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Some credit card companies are trying to convince you that the Credit Card Reform Act of 2009 is making a difference. But just over a year later, is the situation any better for consumers?
One of the goals of the legislation was to stop the outrageous annual percentage rate increases for consumer credit cards. But a recent study shows that on average, APRs are still on the rise (though not as sharply as before the reform law was enacted). For instance, earlier this year Capital One bumped the APR to 19.8% on both its No Hassle Cash Rewards Card and its Classic Platinum card – up from 17.9% and 16.9%, respectively.
What about the enormous fees charged by credit card companies? They’re still around as well. Both Discover and Citigroup increased their cash-advance fees from 3% to 5% in 2010, while also raising the minimum fee on each cash advance to $10. And Bank of America joined Citigroup in implementing annual fees of between $29 and $99 on certain cardholder accounts.
So when it comes to higher fees and rates, cardholders should not assume that the credit card industry has been “reformed.”