Sneaky Credit Card company finds a new way to exploit people



Other credit cards are available.

Dear NatWest Mastercard

I have been a customer of yours since 1987. I have always paid off my account in full at the end of every month and never run up huge amounts of credit card debt or interest payments on them so I am clearly not really the sort of credit card customer you want on your books. Until recently, I had a credit limit around £10,000. Amazing for someone who’s just a housewife, but I used to work and once had my own little consulting business until life got in the way. But don’t worry yourself about that.

Last year, I moved my mother’s money to NatWest in disgust at her treatment by Barclays. They obviously didn’t understand or care about the needs of vulnerable, financially illiterate old ladies, and I thought you were better. I tried to open a NatWest credit card for my mum’s account in my name, as her Attorney, which would have made it a lot easier to help my mum quickly just in case she ran into trouble when in India.  Because she doesn’t understand credit cards or money anymore, and relies on me to do all of this for her. But because I don’t actually have a current account with Natwest (notwithstanding the 25 year credit card account) you refused me this card, and then you unilaterally reviewed what you thought were my needs and reduced my credit limit by two thirds.

This is quite insulting, actually. I opened this credit card for the first time as a student, and the credit limit has grown through periods of employment, unemployment, intermittent project work, a MBA(with student loan), part-time employment, consultancy work and secondment with my husband and family to Paris. But now you know that I am just a housewife, apparently using this as a justification for slashing my credit limit. It’s a little ironic, I think, considering housewife consumers are so targeted in commercials for their power in spending decisions. Perhaps that’s just for inconsequential things like laundry detergent and cereal and not for cars or watches. Anyway, I still have no idea why you cut my credit limit by so much but apparently it was in order to “serve my needs better.” How this works I still have no idea. You clearly have no idea how fabulous my “needs” are.

Now, this isn’t usually a problem as I usually spend nowhere near this amount and, as I said, I pay it off in full at the end of every month (boo for you), but my husband’s birthday is in June and I have just this once gone over my new credit limit. No, I’m not telling you what I’ve bought him, it’s meant to be a surprise. For this sin you have now charged me a £12 overlimit fee. I think this is pretty outrageous, considering that it it was you who unilaterally lowered my credit limit.  I know that £12 isn’t much in the scheme of things, but it’s the principle of the thing.  Did you do this on purpose in order to be able to charge this fee to people who manage their finances so that they don’t normally pay you interest? It’s odd, isn’t it, that for once you’re being berated for NOT lending too much to someone. Anyhow, I think that the £12 over limit fee is sneaky and underhand and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Yours faithfully


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