Senate Passes Credit-Card Bill

Measure to rein in rates, fees moves to House; Obama could get it by week's end
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2009 12:54 PM CDT
Signs for American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are shown at the entrance to a New York coffee shop.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Senate voted today to prohibit credit-card companies from arbitrarily raising an individual's interest rate and charging many of the exorbitant fees. The vote was 90-5. With the House on track to endorse the measure by week's end, President Obama could see a bill on his desk by the end of the week. He's expected to sign.

Lenders would have to post their credit card agreements on the Internet and let customers pay their bills online or by phone for free. They'd also have to give consumers a chance to spare themselves from over-the-limit fees and give them 45 days notice and an explanation before interest rates are increased.