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Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Credit Card Interest Rates Fees

  • American Express in trouble over late fees

    American Express is facing legal action because it overcharged cardholders for late fees, the company said in a regulatory filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has announced it is looking into "formal enforcement action" against the company's bank, Centurion Bank. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the [...]

  • Visa, MasterCard plan new merchant bank service fees for April 1

    Unintended consequences from the Dodd-Frank Act could raise prices at retail stores after April 1. That's the deadline Visa and MasterCard set for new rates they charge merchant banks that process credit card transactions on behalf of retail stores, service providers and other businesses. According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, the payment platform providers [...]

  • United Arab Emirates caps credit card interest at 18 percent

    An Arab nation's move to curb its citizens' credit card debt could inspire American lawmakers to cap interest rates, according to a recent Time report. Despite Sharia rules that prohibit Islamic banks from charging interest, many credit card users in the United Arab Emirates pay service charges that amount to a 36-percent annual percentage rate, [...]

  • Cabbies protest credit card fees in San Francisco, Philly

    The debate over credit card interchange fees has taken to the streets of San Francisco, where taxi cab drivers have challenged city rules about accepting plastic from passengers. A city-commissioned study reviewed the results of a pilot program that allowed taxi cab companies to pass along the cost of credit card transaction fees to drivers, [...]

  • Credit card users get real checks in the mail

    After years of warning Americans to avoid cashing mystery checks from the mailbox, consumer advocates have an important message for almost anyone who used a credit card overseas between 1996 and 2006. That $18 check showing up from the Foreign Currency Fee Litigation Settlement Fund is actually real. Trial attorneys led a fight to reclaim some [...]

  • Retailers sue to shrink debit card transaction fees

    Organizations representing restaurants, retailers and gas stations joined a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve that challenges debit card transaction fee limits required under recent federal legislation. According to court documents filed this month, lead plaintiff NACS (formerly the National Association of Convenience Stores) asserts that the specific rules implemented by the Fed fail to adhere [...]

  • Durbin saves small businesses $1.8M in 3 days

    Proponents of the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act claimed that capping debit card transaction fees would create a trickle-down effect for both small businesses and consumers. This month, one of the country's largest credit card processors released specific details about the new regulation's impact on its customers. In a statement to reporters, representatives from [...]

  • Judge delays rule restricting fees on secured credit cards

    "Fee harvester" credit card offers could return to American mailboxes after a court ruling postponing changes to the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation Z. Board governors rewrote the "Truth in Lending" regulation in response to 2009's Credit CARD Act, restricting card issuers' signup and setup fees to no more than 25 percent of a new account's [...]

  • Citizens Bank offers zero-interest credit to Irene victims

    Those who have been affected by the destructive force of Hurricane Irene now have a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to a set of generous offers from Citizens Bank. This national bank has opened its doors to consumers, small businesses and nonprofit groups who need a quick influx of cash, helping them [...]

  • US credit downgrade could raise credit card rates

    A poor personal credit rating can have wide-ranging implications, from being passed over for a new job to qualifying for only high-interest card offers. As the United States endures its own credit rating decline, the impact on consumers could be just as diverse. One thing seems evident; credit card interest rates will rise. Most credit cards [...]

  • Visa, MasterCard settle anti-steering lawsuit, AmEx continues the battle

    Visa and MasterCard may have put "steering" challenges behind them, but American Express continues to fight merchants for access to consumer purchases at the checkout lines. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Visa and MasterCard settled government allegations of unfair practices related to retail debit and credit card processing rules. Although company officials and [...]

  • Fed splits the difference on debit card fee caps

    The Federal Reserve split the difference in the debate over debit card transaction fees this week, setting a flexible interchange fee cap much higher than the hard limit retailers requested, although still significantly lower than current charges. The Fed's ruling sets a base maximum rate of 21 cents per transaction, plus up to 0.05 percent [...]

  • Senate upholds Durbin swipe fee limits on debit cards

    A bipartisan Senate coalition failed to raise enough votes to stall the implementation of new rules that would limit the fees banks charge retailers to process debit card transactions. Only 54 of the required 60 Senators voted for a further amendment to 2010's Dodd-Frank financial overhaul act that would delay the fee cap for up [...]

  • How will swipe fee limits affect credit card holders?

    Merchants and credit card companies are still fighting it out over the planned reduction of swipe fees, a rule by the Federal Reserve that will limit the excessive fees currently charged by banks and credit card companies with each swipe. The proposed cap is being promoted as a way to save consumers money at retail stores, [...]

  • Credit cards cost consumers the same despite higher interest rates

    Americans have noticed higher interest rates printed on credit card offers in the past year, but a leading consumer advocacy group says that the real cost of borrowing money hasn't changed. A new report by the Center for Responsible Lending suggests that stricter industry regulations required by the Credit CARD Act have revealed that credit [...]

  • Federal Reserve announces tighter limits on credit card application fees

    After defending his bank's unusual credit card fee structure from criticism in Consumer Reports, Premier Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom must now find a way to please the Federal Reserve. Regulators at the Fed proposed changes to banking rules that would more strongly enforce restrictions on the size of service fees charged for access to subprime [...]

