Next Protest: Balance Transfer Day
CHICAGO (MainStreet) -- Hot on the heels of Bank Transfer Day, in which a disgruntled Bank of America (BAC) customer encouraged people to transfer their accounts from major banks to local banks and credit unions, comes Dec. 11's Balance Transfer Day, which has credit cards in the cross hairs.
The objective of the movement is to get credit card holders to transfer their outstanding debts from high-interest credit cards to cards with zero-interest rates and zero-balance transfer fees issued by credit unions and small, community banks.
|A Dec. 11 protest encourages customers to switch balances to credit cards with 0% interest -- a move that would primarily take money from big banks such as Bank of America and put it with smaller banks and credit unions.|
"We are not speaking for abolishing interest rate on credit cards, we merely feel that it would be fair if they could be a little lower than today's average, [which is] around 16%, especially since we bailed out those banks with our own money in 2008," organizers say on their Facebook page.
Although the similarities are undeniable, Balance Transfer Day is not associated with Bank Transfer Day or Kristen Christian, the disgruntled Bank of America customer. Nor is it affiliated with or recommending a particular bank or credit card.It's the people behind the Music For Change movement, which campaigned this summer for financial literacy with the Occupy movement, taking credit on the attempt to shed light on what they call corrupt practices and ineffective regulation in the credit card industry. The main issue that organizers want to bring to light is how banks and credit card providers lure customers with introductory zero-interest rates offers that end in six months to a year. After the promotion expires, banks "are allowed to charge any interest rate they see profitable," organizers say. As the site's manifesto says:
Banks receive millions of dollars from the federal government at interest rates as low as 0%, or in some cases they do not have to repay borrowed funds at all! ... Yet we the consumers are charged costly fees and interest rates of 15% and more for borrowing money from banks. Essentially, banks are using our own tax money to make even more money off of us. So why don't we beat the banks at their own game and demand the same 0% interest rate that they receive from the federal government?
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