7 of 7
BACKNEXT
What's a cardholder to do?
What's a cardholder to do?
Consumers must pay close attention to the terms of their contracts, staying alert to any changes.

"It's boring reading, and it can be hard to understand, but that's where everything is spelled out," said Lowcards.com's Hardekopf.

Of course, while there are laws aimed at helping consumers, legislation can't do it all.

"As we close the loopholes on some things, they open up elsewhere," said Consumer Union's Banks. "Reform acts don't cover everything, and cardholders have to watch out for their own accounts."

And if you don't like your credit card's new terms? "Shop around -- you are not married to your card," Hardekopf said. "It's a partnership, not a lifelong contract."

More galleries

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
The 13 most WTF gadgets From the weird to the gross, these 13 gadgets will make you wonder why they even exist. More
Best-loved cars in America These cars and trucks topped J.D. Power's APEAL survey, which measures how much owners like their new vehicles. More
America's most powerful cars A new 'horsepower war' has erupted among U.S. automakers and these are the most potent weapons in their arsenals. More

Special Offer
Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.