Key CARD Act Provisions Taking Effect Monday
The law passed by Congress last year overhauling credit card rules takes effect in stages. However, the vast majority of the changes take effect on Monday.
Card-issuers must disclose any changes that take effect when the card is renewed and must inform customers how long it will take to pay off a card balance with only minimum payment.
In billing statements, card issuers must disclose all due dates and penalties for late payments. Also, the use of the term "fixed rate," is banned unless the APR or interest rate can't be changed for any reason.
Due dates must be the same each month and must be at the end of a designated business day.
Payments at local branches must be credited on the same day.
Payments in excess of the minimum are applied to the account with the highest rate of interest.
Card issuers can't charge fees to pay by mail, phone, and electronic transfer, except for expedited payments.
Over-limit fees are banned unless the customer has opted in to such a program.
APR or finance charge increases are banned during the first year of an account.
Any promotional rate must last at least six months.
Card issuers must post credit card agreements on their Web site.
Issuing credit cards to those under 21, without the permission of a parent or guardian who will take responsibility for the debt is banned.
Increasing credit limits on the accounts of those under 21 is banned unless both individuals agree.