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3) Higher minimum monthly payments
3) Higher minimum monthly payments
Banks are also demanding bigger and bigger minimum payments. Chase has bumped up the minimum payment for some consumers to 5% of the monthly balance from 2%.

For someone who carries a $5,000 balance, that means the monthly payment of $100 skyrockets to $250 -- a whopping 150% increase.

Consumer Union's Pamela Banks says her organization has compiled a wealth of anecdotal evidence that indicates such increases in minimum monthly payments are widespread.

"This is making payments virtually impossible for some people," she said. "It's throwing people off when they were living on a tight budget anyway."

Some good news is on the way, however. After February, card companies won't be able to increase monthly minimum payments by more than 100%. For example, a bank cannot increase a 2% minimum payment to any higher than 4%. And this so-called "doubling" will be allowed only once during the life of the card.

NEXT: 4) Fewer rewards

Last updated October 26 2009: 3:56 PM ET
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