011 - so I have until then to whittle away at the balance. Others may not be so lucky. You could find your card is expiring soon in which case you'll be paying exhorbitant interest rates.

Don't overlook these letters...I have a feeling we'll be seeing lots more of them being sent out.

We're underwater (figuratively), but at least we're dry...Venice is under 5 feet of water!

There are amazing photos posted of Venice under water - over 5 feet of it before it began to recede to knee-deep. One of the comments was that it happened so quickly tourists jumped up on cafe tables to stay dry! Combination of heavy rains and wind pushing sea water into the city.

Having just been there a few weeks ago, and it being one of my absolute favorite cities in the world, it was heartbreaking to see the photos. Shops filled with incredibly beautiful Venice Carnival costumes, Venetian (Murano) glass, and so much else with merchandise floating and being destroyed.

Gives me perspective on a day that has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed by the current financial crisis.