New Credit Card Rules: What to Expect

Kip Tips

New Credit Card Rules: What to Expect

Consumers will get more protections when a new law takes effect in February.

Circle February 22 on your calendars. That's the day rules mandated by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 will finally take effect.

A few of the rules took effect in August 2009, but the bulk of the new protections for consumers will kick in next month. Joan Goldwasser highlights some of the changes in the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Here's what she says cardholders can expect:

Limits on over-limit fees. Your issuer cannot impose a fee without your permission. But the transaction may be denied.

Easier-to-read statements. Look for a box that shows total interest and fees paid and how much you'd need to pay per month to wipe out your existing balance in 26 months. If you want to pay off your balance in less time, use our calculator to figure out your monthly payments.

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Periodic rate reviews. Issuers must review your account every six months to see whether you qualify for a lower rate.

Longer-lasting teaser rates. Introductory interest rates must last at least six months.

For more information, see Joan's full story, FAQs on the New Credit Card Rules.