My (bad) experiences with First USA ® Bank

Thinking about getting a credit card account with FU bank?
Think twice. I would never do it again.

Obviously I'm not the only one with problems. [Other complaints]

Consider the following and then make your own decision:

I had a credit card with Chevy Chase Bank for at least 10 years. Their interest rates suck, but I usually pay my balances off every month and at least they didn't screw things up.

Then the card was transferred to FU Bank (which is hooked up with Chevy Chase somehow since both names were on the statements).

Late Fees or "Does it Take the Post Office Eight Days to Cross a State Line?"

All of a sudden I get a late fee on a statement. Payment was mailed 6 days before it was due and they credited it two days late. EIGHT DAYS to get from Baltimore to Virginia? I don't think so. I called and complained and got them to waive the fee.

Three months go by and I get ANOTHER late fee. This payment was mailed EIGHT days before it was due and they credited it ELEVEN days after it was mailed. No way. I wrote them complaining but never heard back. I realized then that these people were assholes and that I wasn't going to have a nice future with them.

They fail to credit their annual fee back to me

Last month they charge their annual fee. In the past they gave cash rebates at the same time the annual fee was charged and I always came out ahead so I didn't care. Now they say they'll credit the cash rebates NEXT YEAR. I decide to cancel the card.

I wrote and canceled the same day I got the statement. The balance was zero other than the annual fee. According to the back of the statement "you may notify us in writing of your intention to close your account within 30 days after the date we mailed your monthly statement showing the Annual Membership Fee. We will then credit your account for the Annual Membership Fee." I got it there within the 30 days and I have proof.

A week or so goes by and I get a letter confirming the account closure (proof they got it within 30 days) and informing me there's a balance of the annual fee amount.

Hmmmmm. Annual fee still on there? I write pointing out their error. At the same time I mailed that, I sent a complaint to the Maryland Banking Commissioner just to be safe. I never did get a response to that letter from the bank. Oh right, I forgot, I'm dealing with assholes here.

They charge me interest on THEIR failure to credit the annual fee back

8/24/99 - I get a statement for the account. Now they're trying to charge me a late fee AND interest on the annual fee charge. I don't think they can do anything right.

I write them back pointing out the problem but I doubt they'll resolve it. I usually end up getting a government agency involved in these types of things (see my Rebates Page).

Let's call in the feds!!

I figure I may as well get the Federal Government involved so on 8/24/99 I write:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
20th and C Streets, N.W., Stop 198
Washington, DC 20551

Our State Banking Commissioner has also passed on my problem to:

Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710
Houston, TX 77010

Web site:

I'm fighting

It's MY money, so I'll fight for it. The stupid FU Bank customer service people will waste countless hours and countless numbers of FU Bank's dollars screwing this thing up. I, on the other hand, now have another Sacred Crusade.

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.

8/26/99 copies of the complaints to:

Better Business Bureau (Delaware)
1010 Concord Avenue
Wilmington DE 19802

MasterCard International Incorporated
2000 Purchase Street
Purchase, New York 10577

8/27/99 A letter to the bank's CEO asking how he feels about their customer representative's wasting time (and therefore the bank's money) playing mind games rather than just fixing the problem.

First USA Bank N.A.
Attn: Mr. Dick Vague
201 N. Walnut Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Note: November 7, 2000 - Bank One Names Philip Heasley Chairman, CEO of First USA Credit Card Unit
Just a guess, but I'd use the same address as before.

8/28/99 Got a letter from them saying they got my 8/24/99 letter and they're crediting the annual fee plus the late charge and interest back. I'l bet you a dollar to a doughnut they wouldn't have done it if I hadn't metioned writing the feds. Why couldn't they have just credited the fee originally when I closed the account, or when I wrote them 8/11/99?

Still, I'll believe it when I see it. Have to wait a month and see if they send another statement.

Note: Something smells with their letter. It's dated 8/23/99, but they mention the late fee and interest in it. I didn't mention those charges in the 8/11 letter because I hadn't gotten the statement then. I didn't mail the letter mentioning the extra charges until 8/24. They back dated the letter for some reason.

10/99 Got new FU Bank cards in the mail yesterday. They're replacements for the cards the local grocery store here sponsored and gave rebates on. It was a good deal before. We got at least one free week's groceries a year out of the deal.

They dissolved the agreement with FU Bank so The Bank From Hell is replacing the grocery cards with their own. Ha! Gave those babies the snip snip as soon as we got them. We're waiting to get the last of the rebate coupons and then we'll close that account too.

I'm thinking I should bury the cut up cards and salt the earth so nothing grows.

First USA® Bank is a subsidiary of:
Bank One Corporation
1 Bank One Plaza
Chicago, Illinois 60670

As of 3/27/00, the CEO was James Dimon

Hey, if you're going to complain, go to the top. Ask the CEO why his employees are wasting time (and therefore the bank's money) ducking issues. Fixing problems in the first place would cost less.

Jeff T. - Remove the brackets in the email address to email: jthorsse[@]mchsi[.]com

Obviously not affiliated in any way with First USA® Bank - I'm not even a customer anymore as far as I'm concerned.
First USA is a registered trademark of First USA Bank N.A.
The Bank from Hell is probably registered by them also.