  • Pew Researchers Track New Credit Card Fees, Higher Rates

    New credit card regulations eliminated some of the banking industry's most hated practices, but a study indicates that a new set of penalties and rules have taken their place. Researchers from the Pew Health Group's Safe Credit Cards Project examined credit card applications from the nation's twelve largest banks and twelve largest credit unions to [...]

  • Credit Card Penalty Fees Capped at $35 After August 22

    Final details regarding the last piece of the Credit CARD Act's new rules fell into place during June, as regulators announced streamlined penalty fee structures for late payments and overlimit charges. On August 22, all credit card issuers must cap their penalty fees at $25 for a first-time event, or $35 when the cardholders violate [...]

  • Lawmakers Say Credit Card Fees Put Merchants vs. Customers

    Credit card reward programs put the needs of mom-and-pop merchants against the wants of affluent cardholders, according to Vermont Representative Peter Welch. Welch made the remarks to Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter Peter Eichenbaum in support of Congressional proposals to limit credit card interchange fees. Credit card processors withhold between one and four percent of transaction amounts, [...]

  • Eight States Oppose Limits on Credit Card Merchant Fees

    Banks may have recruited state governments to help lobby against proposed caps on credit card merchant fees. According to a report in the Washington Post, at least eight state treasurers may sign a letter to Congress opposing limits on the amounts that merchants must pay for access to payment platforms operated by companies like Visa [...]

  • Credit Card Interest Rate Cap Cancelled by Congress

    Despite a groundswell of grassroots support for the measure, the Senate voted to kill an amendment to the financial reform bill that would allow states to set maximum credit card interest rates. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sponsored the measure, which was designed to restore the power to enforce local usury laws to state lawmakers.Under [...]

  • Credit Card Companies Surrender Billions in Lost Fees

    Consumers have already saved $5 billion in credit card fees thanks to new laws, according to a recent report in USA Today. Researchers from the newspaper compiled survey responses from the nation's largest banks and credit card issuers to arrive at their estimates. While banks bemoan the loss of overdraft fees, locks on variable interest rates [...]

  • Treasurer Shifts Investments Over Credit Card Interest Rate Dispute

    Consumer backlash against high credit card interest rates has caused a major shift in one state's investment strategy. According to a recent report in the Washington Post, Massachusetts officials may no longer invest state funds with Wells Fargo, Citi, or Bank of America. The state's treasurer removed all three banks from a list of approved investment [...]

  • PenFed Eliminates Foreign Transaction Fee from Co-Branded American Express Card

    A Virginia-based credit union catering to military staffers and their families unveiled a new credit card benefit that can shave hundreds of dollars from an overseas excursion. Officials at Pentagon Federal Credit Union announced this month that the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card will no longer charge foreign transaction fees. Credit card issuers rarely [...]

  • Consumer Financial Protection Agency Proposal Under Debate

    After getting sidelined by heath care reform debates and a multi-million dollar lobbying effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President Obama's proposal for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency has returned to lawmakers' desks. In his weekly media address, Obama encouraged lawmakers to act quickly on new legislation designed to rein in what he called [...]

  • Fed Proposes Caps on Credit Card Late Fees, Overlimit Penalties

    The third and final wave of new credit card regulations covered by the Credit CARD Act take effect this August, and the Federal Reserve recently released draft proposals to clarify pending limits on rates and fees. The Fed's new rules would cap overlimit penalty fees to the amount of the overage. Likewise, card issuers could only [...]

  • San Diego Lawyer Sues Credit Card Issuer Over Rate Increase

    One San Diego attorney isn't giving up his credit limit without a fight. A report in the Huffington Post profiles Ben Pavone, a Bank of America accountholder who uses a high limit credit card to smooth out the cash flow for his legal practice. When Pavone requested a slight increase to his credit line during [...]

  • Weekend Due Dates and Online Credit Card Payments Cause Late Fees

    Making a credit card payment through a lender's website has become simple and seamless for most consumers. However, the way a bank's processing system has been set up can cause unexpected late fees for customers who don't double check their payment requests. One California resident discovered this the hard way, when her credit card company charged [...]

  • Facebook Friend Lists Could Impact Credit Card Interest Rates

    Recent reports in the San Francisco Chronicle and in Fast Company magazine profiled a startup company with a service that might surprise most credit card holders. Rapleaf scours social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook for publicly disclosed information about hobbies, personal interests, and friendships. By matching account files from client companies with data gathered [...]

  • Consumer Recovery Network Celebrates Rate-Jacking's End with Contest

    Rate-jacking ends on February 22nd, according to representatives from debt settlement organization Consumer Recovery Network. "Rate-jacking" often refers to the universal default clauses in credit card agreements, triggering sudden and unexpected hikes in interest rates when consumers miss payments or exceed credit limits on unrelated accounts. In the run up to the full implementation of [...]

  • Kansas Town Signals Move for Municipal Credit Card Convenience Fees

    Officials in Hutchinson, Kansas have started charging convenience fees when collecting payments for city services by credit card. State lawmakers exempted cities like Hutchinson from a ban on charging credit card users for the privilege of paying bills with plastic. Banking industry analysts expect the practice to become more widespread as other municipalities relax restrictions [...]

