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 measure compliance with Credit CARD Act guidelines.

For instance, the study revealed that credit card issuers have disclosed major changes to their policies of immediately hiking interest rates on both new and existing purchases when borrowers trigger a penalty. While 94% of major banks still impose penalty rates, new rules give consumers more advance notice of rate changes and the ability to return to a lender's base rate. Likewise, four out of five credit card issuers have removed overlimit charges from their fee schedules.

However, researchers also discovered new fees and penalties creeping into new credit card agreements. Delinquent borrowers may lose perks, points, or miles accrued on their accounts. In addition, many major banks have raised balance transfer processing charges and annual membership fees.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.