And the chill is now on.
Word came out yesterday that some US credit card firms are pushing up interest rates by as much as 7% ahead of Christmas - and that's in addition to some heavy increases already implemented.
For the likes of Capital One, it means some customers will be paying almost 40% interest on their Christmas gifts and January sale purchases unless they clear the balance on their cards.
Angry Capital One customers have been complaining in a forum on the consumer website moneysavingexpert.com.
One said: "My World Mastercard's old rate is 15.9% and its new rate is 23.9%. I told Capital One it's no better than legalised extortion. I've never missed a payment or paid late - what a way to treat customers."
Another said: "My Capital One Classic Visa's old rate was 30.04%, new rate 39.9%. I'll be closing my card."
Capital One's reponse: "Due to current market conditions, we have had to increase rates for some customers."
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. There just won't be any presents this year.
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