How do I continue using my Wells Fargo cash secured credit card once they change their ToS and start charging a $15+ monthly account service fee in addition to the $18 secured credit card fee from November 2011?
I have no credit history - it's blank as a slate (no negative records either) and I do a part-time, hourly on-campus job as allowed by federal law for international students.
I signed up for a Wells Fargo cash secured credit card in August 2011 and this required me to open a savings and checking account with them (it was from the savings account that they withdrew the funds for secured deposit)
(The only reason I have the savings and checking account with them is because I have the secured credit card and Wells Fargo supposedly requires a card holder to also have these accounts.)
Wells Fargo, like most big banks charge a monthly account service fee for their accounts, but they also have ways around it.
Now, I don't use these accounts at Wells Fargo, except for payments to the secured credit card, and signed up only after being told that I would not have to worry about a monthly account service fee if all I did was a $75.00 or more single monthly automatic transfer to the savings account from the checking account.
Here is the complete fee waiver details, current as of today:
The monthly account service fee for your checking account is $15.00. The fee is waived on the Complete Advantage Checking account when you have three or more additional consumer accounts and/or services from separate account categories that are linked to this account, and one of the following: - $5,000.00 in combined deposit and select credit balances (includes credit card balances), or - A $75.00 or more single monthly automatic transfer to a Wells Fargo Savings account, or - A linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage To determine whether this balance has been maintained, we look at the lowest balance in the account during the statement cycle. Accounts eligible for the combined balance waiver are Checking, Savings, time accounts, retirement accounts, and/or outstanding balances in a Personal Loan or Line of Credit, Home Equity Loan, or Equity Line.
This means I can, get away with the fees as currently I:
have the required "three or more additional consumer accounts" - savings, checking and credit card.
can easily meet one of their additional 'or' requirements - the 75.00 or more single monthly automatic transfer.
However, from November 2011, Wells Fargo is going to add one more 'and' clause to the above waiver conditions:
- Maintain $7,500 or more in combined balances in deposit or qualifying credit accounts, OR Maintain a linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Let's forget about that Mortgage part now shall we?
This means even after doing what I am required to do now to not suffer a fee, from November 2011 onwards, I will need to maintain the $7,500 balance or cough up a $15+ fee every month!
Being a student, a $7,500 balance in my savings and checking account is a distant dream right now.
There is a way I could avoid the fee if I changed my account to a 'Custom Management Package' or 'College Combo', but the CSRs I called were not sure if their ToS would change this November as well.
This probably means I would have to close the account with Wells Fargo soon: definitely by November, if nothing works out.
My question is - what happens to my secured credit card?
Wells Fargo has already deducted the $18 yearly fee from it and I now have a hard pull on my credit history with no substantial report.
Should I try for a Bank of America secured card now (it's not been even a month that Wells Fargo did an enquiry)?
Otherwise, is anyone aware of any process to allow me to continue using the secured credit card to build my credit history without paying the $15+ monthly fee?
If I close my secured card with Wells Fargo by November, how is my credit history impacted? (and I perhaps ended up paying $18 for just 3 months of reporting of on-time payments)