5 evil things credit card companies can (still) do

The credit card reform bill tries to help cash-strapped customers, but companies are coming up with new ways to boost profits.

1 of 7
BACKNEXT
The bill
The bill
President Obama discussed credit-card reform in Rio Rancho, N.M., in May.
Credit card companies are socking it to consumers left and right.

They're hiking interest rates to as much as 36% and doubling minimum monthly payments, frustrating customers who are already cash-strapped and credit-crunched.

In an effort to curb these abusive practices, President Obama signed into law a credit card reform act in May that's rolling out in three parts over 12 months.

At the same time, credit card companies have been hard at work coming up with new ways to boost profits while sidestepping the reforms.

"Card issuers are making sure they can make up the lost money in new ways," said Bill Hardekopf of Lowcards.com, a research company funded by a commercial debt collector.

The first part of the law, which took effect in August, requires banks to give customers more notice ahead of major changes to their accounts, like rate hikes. Starting in February, limits will be imposed on when issuers can raise rates on existing card balances, and on new cards. In August 2010 some credit card penalty fees will be will reined in.

But no legislation can fully shield consumers from the credit card industry's ongoing efforts to boost the bottom line.

The worst part? "All of these hikes are taking place simply because they can," Hardekopf said.


NEXT: 1) Rate hikes
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
Tools to make your money grow You've started saving and built a financial base. Time for a few new strategies and tools to get your money to grow even more. From real estate to IRAs, here are some tips. More
Ready to start saving? Here's how to do it right When you are just starting out or finally starting to get serious about saving, the basics will get you far. Here are more than a dozen tips that will help you lay the base for building your net worth. More
Meet four kings of Alibaba's online retail empire Alibaba's shopping sites account for 80% of online retail in China. Meet four successful merchants. 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 LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. 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.