Published : 2013-09-02 21:42
Updated : 2013-09-02 21:42
About 19 million credit card users saw their card benefits reduced because of policy changes by card firms, according to a report from the Financial Supervisory Service.
The report, which was submitted to ruling party lawmaker Park Dae-dong, said the actual number of card users who underwent benefit cuts may be smaller, considering that one customer possesses four cards on average.
Big name card companies involved in the benefit schemes include Shinhan Card, KB Kookmin Card, Samsung Card, Hana SK Card and BC Card.
Current regulations state that card companies cannot cancel benefits that appear on the contract for at least a year.
Competition-plagued card companies are seen luring new members with various benefits ― discounts, mileage or points ― at first, and then discarding the benefits shortly after the one-year term ends.
Local customers’ tendency to continue using the cards, even after they are notified of the cuts, has contributed to worsening card company tricks. Last year, only 12.3 percent of customers who experienced benefit cuts terminated their card memberships, FSS data revealed.
During the first three months of this year, a total of 25 “baiting benefits” were retrieved in less than two years of the signup date. The number has more than tripled every year, from 6 cases in 2010, 18 in 2011 and 63 in 2012.
The number of card customers with benefit cuts changed still more dramatically ― 980,000 in 2010, 15 million in 2011 and about 16 million in 2012.
Amid rising criticism among customers, the financial regulator is considering extending the one-year sanction and toughening the assessment procedures for new cards.