I'm a stoozer but have run into problems I'd like help with please

I have used 0% credit cards for over a decade to put money into my bank to offset my mortgage.
In Nov, I repaid the last debt and found a 32mth 0% deal with MBNA ( on this site of course) at 2.6% fee. I set up the card and went online to transfer the available credit balance to an empty credit card - First direct Gold. I've always transferred balances to unused cards, which creates a credit balance, then I ask for a refund, either direct to my bank or by cheque that I pay into my savings. It's worked for years.

This time when I asked FD to transfer the credit balance £12k to my savings account, (I bank with them) they said they would treat it as a balance transfer and charge me a fee. Alternatively, I could ask MBNA to recall the money, that would be free.

MBNA say they can't recall the money. They say if I repay the money they will refund the fee I paid them £182.

FD insist the only way they can accommodate this is to transfer the credit balance to my current account at a fee of 2.9%, from where I can repay it. They have offered to reduce the fee by £100, but it's still £243. That's to effectively move my money within their accounts.

I asked what would happen if I closed the credit card account. They said they'd still charge me a fee to refund the credit balance.

Can anyone help me with advice please. Can I be charged to be refunded a credit balance? Can MBNA actually recall the money directly or is there a time limit on this, it's been there since November.
Any bright ideas as to how I access the money without it costing me anything?

Really annoyed me usual relatively easy arrangements have been destroyed and that £12k is sitting wasting savings in a bank!

Thanks
Thrifty Kate
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Comments

  • MallyGirl
    MallyGirl Posts: 6,503
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    generally putting a card into positive balance breaks the T&Cs and it looks like FD have caught on. You would normally use a money transfer card (MBNA do one) to avoid this - used to be calle 'super balance transfer'
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  • YorkshireBoy
    YorkshireBoy Posts: 31,541
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    Always best to play by the rules! In this case, FD are applying 'rule' 5(f)...
    5(f) You should not make payments that place the Account in credit.

    http://www1.firstdirect.com/content_static/pdf/credit_card_terms_conditions.pdf
    Although it's of no use to you this time, MBNA have no such rule*...at least they didn't mention anything when I recently muled £11K through them (in two separate <£6K transactions).

    However, I only attempted this because both these BTs were fee-free (Santander & Halifax). I'd never attempt such a mule if I'd paid a fee as you have.


    * In fact, they appear to accept its a regular occurence...so much so they even have a pre-filled "refund of credit balance" secure message template! :D
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    Really annoyed me usual relatively easy arrangements have been destroyed and that £12k is sitting wasting savings in a bank!

    Nothing lasts for ever. Start spending the balance by using the card.
  • YorkshireBoy
    YorkshireBoy Posts: 31,541
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    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Start spending the balance by using the card.
    I suspect they won't allow that. I think we'll see FD lose patience with the OP and push the money back to MBNA (as Halifax et al say they'll do in a similar clause in their T&Cs)...FOC.
  • redux
    redux Posts: 22,976
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    Could you experiment with transferring to a debit card?
  • YorkshireBoy
    YorkshireBoy Posts: 31,541
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    edited 23 January 2015 at 10:46PM
    redux wrote: »
    Could you experiment with transferring to a debit card?
    How? The first 4/6 digits will denote a debit card, so the transaction will fail. Anyway, even if it was possible, FD have already said if they do a BT (which is essentially sending cash the other way), they'll charge a fee.
  • Thanks for the link, I'd been checking it myself and I realise it was just complacency on my part, Ive been doing this so long and have never had a problem I couldn't talk them around. I'd already spent a couple of hours moving a credit limit from a Virgin card to an MBNA card because the deals were better, think I just thought the FD option meant I could make the internal transfer to my savings account without any more protracted calls and endless security questions.

    Still not given up yet, all these other replies have rejuvenated my intentions, might just need to employ more creative means and get the calculator out!
  • Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Nothing lasts for ever. Start spending the balance by using the card.

    I'm thinking of moving some spending from next month forward, used car for the kids, just need to find a buyer who'll take a credit card with no fee!
  • I suspect they won't allow that. I think we'll see FD lose patience with the OP and push the money back to MBNA (as Halifax et al say they'll do in a similar clause in their T&Cs)...FOC.

    That's an interesting idea, mind you I've caused quite a fuss so they might dig in! My finances are back to front, I have dividends each year that diminish as I live off them, reducing my offsetting capability as the year goes on, so push comes to shove I'll live off this instead and leave my savings intact. Its a 34 month deal so for me it was the equivalent of 2.7% interest after month 11on the balance.
  • How? The first 4/6 digits will denote a debit card, so the transaction will fail. Anyway, even if it was possible, FD have already said if they do a BT (which is essentially sending cash the other way), they'll charge a fee.

    My biggest annoyance is that I sent some of the BT to my Tesco credit card that I use for everything to get the points, which have always funded holidays. I knew that I would have a big post Christmas bill and that this would just prevent me having to take money from savings. If I'd sent the lot to them, in the past they have given me refunds, usually by cheque and a bit slowly, but even if they hadn't and I'd had to spend the money, I'd have still got the points.

    Less haste , more speed in future....
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