Hi. We just bought your credit card account. But it's all going to be wonderful and nothing will change -- for now.
That was the message conveyed Wednesday morning to 27.2 million U.S. credit card customers whose accounts are owned or managed by HSBC. Capital One, the nation's fourth largest issuer of credit cards, announced that it was spending $32.7 billion to buy the vast majority of the U.S. credit card accounts of HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's largest bank.
Affected are 10.3 million holders of HSBC-branded MasterCard and Visa bank cards, 3.3 million holders of General Motors and AFL-CIO cards that are co-branded with HSBC, and 13.6 million holders of credit cards that carry the logos of Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and 18 other retail firms that co-brand with HSBC.
Sit tight, but stay alert What should all of these credit card customers -- and others who could be affected by similar takeovers in the future -- do? Nothing, in the short term, experts say, though cardholders would be wise to stay on alert.