How Card Issuers Sneak Around New Laws

Crafty credit card issuers aren’t going to let a little thing like the law get in the way of their profits. Nope, they’re finding creative ways to get around the pro-consumer CARD act and maintain their grip on your pocketbook.

First Premier Bank charges a $95 processing fee before the card is used, to get around a rule limiting the fees that can levied on an account within its first year.

Citigroup raised APR’s in advance of the law going into effect, and then gave partial refunds on finance charges for on-time payments, circumventing the provision that limited raising rates for late payments.

And unless they agreed to give up the low rates, Chase raised the monthly minimum on some customers who were carrying balances on cards with promotional 2-5% rates. The CARD act places obstacles on raising APR’s, but largely allows for minimum payment increases.

Has your credit card company done anything “questionable” or “creative” since the CARD act’s passage? Sound off in the comments.

Card Issuers’ Novel Ways Outflank Law [WSJ]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.