The Credit Card Act is officially rolled out and many debtors are reaping the benefits; but credit card companies are not taking their loss of revenue lightly. Many are getting sneakier than ever and trying to hit consumers where it hurts the most - in their wallets.
Below are a few more credit card tricks debtors need to be aware of:
- The Credit Card Act has prohibited credit card companies from charging unreasonable penalty fees. Penalty fees of $50 on a late payment of only $20 are a thing of the past; however, credit card companies have another trick up their sleeves. When borrowers call their credit card company looking for a break on their monthly minimum payment, many credit card companies are now more than willing to offer it; but there's a catch - a higher APR. In other words, debtors can make lower monthly payments but they will end up paying more in the long-term. Before agreeing to any reduction in your monthly payments, make sure you read the fine print. Is there a higher APR attached to that sweet deal?
- Credit card companies are getting vague about their terms and conditions. In the past a credit card company might have said, "if you have x number of penalty fees in a given year you will be hit with an x percent increase in your interest rate," now they are being more unclear. New credit card terms are now almost like mysteries when it comes to figuring out what could cause your interest rate to increase and by how much. The only way to combat this problem is to pay your balance every month and to pay it on time.
- Credit card companies are now prohibited from charging inactivity fees. So instead they are charging annual fees. To get around this, debtors might want to call up their credit card company and find out how much activity they need to get rid of that so-called annual fee which some say is just an inactivity fee by another name.