Annual fee on credit card

I am cancelling my Manhattan Platinum Credit card (from Standard Chartered) after they refused to waive the annual fee.

After I requested them to waive my annual fee in good faith considering the business I was giving them, this was their initial reply on 12th March (relevant section cut/pasted)

In this regard we wish to apprise you that the annual fee debited to your card account is a basic product price. The same is debited to your card account for the various facilities extended on your card account.

Accordingly the annual fee has been billed as per the terms and conditions and is mentioned in the Most Important Document signed by you while availing the said card.

As a service gesture, we have arranged to reverse the Annual fee of Rs.x along with the corresponding service tax debited to your card account. This credit will reflect in your next statement.

The annual fee was not reversed. On 10th April, after I followed up on the non-reversal of the charges, this is what I got.

We would like to inform you that the annual fee debited to your card account is a basic product price. The same is debited to your card account for the various facilities extended on your card account. It is as per the terms and conditions and schedule of service charges applicable for your card facility.  We regret our inability to reverse the annual fee of Rs.x debited to your card ending....

It is one thing, not to reverse the charges, but another for a Bank to change its mind in its communication!

I have been a regular credit card user since I started working. I have life-time free credit cards from two Banks (HSBC and HDFC), which I have been holding for more than 10 years.  I did not choose Manhattan.  They came to me and after begging and pleading about their features and being attracted by the 5% cash back (conditions apply), I took the same. 

But my stand was clear. I would use the card so long as I did not have to pay annual charges.  Credit card issuing Banks make money each time we make a transaction.    Of course, they may argue, you get cash back, reward points and so on.  Sure, but nothing that I want to pay to avail.  (As it is, now you pay a fee each time you redeem your points as well!) 

So, for the first year, Manhattan Card was free.   At the start of the second year, they billed me Annual charges.  They reversed the same on my request and that was it.   This was the start of the third year.  I had given sufficient business to them that I saw no reason why I could not request for reversal.  If that cannot be considered, so be it.  Stanchart's loss is HSBC/HDFC's gain!

The take away is, it is better to chose a life-time free credit card instead of haggling over fee reversal and having to bear two-faced Bank officials.

Update: 18 Apr 2014.

I contacted Stanchart with a link to this blog post as well as saying goodbye to their services.   (Before that I requested for redemption of the outstanding reward points:)

I got a response with identical contents as their first response - the only difference being, this time, they actually reversed the annual fee.  However, the incident has left a bad taste and I don't see myself using their card services any further.


  1. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. I heard that everyone can get a Free credit score, check from the government once a year. If so what website can I get it at? Waiting for your reply!!!


  2. Nice piece of information!!! Let me know that do lenders and creditors look at all three credit reporting agency reports and credit score, calculated using information from each report before approving a credit or loan application.. Waiting for your reply… Thanks!!!


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