Advanta Corp., a banking group that offers credit cards to small businesses, sent out an email to its customers on Tuesday that explained why it moved its credit-freeze date to May 30th from June 10, its original date.
The company said last week that it was freezing nearly one million accounts to cut its losses and preserve its capital reserves. Earlier this year, the company cut 300 jobs, a third of its workforce, and cut its dividend 88 percent.
Advanta's outstanding credit-card balances at the end of April were $4.5 billion. It posted a first-quarter loss of $75 million, compared with a profit of $18 million in the same quarter last year.
Below is the email was sent May 26 to Advanta card holders:
Your Advanta Business Card account is funded by an independent trust which owns the balances you owe on your account and provides funding for new transactions. We expect the trust to stop funding activity on our accounts. The trust also restricts our flexibility to fund activity on your account. Unfortunately, as a result, effective May 30th all Advanta Business Credit Card accounts, including your account, will be closed.
This means that you will not be able to use your card or account for new transactions, including purchases, checks and balance transfers beginning on May 30th. We understand that you may have written checks on your account before May 30th and we will make every effort to honor those checks that are presented to us for payment by June 3rd. If you use your Advanta card to make automatic recurring bill payments, you will need to make alternative arrangements for those payments promptly.
It is important to understand that you are not required to pay your entire balance at this time. You may continue to pay down your account balance over time, as allowed under your Advanta Business Card Agreement.
You will not lose the rewards that you have earned. If you participate in a Cash Back program, you will receive a check for the amount of any accrued rewards more than $1.00 as long as you make the required minimum payments and your account remains in good standing. If you participate in a Business Rewards program, you will have at least 60 days to redeem your points as long as you make the required minimum payments and your account remains in good standing.
We deeply regret the impact this action will have on your business and very much wish it was not necessary.
We are committed to assist you through this process. Additional information will be available at www.advanta.com/notice. If you have any other questions or concerns, or if we can assist you in any other way, please feel free to contact our Customer Service Center. You can email us your questions 24 hours a day at www.advanta.com/secure or call us toll free at (800) 705-7255, Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time.
John F. Moore President, Adavta Bank Corp.