The passage of the credit card bill has given credit cardholders a lot to look forward to when it becomes active after nine months. With the credit card bill in place, credit cardholders can expect to see limitations being put in place for interest rate hikes, credit card agreement transparency, and generally, more protection for them from unfair credit card industry practices.
However, a key fact is being overlooked by many of those who are hailing the approval of the credit card bill – the fact that the bill goes into effect only after nine months has passed. Some industry experts are saying that starting now until the law goes into effect, the credit card industry is going to have an open season on earning as much as they can from their customers. This is to offset their impending losses when the credit card bill comes into play.
Since last year, credit card companies have been increasing their interest rates and cutting off available credit for cardholders. The resulting credit card crunch was actually one of the primary motivations for the credit card bill. Cardholders now need to be aware that what the credit card companies have been doing is not going to stop anytime soon. It is going to continue and may even get worse. It's going to be nine months of continuous unfair and deceptive credit card practices before credit cardholders will see any positive changes in the way their credit companies do business.
The best that credit cardholders can do in the interim months before the credit card bill becomes active is to be as vigilant as possible with their credit cards.
Credit card companies can still raise interest rates with relative impunity. They are only required to inform you 15 days of the change in interest rate. Therefore, read the fine print of your credit card bill so that you are aware of any changes in your billing. In some cases, you may have the option of closing the account. You should seriously consider doing so, especially if you can find a credit line with better interest rates.
Watch Your Credit Limit
Balance chasing or cutting down credit limits to just above the credit line's balance is becoming a widespread practice of credit card companies. Watch your credit limit and avoid overdrafts so that you won't be charged large overdraft fees.
Rewards and Rebates
Rewards and rebates are probably going to end when the credit card bill goes active. If you have some points stocked or awards pending, take advantage of them now as they may soon end or expire.