Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

7 of 7
BACK NEXT
What's not in the box
Unfortunately, not everything you need to know is in the Schumer Box. Some key information is buried in the cardholder's agreement - the fine print you receive only after you've been approved.

Certain terms are red flags. The phrase "any time for any reason" means that the issuer can hike your rate at will even if you've never been late with your bill. And statements like "defaults to other creditors" or "delinquent on an account with any other creditors" mean that the card company practices universal default and can raise your rate if you make a late payment on any loan anywhere.

The Federal Reserve has put forth proposals that would eliminate these practices. In the meantime, however, you should call customer service before you apply to find out whether the card has these sneaky terms, advises Curtis Arnold, author of "How You Can Profit from Credit Cards" and founder of CardRatings.com.

More galleries

Last updated July 30 2008: 7:37 AM ET
More Galleries
6 ways to change the world for as little as $20 These platforms help make impact investing accessible to anyone with $20 to spare. More
5 great day trips from Sydney Standout escapes just a short journey from Australia's largest city. More
New cameras go weird, wearable - even old school Meet the new crop of digital cameras, an eclectic group each with a very particular set of skills. More

Special Offer