3 of 7
BACKNEXT
2) New fees
2) New fees
Rep. Barney Frank hopes a new consumer protection agency can curb credit card fees.
Fees aren't just rising -- they're multiplying. Cardholders are getting slapped with fees they've never seen before.

The hitch: New laws can address only existing fees and business practices; they can't predict what credit card companies will do in the future.

"Theoretically, they could create a fee for names that begin with 'J,'" said Lowcards.com's Hardekopf.

In reality, customers are seeing new annual fees, inactivity charges and more. Not of these charges are unheard of, but many fees that were unusual are becoming commonplace.

Earlier this month, for instance, some Bank of America customers were shocked to learn that their no-fee credit cards would be subject to a new annual fee.

BofA spokeswoman Betty Riess said the fees are part of a company test that affects 0.5% of all consumer accounts, and that the fees range from $29-$99.

The charges will be levied in February, and Riess said customers were chosen "based on risk and profitability" but have the option to reject the fees by canceling their accounts.

Fifth Third Bank recently introduced a $19 inactivity fee for customers who don't charge anything for 12 months, and Citibank is hitting some consumers with a fee if they put less than $2,400 on their card annually.

To address this problem, House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has proposed a new regulatory body, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would approve new credit card fees. While the House Financial Service Committee approved the agency, it remains to be seen whether legislation will pass; lawmakers are battling over this and other reform proposals floating around Washington.

NEXT: 3) Higher minimum monthly payments

Last updated October 26 2009: 3:56 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
These 20 antique guns could fetch big bucks Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania is putting nearly 1,000 old guns on the block. Here are just a few. More
15 execs who make more than their CEOs Sure, corporate chiefs' pay often is eye-poppingly high. But at some companies, executives lower down the ladder quietly out-earned their CEO bosses. More
Novelty gifts for people with money to burn For those who've got the cash, these holiday gifts can really make a statement. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.