Virgin Money card - being referred to 'whether they want to keep me as a customer'

Hi all,

First time poster :)

I'm keen for some advice/feedback on whether this is something I should be worried about or am overthinking and worrying about nothing.

I've had a Virgin Money credit card for almost four years. I initially used it for a balance transfer, and have held onto it to take advantage of 0% money transfer offers from time to time, and to keep my overall available credit figure total to help my credit score.

However, I noticed yesterday that my VM card expired in July 2022, and I've never received a replacement.

I rang VM to ask for a replacement. The lady on the phone said 'the account' had expired in July. I said the account was still open and I had in fact just made a payment to it. In fact the card is marked as 'active' on the VM app on my phone. So I asked again for a new card.

She replied that my request was being referred to another dept to they assess 'whether they want to keep me as a customer'. The whole conversation was very polite, and I've never rung them before, so I wouldn't say I was marked as a difficult customer or anything like that. But she sounded a bit nervous as she was telling me this.

I've never missed a repayment, I've never attempted to go over my credit limit, I've never taken cash out from an ATM with it. I have nothing in my credit file that would make me a risky customer (no CCJs, never been insolvent/bankrupt, never missed a mortgage payment, well-paid with public sector employer, homeowner and have been in home for 15 years etc etc). In fact, I applied for another card yesterday with Lloyds (see below) and was immediately accepted.

At the moment I have about £7k on the VM card because I used a money transfer to pay for some house work last year.  About £5k of that is currently interest-free (until 31 Jan), and I'm paying interest on the other £2k because I didn't pay that back as quickly as I thought I would.

I can't see why they'd close my account: it's in their interests to renew my card, given they're already earning interest on the £2k and the interest-free period on the remaining £5k is about to end, so they'll start earning more from me. (I've got the Lloyds card to move all this over on a balance transfer, but VM don't know that cos I haven't applied for the balance transfer yet.) Admittedly these are tiny sums to VM, but still the point remains that it's in their interest to keep my account open.

My concern is that they'll close the account and demand £7k from me that I don't have to hand. I can't transfer the balance because my current VM card has expired. And I've just got a new card for a balance transfer, so don't want to then apply for another one for a 0% money transfer to repay VM.

Should I be concerned or is this just standard practice from the bank?

If they did close my account and demand immediate repayment, my assumption is that they're well within their rights to do so and I wouldn't have grounds to complain or refer to Ombudsman etc.

Thank you in advance :)

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Comments

  • I think you've answered your own question. You're already paying interest on a balance of £2k you've not cleared within the interest free period, and are (in their eyes) about to be paying interest on £7k in total. They're likely nervous of you defaulting on the whole lot. As you say, VM are unaware you're planning to shift the balance to a new card, and you're right that this could be tricky to do in the absence of a valid issued card.

    It may be worth considering the reasons why you haven't been able to clear the balances within the interest free periods given, relying on the ability to shift the amount to a new interest free card is a risky strategy in the current CC market and will likely get tighter. 

    No judgement here, just suggesting you examine your ability to pay the £7k off within the interest free period on the new Lloyds CC If you manage to successfully transfer the balance over. 

    CC limits £26000


    Long term CC debt £0

    Total low rate loan debt £3000

    Almost debt free feeling, priceless.

    Ex money nightmare, learnt from my mistakes and never going back there again, in control of my finances for the first time in my adult life and it feels amazing. 
  • vestrit
    vestrit Posts: 11 Forumite
    First Post
    Thanks for that spinningsheep, good points
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,186 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    What payment are you making each month? The minimum only? 

    If you have been carry a debt for a while and only making minimum payments then you will have gone into the "persistent debt process". Different banks are taking different approaches to the new rules... some just write to you periodically saying to contact them if you have a problem whereas others are suspending cards and others are offering lower interest if you offer to over pay each month... normally a fixed monthly payment rather than the normal % of balance. 

    No idea where Virgin are on the spectrum but sounds like this if you've just made minimum payments
  • vestrit
    vestrit Posts: 11 Forumite
    First Post
    What payment are you making each month? The minimum only? 

    If you have been carry a debt for a while and only making minimum payments then you will have gone into the "persistent debt process". Different banks are taking different approaches to the new rules... some just write to you periodically saying to contact them if you have a problem whereas others are suspending cards and others are offering lower interest if you offer to over pay each month... normally a fixed monthly payment rather than the normal % of balance. 

    No idea where Virgin are on the spectrum but sounds like this if you've just made minimum payments
    Hi,
    Thanks for this. I wasn't aware of the persistent debt rules, I've just had a read.
    I have been paying lump sums as well as minimum payments. For example, I've paid back almost £2k in the past three months, but I also had a period last year where I only paid minimum payments.
    They've never contacted me about any issues with my account. The only communication I've had from them has been monthly statements and the occasional marketing email.
    Thank you for the advice, that's really helpful, and also means I'm better informed should they talk to me about it.

  • vestrit said:
     I can't transfer the balance because my current VM card has expired
    Is there a reason why not?  Card number should be enough for a BT  or am I missing something?
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • vestrit
    vestrit Posts: 11 Forumite
    First Post
    vestrit said:
     I can't transfer the balance because my current VM card has expired
    Is there a reason why not?  Card number should be enough for a BT  or am I missing something?

    Because the transfer system asks for the card's expiry date. When I put in the current expiry date of 07/22, it rejects it because it's in the past.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,268 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    So your card expired in 07/22. Did you not get a new one? Or question why they had not sent a new card?
    Life in the slow lane
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,196 Forumite
    Photogenic First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 15 January 2023 at 1:32PM
    vestrit said:

    Because the transfer system asks for the card's expiry date. When I put in the current expiry date of 07/22, it rejects it because it's in the past.
    Must depend on the card,  as my TB card you don't need a date
    As you are paying in, can the system actually check a date?  so might reject a past date,  but any future date (even if made up)  would work.

    What's the min transfer amount, might be worth a small test payment with 7/23 as  date.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Virgin sent me stuff regarding their takeover of my Clydesdale card
    No balance but didn't stop them increasing my rate by 5%!
    Fortunately they made it very easy to close
    I have a deep burning indifference
  • alfred64
    alfred64 Posts: 4,991 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    My Virgin card was also former Clydesdale. Had it years. Credit limit £500. Never increased. Pretty useless really. Used it for occasional small supermarket spends. Balance Nil. Interest rate I think 20 to 21% but don't pay any. Not increased.
     I'm thinking of asking them to either up the credit limit and give me a 0% money transfer offer or cancel the card.
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