CONSUMER ALERT: read this report from The Wall Street Journal - Credit-Card Fees: the New Traps – WSJ.com.
It goes into effect tomorrow – Monday, February 22, 2010. Here it is in essence:
The law made some important changes. Card companies must now tell customers how long it would take to pay off the balance if they only make the minimum monthly payment. Customers can only exceed their credit limit if they agree ahead of time to pay a penalty fee. And unless a cardholder misses payments for more than 60 days, interest-rate increases will affect only new purchases, not existing balances.
Banning these and other profitable tactics is expected to cost the card industry at least $12 billion a year in lost revenue, according to law firm Morrison & Foerster. This has sent the industry scrambling to find new sources of revenue. So get ready for higher annual fees, higher balance-transfer charges, and growing charges for overseas transactions.
Just be aware of what’s new and what’s probably coming when you get that new credit card statement.