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 customers it inherited from its purchase of Wachovia.

Credit card companies must finalize repricing before new regulations prohibit the practice in February. In addition, some analysts note that Wells Fargo's strategy, like Chase's, can force some fringe customers to close their credit card accounts, reducing institutional risk.

Wells Fargo officials told reporters that account changes were prompted by rising business costs, not by new lending rules. However, insiders note that the deadline set for Wells Fargo customers to decline their new account terms is November 30. A day later, December 1, is the date some lawmakers have requested for early imposition of the Credit CARD Act.