New Credit Card Laws: Good But Not Good Enough
It is a good thing that new credit card rules and regulations have been enacted to protect consumers from predatory practices. But banks found ways of going around these laws even before they went to effect July 22nd 2019.
Basically, now banks are cannot hike your interest rates on old balances. You will also know exactly how long it will take you to pay off a balance if you continue to make only minimum payments: I’m not sure this will change some peoples’ habits (no offense) but that’s subject of another post.
Though the new law is intended to protect us from whimsical rate interest hikes, including that evil thing known as “universal default”, it not all-encompassing. Even long before the new law took effect, new fees had started to emerge. One such fee is an “overseas transaction” charge that kicks in when you purchase an item from a seller outside the US (which happens a lot in online purchases).
This is perhaps the biggest weakness of the bill: banks can impose other charges and fees. All they have to do is give these charges different names.
The new credit card law does not place a ceiling on interest rates either. Banks can still close you account or cut down your limit at will.