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Credit Cards

A comprehensive credit card law is now in place that will help end the tricks that trap consumers in high-cost credit card debt. You can learn more about these key rights below. Click here to see when different provisions of the law go into effect.

The new credit card law includes these consumer protections:

Restricts all interest rate increases during the first year
Restricts interest rate increases on existing balances
Increases notice for rate increase on future purchases
Preserves the ability to pay off on the old terms
Requires fair application of payments
Provides sensible due dates and time to pay
Protects young consumers
Restricts issuance fees on fee harvester cards
Requires enhanced disclosures
Places limits on fees and penalty interest
Requires banks to review rate increase every six months
Establishes gift card protections

Click here to read a full summary of the Credit Card Legislation.

Read the Federal Reserve Board’s Tips on the new Credit Card Law.


Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • This Holiday Season Watch Out for Deferred Interest Credit Card Traps!

    The advertisements are everywhere: “No Interest if paid in full within a specified number of months…” These deferred interest plans sound like a good deal? Not so much. Here’s the trap: if a deferred interest credit card is not paid in full before the specified time, the entire amount of the deferred (unpaid) interest – Continue Reading

  • Free FICO Scores for 2 Million Consumers: Great First Step, But Further Reforms Needed

    Is FICO’s new plan to provide free credit scores to certain credit cardholders a good deal for consumers? Last week, FICO announced that it would provide free FICO scores, ones that are actually used in credit decisions, to clients of two credit card companies, Barclaycard U.S. and First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). This deal Continue Reading

  • Former FDIC Official Sheila Bair Discovers How a Small Credit Reporting Error Can Have a Big Impact

    An inaccurate credit score can be costly. Former FDIC head Sheila Bair recently shared a credit-reporting problem she experienced on CNN Money, and her story shows how a small mistake can result in real damage to credit scores. Bair explains that last year, after writing a check to cover a store credit card bill, the Continue Reading

  • New Report Shows International Impact of Credit and Debt on Consumers

    Today, Consumers International – a UK-based organization of over 240 member organizations from 120 countries – released a new report entitled Responsible Lending: An International Landscape. According to the report, credit and debt are key issues for consumers around the world – not just here in the U.S. The report includes 15 chapters describing various aspects of Continue Reading

  • New CFPB Study Shows Credit Card Reform Is Working

    Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its study of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the law that reformed the credit card market. The study’s  conclusions reflect what consumers have been telling us: credit card reform has made credit cards easier to understand and safer to use. Continue Reading

  • Ban Deferred Interest Cards, Consumers Union Says in Comments to CFPB

    February 22 marks three years since key provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (the CARD Act), which overhauled credit card practices, took effect. But gaps in consumer protection remain, Consumers Union said in comments submitted Tuesday February 19 to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CARD Act protects consumers from Continue Reading

  • Collectors and Lenders Gear Up for CFPB Oversight

    While problems in the mortgage industry still dominate the news, some financial industry insiders are warning banks and debt collectors to get ready for more scrutiny over how they handle other types of debt – especially credit cards and student loans. A recent article in the American Bankers Association’s Banking Journal pointed out that since Continue Reading

  • New survey compares the comparison sites for credit cards

    These days, credit offers abound on the Internet – and, as a result, so do a whole crop of “comparison sites” for credit cards.  But which comparison sites help consumers do meaningful comparison shopping for the right credit card? In a survey report released this week, the nonprofit group Consumer Action reviewed 54 comparison sites Continue Reading

  • CFPB Forces American Express To Refund $85 Million

    American Express will refund an estimated $85 million to some 250,000 customers for illegal credit card practices under a settlement announced today by the CFPB.  The company will also pay a penalty of $27.5 million and has agreed to correct its practices. The CFPB is clearly putting credit card companies on notice that, if you Continue Reading

  • How To Get Your Capital One Refund

    Consumers Union alongside of activists like you fought for the creation of the CFPB, a financial watchdog whose job is to stop unfair practices and fight for consumers. The CFPB was the consumer centerpiece of the 2008 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. In the watchdog’s first enforcement action it ordered Capital One to provide $140 million in refunds Continue Reading

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News Articles

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