April 22, 2018

New Credit Card Protections Trigger Higher Fees by Card Issuers

As you may know, last year Congress passed a law called the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.  This law, nicknamed the CARD Act of 2009, was designed to regulate a variety of unpopular credit card tactics, such as interest rate increases without notice, inactivity fees and unfair interest calculations.

According to credit card industry analysts, the CARD Act of 2009 will eliminate over $390 million in fees for credit card issuers.  Not surprisingly, the credit card companies do not intend to walk away from this fee income.  For every fee and penalty eliminated by the CARD Act, credit card issuers are finding replacements.   For example the annual fee for many cards has been increased, sometimes dramatically.  Card issuers are also sending corporate card applications (called “professional cards”) to consumers.  Corporate cards are not included in the CARD Act.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story explaining how the credit card companies intends to recoup their lost fee income.   The bottom line: the CARD Act of 2009 will eliminate some consumer-unfriendly tactics used by the credit card companies, but it will trigger an equal number of new consumer-unfriendly tactics.  Caveat Emptor.

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