Chemical Banking Corp.'s new advertising campaign is ringing too true for some customers. They can "expect more" from the retail banking giant -- including tougher penalties for late card payments.
About 2.5 million people whose credit cards were issued by the late Manufacturers Hanover Corp. were recently informed that they would lose some late-payment and overlimit privileges.
Customers used to have an extra 10 days to make minimum payments before being charged a late fee. Now they will immediately be slapped with a $15 fee if they fail to pay by the end of the billing cycle.
They also used to have 10 days to pay down the amounts over their credit limits before being charged. Now, like their Chemical cardholder counterparts, any slip over the limit brings a $15 fee.
Chemical is taking advantage of a 1991 New York law that permitted it to impose the fees and lift the grace periods. The state legislature lifted the bans against those practices in exchange for Chemical's promise to move its Delaware-based card operations -- and 1,400jobs -- to Long Island, where Hanover's back-office was based.