Well, the world of banking and credit is indeed a scary place.
Somewhere I stumbled across a credit offer—think it came to my business email—for a new credit card. Since I have been cleaning house lately, credit wise, I thought it might be a good opportunity to consolidate some small debt under a new account. Usually new accounts offer a short period to opt for fee-free or reduced fees on balance transfers with a reduced percentage or 0% introductory interest rates.
In this case, I was especially feeling good about my option since I already had credit with Capital One and was understanding this to be an offer to consolidate my two smaller cards into a single account, with room to grow. (Yikes… With better terms and perhaps a second shrubbery, to create a two-level effect.)
This was not my old friends at Capital One. No. This offer, as it turns out, came from Credit One, which is not only a sound alike company, but also a look-a-like company, since their logo (which is what I really had noticed) is damn close to that of my current creditor. Check it out:
Well, the new cards arrived (one for me, one for the espousa). I was shocked to find the offer was only for a $1,000 line of credit and carried a truckload of fees. The paperwork enclosed stated that if I did not activate the cards, the account would be terminated. So, I let things rest as-is.
Today I got a statement from Credit One Bank with a balance of $100.95 and $25 minimum due. Yikes again. The fees included an account initiation fee, a second card fee and a fee for choosing the card design I wanted. Now, I don’t have a totally cuddly relationship with Capital One Both my accounts have relatively small yearly fees, but I do know they will allow me to pick a damn card design and a second card for no extra charge.
Anyway, the good news is they actually did allow me to cancel the account prior to activation, and owe nothing. I called Capital One and gave them a heads up on my mistake. They said they are well aware of the common error but its clearly deceptive name and logo are considered different enough to be legal.
 In case you don’t get the reference: