Consumer Payment Card News

CARD Act Impact

Like retailers who mark up stuff so they can offer a big discount, credit card issuers are beginning to jack up rates and fees ahead of the new regulations that will soon take effect. Some recent examples: Chase, Wells Fargo Financial and Bank of America. Chase announced it is raising its “Balance Transfer Fee” and “Cash Advance Fee” from 3% to 5% effective next month. Chase no longer caps either fee. Chase is also switching from fixed interest rates to variable. However, Chase says it may adjust the rates, fees and fee caps for special offers. According to CardTrak, Wells Fargo Financial is adding a 3% balance transfer fee with a $5 minimum and a $99 maximum to its “Cash on Demand” card next month. WFF also added a $35 annual fee and added a floor interest rate of 20.65%. Earlier this year, Bank of America increased its balance transfer fees. The BofA “Standard Balance Transfer Fee” is 4% with a $10 minimum. BofA ATM cash advances, bank cash advances, and cash equivalent transactions are now 5% with $15 minimum. Will there be more changes ahead of the “Credit CARD Act of 2009”? Duh!

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