The CARD Act is the most sweeping reform the credit card industry has ever seen
Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) February 22, 2010
To help current and future cardholders understand the recently-enacted Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act, CardRatings.com has published a comprehensive, four-part consumer guide. This valuable resource examines the Credit CARD Act with a special eye on how it stands to affect students, the subprime market, checking accounts holders and credit card interest rates and fees.
CardRatings.com founder and Editor-In-Chief Curtis Arnold weighs in on the Credit CARD Act:
"The CARD Act is the most sweeping reform the credit card industry has ever seen," Arnold said. "While helpful to consumers in many ways, consumers are also seeing unintended consequences of this legislation including higher interest rates and new fees. In the CardRatings CARD Act series, we break down in simple terms how the new law will impact your pocketbook."
The Credit CARD Act was created to stop card issuers from putting customers at a disadvantage with business practices many consider unfair, including retroactive rate increases, short-notice rate hikes, unfair payment allocation and costly billing cycles.
Signed into law in May of 2009, several provisions of the new Act do not take effect until today, February 22, 2010. A CardRatings.com poll conducted in August 2009 found that approximately 80 percent of respondents believed the legislation would lead to higher interest rates as credit card companies rushed to protect their profits. It seems their pessimism was not misplaced --some card issuers took advantage of the lead time to increase interest rates and fees, even for their best customers. In a follow up poll on CardRatings.com completed this month, 86 percent of respondents claimed that their credit card interest rates had indeed increased.
Arnold has identified six important ways the Credit CARD Act will increase costs to cardholders:
- New inactivity fees
- Higher minimum finance charges
- Bigger late payment penalties
- Foreign transaction fee increases
- Additional charges for balance transfers and cash advances
- Annual fees added or increased
CardRatings.com lists the best cards for minimizing these charges, and its new four-part series guides consumers through the Act's provisions and dispenses practical money-saving advice.
The CardRatings.com Credit CARD Act Guide can be found here:
- Part 1: Last Chance for Solo Student Credit Cards
- Part 2: Understanding Rate, Fee and Clarity Changes
- Part 3: Subprime-So Long Fee Harvester Cards!
- Part 4: The Death of Free Checking?
Consumers can find card recommendations by Curtis Arnold in the two part series on the Best Credit Cards of 2009.
CardRatings.com has been educating consumers about credit cards since 1998 and has been featured by hundreds of media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The New York Times, and The Today Show. Thanks to consumers, CardRatings.com has become the most comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers and has helped over a million people find the best credit cards for their individual needs.