| September 16, 2010

Consumers susceptible to credit card loopholes under CARD Act

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act that was signed into law in 2009 has pushed issuers to look for new means of revenue. Under new regulations, credit card companies have been barred from spiking interest rates and fees. However, analysts warn consumers the CARD Act may not protect them from all money-making tactics used by issuers.

A 2010 study conducted by Bankrate found although annual percentage rates may be steep, just five out of the 73 cards examined in the study had them. This shows that it is still possible for consumers to find cards without annual fees.

Balance transfer fees have not been banned under the CARD Act, Bankrate notes. Advertised low interest rates often expire as well, meaning cardholders should keep an eye on these fees while reading over their statements.

Although inactivity penalties have been prohibited, the new legislation does not prevent companies from closing dormant accounts. Twenty-nine of the 73 cards examined also included over-the-limit fees, ranging between $15 and $39. This can become a costly monthly expense for cardholders.

Consumers are advised to keep tabs on these loopholes left unaddressed by the CARD Act. Monitoring credit may also save individuals debt in the future.

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