Providian gold card users - READ!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by marci, May 4, 2001.

  1. marci

    marci Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    This thread is for those who have either the Providian gold card or the classic card with "gold card privileges".

    I will be vacationing soon and will rent a car. I downloaded the VISA gold card benefits (see for the VISA gold/platinum benefits) wrt car rental insurance. I called VISA to ask a question unrelated to this thread - but before I hung up I asked to make sure that my Providian gold account was registered in VISA's gold card database.

    To my surprise, the VISA rep told me that it was NOT a gold card but a classic card and did not qualify for car rental insurance. I flipped out. I called Providian and asked how was it that they sent me a physical gold card with "Gold" plastered across the top, and a packet explaining my gold benefits, but VISA did not have me covered as a gold card member.

    Providian assured me that I did have gold benefits, but I told them according to VISA I did not and I demanded proof of the benefits. Providian gave me it's policy number with VISA, with which I called VISA back and requested coverage. The VISA rep then upgraded my card to "gold" in it's benefits database.

    The problem? When a company upgrades your classic card to a gold card, it is suposed to give you a brand new account number. The first 6 numbers of your account automatically tell VISA what kind of card you have and from whom it is issued. Capital One upgraded my classic to a gold and changed the account number; VISA had that card in it's database. Providian did not change my account number; therefore VISA did not recognize it as a gold card.

    Anyway, my problem is solved now thanks to my foresight in verifying coverage. God forbid that I be in an accident, having declined the rental insurance b/c I thought I was adequately covered with Providian, only to later find out that VISA would reject the claim.

    Anyway, if you have an upgraded gold card or a classic with "gold benefits" you may want to call VISA at the number listed on the car rental benefits webpage to make sure that they update your card correctly.
  2. DaveLV

    DaveLV Well-Known Member

    Interesting. A lot of people here have said that when Providian "upgraded" them, they got a new physical card with the same number.

    When I got my upgrade my account number changed.
  3. marci

    marci Well-Known Member


    They should have changed the account number for all of us who got gold upgrades. Surely Providian knows that this will present a problem when a claim is filed. Furthermore, Providian said that I was to send any claim to them but I told them that VISA said that all claims must be sent to VISA. When I double-checked with the VISA rep, he said that Providian was wrong and that all claims were to be sent directly to VISA.

    I wonder if Providian wants to get people in a bind so that they won't have to pay the claims when they arise and VISA rejects them. Also, if Providian gets the claim, you have no way of knowing that it was sent to VISA for payment or whether it was completed properly. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I don't put Providian past anything to profit money.

    The only consolation is that I was soooo mad with Providian, I called Capital One (with whom my card is maxed out sans $10 to increase my high credit) cosnumer advocate to ask for a $1000 credit line increase. I told him exactly what happened wrt Providian and VISA and told him I wanted to use the Cap One card for my vacation rentals. He gave me a $1000 increase, taking me to $4100 from $500 in February. :)

    Like I said, as soon as I match my Providian limit with another card, I'm closing that account.
  4. R.

    R. Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. I didn't know there was an actual meaning to "Gold Card" beyond each bank appealing to the consumer's vanity. I knew it had nothing to do with limits: I have a 2K Cap1 classic and my girlfriend has a 200 Cap1 Platinum. I'll go read that link.

    When my Providian was upgraded I too got a new account number on my new gold card. Interestingly, the old account's tradeline is still open on my reports. I can never decide if that's helping me or not. It's (something small)/6500, so it helps my debt ratio, but it jacks up my total revolving credit which leads to "too much credit' as a rejection reason. Same thing with my perpetual 0/3000 overdraft protection on my checking account.
  5. Sorin

    Sorin Well-Known Member

    Well I had a Providian classic with gold benefits and I upgraded to Gold then Gold Premier. The account number didn't change. Well, it changed when I declared it lost, but anyway, if what you say it's true then it means that all that time I didn't have the coverage they promised. Not that it matters, I use to charge my rentals on my Citi Platinum, but it's still disturbing.
  6. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

    Good gosh Marci!!

    I got my gold card without ever having a classic card so I am not too concerned about this problem but...

    Here is one more example of how valuable this board is.
  7. greyfox

    greyfox Well-Known Member

    FYI, when I got my VISA from Providian, It was supposed to include "Premier" benefits that are similar to the platinum benefits. I misunderstood, and thought it WAS the platinum benefit until I spoke to VISA when checking out my benefits on my platinum BOA.

    I then called Providian and was told that this card did carry these "Premier" benefits, so Providian evidently has some provision for this. I didn't delve into it further, as I plan to use the BOA when I want the benefits.

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