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Letter to the editor: Usurious interest rates on “affinity” credit card

Published: March 2, 2007
Section: Opinions


To the editor,

Last week, most undergraduates will have received another of the twice-a-year solicitations from Brandeis to take out the schools affinity credit card with MBNA/Bank of America. This happens because each year the Registrar transfers personal directory information about students to that credit-card company, unless a student has tried to opt out. If students sign on for this card, Brandeis gets a cut of every transaction they make. Do students realize that the interest rate (APR) on this card for most students has just been raised to 19.24% once the introductory APR expires in July 2007? Last year that rate was 15.99% — which was already high enough. Further, if a student is a day late in sending in a payment, there is a fee of up to $35 and the interest rate goes up permanently to 25%. After that, a student cannot get out of the card unless he pays off the balance completely.

J. H. Humphrey 08