Congress is Back!
Each year credit card companies sap billions of dollars from consumers' wallets in excessive fees, unexpected rate hikes and other unfair practices. It's time for Congress to Act! AFFIL is partnering with Consumers Union in urging our members to send a "Valentine's Day" postcard to Congress telling them to kiss credit card abuses goodbye by enacting meaningful credit card reform.
Please take a moment to tell Congress to protect you, not the big credit card companies! Just visit Credit Card Reform and with one click you'll send a real post card to each of your representatives this Valentine's Day.
After you take action at Credit Card Reform, Consumers Union will hand deliver postcards in your name to your Representative and Senators on February 14th!
It's time for real reform: send your valentine message to Congress now!
Tips from Consumers Union's Experts:
What you don't know can cost you!
* Pay more than the minimum payment; otherwise you will be paying off your debt for a very long time.
* Review your bill statement carefully. Be sure you know what you're paying for.
* Read the fine print. Your interest rate and fees can change after you get the card.
* Don't use cash advances you'll pay a fee of 3% of the amount you borrow, plus interest on the balance.
* Don't use convenience checks. The bank may charge you a fee, averaging $31 per check, if it decides not to honor the check after you write it.
* Write to your bank and ask it to stop sending you credit card convenience checks. These are an easy way for an identity thief to access your account.
* Get a credit card with no annual fee. Three quarters of cards no longer have annual fees. You can find "rewards" cards without fees.
* Watch out for "default interest." Your interest rate can go up if you miss payments, go over the credit limit or bounce a check to the credit card bank. The average "default interest" rate in 2005 was 27.3%.
* Avoid credit cards with "double cycle" billing. Under this method, if you pay nearly all of the bill for one month, you may be hit with an interest charge the next month for all of the purchases in the prior month, even though you've already paid for most of them. Three of the six largest credit card issuers use this method.
Consumers will continue to be bombarded with complex and unfair credit card practices during the holidays and into the New Year. We have identified these ten tricks credit card companies have created that trap consumers into undesirable terms and overwhelming penalties and fees. These tactics will continue until Congress requires credit card companies to stop these unfair practices.
Tell Congress to pass real and meaningful credit card reform!
See Details about top 10 "gotchas": Can it happen to you?