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What to Expect: Capital One, HSBC Credit Card Transition

12 February 2013 by

What to Expect: Capital One, HSBC Credit Card Transition

Many Capital One and HSBC customers were surprised when the announcement was made that a new merger was on the horizon – and that it was quickly approaching. As a result, many customers – from both financial entities – were wondering what that meant for their credit card accounts as HSBC became part of the Capital One family. We were wondering too and went to seek out the answers. Here’s what we found.

Surprise Announcement

Remember, these announcements came last year and while many consumers were surprised by the HSBC announcement to sell most of its assets and credit card accounts to Capital One – including Orchard Bank, Household Bank, Direct Merchants and other credit card co-companies – there were those who were working to ensure an easy transition. Recently, Capital One announced the sale had been completed and it’s merged all of the customers together. For those who have specific questions, they’re being encouraged to call the 800 number on the back of their credit card, regardless of which bank is listed on the front. In the meantime, here are the most common concerns most consumers have voiced.

Many are wondering whether or not they’ll have changes to their credit card accounts. Capital One says that customers will maintain their current account numbers, with very few exceptions. Further, the bank has no plans to issue new credit cards until the consumer would routinely expect a new card, such as an approaching expiration date. For those who have both a Capital One and an HSBC credit card, they will continue to have both accounts, as separate entities. Two monthly statements and two payments, too. Not only that, but customers should continue to pay their bills the same as they’ve done in the past – same mailing address, same customer service numbers and even same websites as they’ve come accustomed to. There’s one caveat, according to Capital One spokesperson we spoke to: neither Capital One nor HSBC branches are able to accept payments for HSBC Bank Nevada N.A. credit cards.

Online Account Management

For those who manage their accounts online, they’re also being encouraged to continue just as they have in the past. The websites will be merged at some point, but you should have no problem getting to the site using the addresses you’ve used in the past. Also, HSBC access checks are still valid, however, customers won’t be able to use them to pay off a balance on a Capital One account. Be sure to contact a customer service representative for more information on access checks.

For those wondering about their credit reports, there are a few changes consumers will notice. Specifically, the history will “transfer” to Capital One and as a result, their credit reports will show Capital One as the creditor. That won’t affect your account history nor will it affect your credit report. Also, because of the natural progression of the transition, those changes can take awhile to show up, so consumers may or may not notice it on their reports right away and in fact, it can take up to a year. In the meantime, Capital One is in the process of changing the traditional documents – letterhead, etc. and as mentioned earlier, the new credit cards will also transition in as HSBC cards begin to expire. A bigger effort will take place later this year and there’s a chance you could receive a new Capital One card before your HSBC card expires.

Also, the bank reminds HSBC customers that these changes affect only their credit card accounts. Accounts that are held with other HSBC companies are not affected by this transition. Further, all new accounts, even if the customer is a current HSBC customer, will be issued in the Capital One name.

Orchard Bank

Meanwhile, for those with an interest in an Orchard Bank credit card should know this credit card is no longer being offered because of the way the sales were designed. Most HSBC Bank Nevada N.A.’s credit card accounts were part of the deal, but not Orchard Bank’s. Capital One is encouraging anyone interested in an Orchard Bank card to consider one of its many products.

If you’re concerned about your HSBC rewards, the deal doesn’t affect your rewards. Your points or cash back rewards will transfer with your credit card account into the Capital One system. Also, the spokesperson said that customers will receive detailed information about their new Capital One rewards program before their Capital One cards begin arriving during the transitional phase.

One question that’s being is asked is whether an HSBC customer can trade his HSBC card and account for a Capital One account. At this time, though, that’s not possible. It’s more of a straight line phase that will slowly begin to meld. In the meantime, customers should continue with the products they have now. The privacy and opt out preferences will remain in place, as well.

Foreign Exchange Fees

For those concerned about foreign exchange fees, you’ll be happy to know that Capital One never charges these fees. Automatic payments will stay the same too and there shouldn’t be anything for the customer to do in order to keep those in place – it should be automatic. Those, along with balance transfers. should make the move seamlessly; there are no plans at this time to allow balance transfers between HSBC and Capital One credit cards, however. There are a few unique accounts, though the details weren’t released, that will result in a new account number. The card company will be contacting those customers.

Customers are encouraged to contact Capital One with any questions they have or any concerns that come up. As we were told, the priority is ensuring all customers are making the move with as few problems as possible. Those with questions should use any of the 800 phone numbers on their credit cards, their monthly statements or the Capital One website.

Are you an HSBC or Capital One customer? Have you had any glitches during this phase? Let us know your experience below in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook.

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