As part of our complete coverage of the forthcoming (maybe) Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, I noticed a helpful article over at SmartMoney.com highlighting four different cards which already adhere to the Fed’s new rules about Credit Cards (which don’t technically have to be followed until next year) and/or some of the provisions of the Bill up for consideration in the Senate.
Some of the “benefits” (in other words, they treat you like a human being) include:
- Set your own credit limit, lower than the one on the card, so that you can better control your own spending
- Choose your own due date
- Make payments by phone (you’d think this was already available everywhere)
- Make payments on the due date without being charged extra (ditto)
- Your card’s rate won’t go up if you behave poorly on an unrelated account (AKA “Universal Default”)
- Get at least a month’s warning before a rate increase goes into effect
- The statement is mailed well before the due date to prevent late payments
- Avoid double-cycle billing (imagine paying your rent for May based on how many days you lived there in May and April)
These cards also have other benefits that actually do go above and beyond in an effort to entice you to switch. The above list, however, are things that the average “man on the street” would reasonably assume are already true of every credit account.
I’m just one man, of course, with one man’s opinion. Here’s a summary of the opinion of the general public.
4 Consumer-Friendly Credit Cards, Kelli B. Grant, SmartMoney, May 7, 2009