I have also noticed a brand new fee associated with reward cards called a reinstatement fee. This is basically where an issuer holds your rewards captive if you are late making a payment and you have to pay a "reinstatement fee" in order to redeem your rewards. This new fee is in addition to the usual up to $39 late fee you would normally incur for paying late.
I also think that most new reward programs will be less attractive than they have in the past. There are several ways that an issuer can dilute a program beyond just reducing the rebate percentages.
Most consumers notice when an issuer cuts their rebate percentage or bonus points, for example, but few take the time to realize the serious implications of the fine print associated with a change of program terms notice. You might get what seems to be an insignificant notice that only somewhat alters your redemption options, but the end result may be the same in that your rewards potential is almost cut in half.
Of course there will be benefits of the Credit CARD Act as well. You can read our Credit Card Act Guides for more information.
- Do any credit card companies penalize you if you have zero balance on your card and haven't used it for a few months?
- Does the Credit CARD Act apply to business credit cards?
- I have an excellent record for payments on all my cards, but I'm paying as high as 29 percent interest. How can I lower the rate?