I have about 7 general and 8 store credit cards. Since the beginning of my credit history with many of them, Household (GM) for example (ten years now), I have NEVER had one late payment.
Two years ago my median FICO score was 740. In 2003 I needed to leverage my cards to their limits - the first time in about 6 years. Banana Republic reported one 30 day late payment, an error, which I didn't know about until AMEX raised my rate to 13% and suddenly lowered nmy limit. GM followed by raising my 6.9% rate to 24.99!
I have since corrected not only the erroneous late payment report, but otherwise cleaned up the report (with Experian) and paid most of major cards to 50% of their limits. And just for reference, only GM, Amex and Discover raised my rates, but only GM raised my rate by nearly 350%!
I called GM this week to ask to have my rate lowered and they informed me that it couldn't be done even if I paid the card in full. In fact, they said it had entered a category that could "never" be lowered, but, I could close the card and open a new one for a lower rate.
They refused to tell me what the category I had entered was, and that the letter of explanation they'd sent in 2003 explained it. Well, the letter of explanation only said: "Payments are low compared to balance" and "Number of revolving accounts highly utilized".
So, now that these issues are amended, I expect my rate to reflect that. Further, if I close my card I will lose nearly $1800 in rebate earnings!! Why would I open another card when I don't know how my rate was triggered to such a high rate and further, can't do anything to remedy that rate should it occur again!
I feel they are doing this, in part, to force me to forfeit my rebate earnings!