Know Your Rights As A Credit Card Holder

While Congress works on the newly proposed “credit card bill of rights“, I felt it was important that I share with you exactly what your rights as a credit card customer entail. After all, it will probably be months before Congress draws up this new bill.

Many cardholders have expressed everything from minor frustration to deep seated anger with their credit card issuers. It has become commonplace for credit card companies to raise interest rates, reduce credit limits, impose fees and close dormant accounts as they try to protect themselves from a rising tide of charge-offs and defaults.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that we as consumers can do about it. Credit card issuers are privately owned businesses, mostly banks and financial services companies. But don’t forget or underestimate this little fact, they need customers to survive. So with that in mind, never fail to let your voice be heard.

As of right now, cardholders rights are pretty much limited to the realm of fraudulent and unauthorized charges. Cardholders have 60 days to dispute charges with credit cards and a mere 2 business days to dispute debit card deductions to limit your loses to $50, and 2 – 60 days to limit your liability to $500.

There is relief from unfair practices by credit card companies already in the works. Late last year the Federal Reserve Board, in response to a flood of consumer complaints to their web site, passed new rules that among other things, restricts credit card issuers from raising interest rates on existing balances as long as payments are made on time .

There are other issues covered in the Federal Reserve’s new rules edict that offer protection against unfair practices, but unfortunately for us, they will not go into effect until July 1, 2010. That is another reason why Congress is now stepping up to help offer relief to credit card account holders.

The most effective weapon of all of course, is to pay off your credit card balance in full and cancel any cards that will not waive the annual fees that they charge. You can also try to negotiate more favorable terms with your credit card company with the tips we offer here on this site.

Related Information:

  1. Credit Card Bill of Rights Can’t Come Quick Enough The credit card Bill of Rights which was enacted by the Federal Reserve Board will not go into effect until July 1, 2010. That’s not quick enough for some people…
  2. We Support The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights There is presently legislation pending that will protect credit card account holders from arbitrarily having their interest rates raised. It is called the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights and is…
  3. Chase Raises Fees On Unsuspecting Customers Here is a tough one to swallow. Chase just announced that they would be raising fees on credit card account holders that locked in fixed low APR terms. It seems…
  4. Capital One Financial Corp Reports A Record 4th Quarter Loss Capital One Financial Corp. is the parent company of credit card behemoth Capital One. It also has recently gotten into the branch banking business by buying Louisiana based Hibernia and…