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.

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
10 logo changes that drove people crazy When companies change logos, the backlash is often fierce. More
Hottest new Star Wars toys unveiled BB-8 can now be yours. So can interactive Yoda, a three-pronged lightsaber and other toys from the Star Wars movie. More
Google's logos through the years Google changed its logo for the fifth time in 17 years this week. Here's what the old ones looked like. More

Special Offer