This morning MBNA sent me a mailer to extol the virtues of their card proclaiming:

“We’re changing your credit card to offer even better value”

How are they doing this? They are changing my terms so that payments pay of the highest interest rate balance first.

This is a classic case of a financial services company being forced by the regulator to change what was widely regarded as an unfair practice which was customers payments going against lowest rate balances first. I’m sure many credit card companies are about to extol the virtues of what they are being forced to do. Having been there and done that (I’m not proud of it) its tempting when you have nothing else to say.

[A note to the wise – that’s why credit cards used to offer long balance transfer 0% rates and 3 month 0% purchase rate products – trying to get people to transfer a balance and spend – then for 9 months the credit card firm would earn purchase interest on your purchases whilst all your payments went on paying off the 0% balance transfer – neat trick eh?)

It’s a bit like Microsoft running ads saying “you know all those security updates that fix problems in our software, well these fixes make your product even better value” or Toyota saying “the fact we fixed your car from a potentially lethal issue means it is now even better value”.

Overall I doubt these communications will do anything to improve the standing of credit cards in people’s minds.

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Justin Basini

Entrepreneur, author of Why Should Anyone Buy From YOU?, blogger (, business, brand and marketing thinker and do-er, husband and dad

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