I would guess that I have had my Kohl's card for about 4 or 5 years. I only use it a few times per year when I need it to take advantage of some sale at Kohl's. Last spring I saw an "Account Ease Premium" fee charged to my account. At first I thought it was a mistake, some sort of a late fee or interest fee that shouldn't be there. I contacted Kohl's customer service to inquire about the fee and having it removed. This was the response that I received:
The Kohl's Account Ease program will cancel your balance up to $10,000 in the event that the cardholder or another covered member loses his/her job, passes away, becomes disabled or is hospitalized. This is not an insurance program but rather a "debt cancellation program." The monthly fee for this program is $1.60 per $100 of the account's monthly ending statement balance. If you wish, you may cancel the program at anytime. Account Ease is an optional benefit and enrollment is not automatic; you must sign up for this feature at the time your account is opened. Should you wish to cancel the program at this time, please respond with your full name as it appears on your Kohl's Charge card, as well as your billing address. Once this information is provided, I will be able to take the necessary actions to have the Kohl's Account Ease removed from your account.
I responded that I had not signed up or opted in for such a service. I had my card for years and after checking previous statements online I could confirm that the fee had never appeared before April 2010, but was now there for April & May. The customer service representative removed the charges:
I have canceled the Kohl's Account Ease on your account and removed two months of charges pertaining to this program. A cancellation letter has been sent to your mailing address for your records.
At this point everything seemed OK. The charges were removed and I did receive the cancellation letter in the mail. It was an annoyance, but at this point it had been resolved, or had it?
I used my card next in early 2011 and my most recent statement had the ACCOUNT EASE PREMIUM on it once again. I contacted them again and received another notice that the fee was removed and the service was canceled (yet again):
I apologize for the fee that was applied to your account. I have credited this fee and made sure that the Kohl's Account Ease on your account is removed. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.So it is removed once again, a service that I never signed up for, and I have to wonder, 1) Will it appear again? 2) How many people are paying it and not realizing it? The fee is small, about 1.6% of your total balance, just small enough to slide by if you aren't paying attention.
Be careful, and double check all of your charges (on all of your cards)... you never know what you might find.
Some additional information/clarification:
I had my card for many years before the Account Ease Premium showed up. When I emailed them to ask about it I specifically said "I’m sure you must have some documentation/history of when and how I opted in for this paid service that you can provide me with because it doesn’t appear that it was there when I opened my account." Do you know what they did? They ignored my request of proof and simply told me that the charges were removed and I was no longer in the program. They couldn't even tell me when or how I had signed up for it. Then after they removed it, I was signed up for it again (but when? how?). If they can't tell me how/when I supposedly signed up for it then there's a problem and it seems more like a scam than anything else.