  • Record-Breaking Subprime Credit Card Interest Rate Raises Debate

    Subprime credit cards often charge steep annual fees and service charges in exchange for providing accounts to borrowers with bad credit. However, with new banking regulations capping account charges to a maximum of 25% of a card's credit limit, some lenders have devised creative solutions to maintain high fees on poor credit accounts.Sioux Falls-based lender First [...]

  • Retailers Hot Over Credit Card Fees, Even After Settlement Checks Arrive

    Credit card interchange fees made headlines again this month, with retailers railing against the cost of accepting plastic. Although most merchant agreements prevent retailers from adding processing fees for credit card purchases, business owners often retain the right to offer special discounts for customers who pay in cash. Diane Chung, a restaurant owner profiled by [...]

  • Some Credit Card Holders Must Choose Between Extra Fees or Lower Credit Scores

    A wave of new service fees has credit card customers asking whether the benefits of keeping a dormant credit card open are worth the price. According to a recent Bloomberg report, Fifth Third Bank altered its customers this summer that it would institute new inactivity fees for most of its credit cards. Fees for maintaining [...]

  • Federal Reserve Study Shows Banks Tightening Credit Card Approvals, Increasing Rates and Fees

    The Federal Reserve issued a statement this month that essentially agrees with the findings of private studies and journalists about the state of the credit card industry. Releasing results from its quarterly survey of banks to journalists, the Federal Reserve noted that more banks rely on fees and finance charges from cardholders in good standing [...]

  • Convenience Store Owners Protest Credit Card Fees

    Capitol Hill played host to an unusual group of protesters this fall, according to a recent report in U.S. News and World Report. Thousands of 7-Eleven convenience store franchisees and their staff members rallied in Washington to support proposed legislation that would change the structure of interchange fees on electronic payment platforms.Typically, merchant banks charge [...]

  • Capital One Confirms Credit Card Interest Rate Freeze

    Capital One sends millions of letters every month, but none as welcome as the letter received this week in October 2009, by a Colorado lawmaker. In the letter, a Capital One president assured Representative Betsy Markey that his company would not be raising interest rates on its credit card accounts in advance of new lending regulations [...]

  • Bank of America Testing Reward Credit Card Annual Fees

    Bank of America officials told reporters this week that they would begin testing annual fees on some of their most popular reward credit cards in 2010. Spokesperson Betty Riess told the Associated Press that the test would apply to just one percent of the bank's current reward credit card accounts.Credit card rewards programs often leave [...]

  • Wells Fargo Credit Card Interest Rates Rise 3%

    Many Wells Fargo credit card customers discovered this month that their bank would join many of its competitors in hiking interest rates by as much as three percentage points. Just as Chase repriced credit card accounts when it picked up the portfolio of Washington Mutual, industry watchers expected Wells Fargo to follow suit with the [...]

  • Credit Card "Revolt" Video Nets Reduced Interest Rate

    Editors at the Huffington Post recently called attention to a YouTube video posted by California credit card holder Ann Minch. In the video, the long-time Bank of America customer explains her frustration with recent interest rate hikes and threatens to withhold future payments on her account. Like other major credit card issuers, Bank of America [...]

  • Credit Card Holders Call Repricing Unfair

    Credit card companies have lost the confidence of a majority of Americans, according to a leading market research report. The Cardbeat report, published by Auriemma Consulting Group, surveyed over 500 credit card users in June. Most respondents experienced credit card repricing, one of the most common effects of the recently enacted Credit CARD Act. One in [...]

  • American Express Policies Eliminate Credit Card Overlimit Fees

    In August, American Express became the first major credit card issuer to announce an opt-in overlimit policy. Mandated by the CARD Act, an opt-in policy requires customers to specifically request the ability to make charges beyond their stated credit limits. Industry analysts expect few customers to opt-in for overlimit access, effectively meaning the end of overlimit fees for [...]

  • New Lending Laws Put Fixed-Rate Credit Card Offers on Endangered List

    When new credit card regulations take effect early in 2010, lenders will have few opportunities to adjust percentages on fixed-rate accounts. Even if borrowers make mistakes that entitle lenders to assess penalty rates, those borrowers can regain those original fixed-rate deals by getting their accounts back in line with program guidelines. Therefore, many personal finance experts [...]

  • Credit Card Rate Increases on the Rise

    The latest buzzword in banking circles may have analysts applauding, but it leaves customers worried about the value of their credit cards. Banks can use "credit card repricing" to prepare for new regulations in early 2010. Because those new laws restrict lenders' abilities to adjust interest rates and service fees, many card issuers started hiking [...]

  • Credit Card Industry Leaders Hint of Upcoming Fee and Lending Changes

    Bank executives told audiences at recent industry events that pending credit card rules and current economic stress have forced lenders to reinvent themselves. Capital One CFO Gary Perlin told a New York audience that he expected many credit card issuers to restructure their fees. Meanwhile, James Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase & Company told attendees [...]