A Consumer’s Guide to the New Credit Card Rules: NYTSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 14:33
A Consumer’s Guide to the New Credit Card Rules
By RON LIEBER
At first glance, the sweeping credit card legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday looks like a huge victory for consumers. The bill (and similar legislation that has already passed the House) contains relief from penalty fees and instant interest rate spikes. It even limits expiration dates on gift cards.
And certain cardholders who carry a balance may ultimately pay less under the new rules. But for people who pay their bills off each month, and milk the card rewards programs for everything they are worth, there is some cause for concern.
For months now, the card companies have been threatening to cut rewards programs sharply, even for people who never get into trouble with debt and late payments, to make up for revenue lost to the new restrictions.
My guess, however, is that this talk is just so much saber-rattling. Card companies want to make money, and big-spending customers help them do it, even if they do not go into debt.