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I was contacted by phone to apply for a credit card. I agreed to one rate on the phone, but when I received the credit card, the rate was higher. Can the bank do that?

A bank can call you and offer you a credit card, but the representative must tell you if the interest rate could be different when you receive the card. When the card arrives, if the rate is different from what was quoted, the bank must allow you to cancel the card without charging you any fees.

Banks may offer you a card before they have determined whether you meet the criteria for the offered interest rate. If this is the case, the representative must tell you that the rate you actually qualify for will depend on your credit standing or other factors.

The only exceptions to this requirement are when

  • you are not required to pay a fee to get or keep the card, or
  • the bank notifies you within 30 days after you requested the card that you have the right to reject the plan without paying a fee.

If you do not want to keep the account, you can contact the bank and cancel the account.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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