I have kept a Capital One credit card for the past couple of years because I had a "fixed" rate of 4.99% APR. Recently the rate went up to 8.99% APR, which was still pretty good. I mainly use my American Express Delta Skymiles card because of the great customer service I receive from American Express and the other benefits that come with the card. Amex is not accepted everywhere though, so I also carry the Capital One card.
I missed a payment last month due to my getting confused about managing payments on bill pay (I've been paying $400 - $700 per month on the card) and cancelled the $50 automated payment I have setup to avoid missing the minimum monthly payment. I was hit with a $39 late fee. I called to have it canceled and was told that they system does not allow the phone reps to cancel the late fee anymore. Instead, a request was submitted and I would get a response in about 15 days.
Well, I'm not waiting for the response. I applied for a credit union credit card that has a late fee of only $20, which is far more reasonable. I don't know yet, but my past experience has been that they are also tolerant of removing late fees once or twice per year on a good account.
Capital One, you're losing a customer and $28 a month in interest fees. Why, because charging good customers $39 for a late payment is no way to run a business.
I encourage all of you to not allow yourselves to be treated this way by your credit card companies. Late fees themselves are not an unreasonable tool to encourage timely payments, but they have gotten way out of hand. Don't forget that we are the consumer and that we can always vote with our feet if the companies serving us refuse to listen.
Check out your local credit unions to tell banks and credit card companies that they are abusing us with their fees.
Use this link to find a credit union:
BTW, don't worry about the membership rules. If you read carefully enough just about everyone and their grandmother is eligible. The rules are only in place because your current banks fear competition from institutions that don't rip-off their customers!