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Watch Out for These New Credit Card Traps

Banks invent ways to circumvent regulations
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2010 4:47 PM CDT

(Newser) As expected, banks are coming up with creative new ways to recoup money lost to new regulations on credit cards. The Wall Street Journal runs down a handful:

  • "Professional" cards: These are being aggressively marketed to, well, professionals. The catch: They're not covered under the new consumer regulations. It's "an easy way around the Card Act," says one industry observer.
  • Raising current fees: The median annual fee on bank credit cards rose 18% to $59 from July 2009 to March of this year. Also on the rise are balance-transfer fees and "inactivity" fees.

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  • Time to pay: Consumers are complaining that banks aren't giving them the legally required 21 days (from when the statement is mailed) to make payments.
  • Low-limit cards: They're popular with college students, but look out for all those "processing fees" that come with them.
Click here for more warnings, including a red flag on so-called rebate-card offers.
(Read more credit cards stories.)

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