Learn about your credit card rights and how to choose the Right Card.
Credit card laws credit card protection
Choose A Credit Card
It is important to shop when applying for credit cards. There are many credit cards with various features, but not a single best card. Consider the following factors when trying to find the credit card that best suits your needs:
April April is a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as an annual interest rate. If the interest rate is variable, ask how it is set and when it can change.
Periodic rate-this is the interest rate used to determine the financing charge on your balance during each billing period.
Annual fee-while some credit cards do not have an annual fee, others expect you to pay an amount each year to become a cardholder.
Reward programs-can you earn points for flights, hotel stays and gift certificates to your favorite retailers? Use online tools to find the card that offers the best rewards for you.
Grace period-this is the number of days you have to pay your bill in full before finance charges start. Without this period, you may be required to pay interest from the date you used your card or the date the purchase was sent to your account.
Financing fees-most lenders calculate financing fees using the average daily account balance: the average of those you owe each day in the billing cycle. Look for offers that use a Adjusted balance that subtracts your monthly payment from your initial balance. Avoid offers that use the previous balance when calculating your debt; this method has the highest finance charge. Also, find out if there is a minimum funding fee.
Other fees-are there fees if you take a cash advance, pay late or exceed your credit limit? Some credit card companies also charge monthly fees. Be careful: sometimes companies can also try to sell by offering other services you don’t need, such as credit protection, insurance or debt coverage.
Terms and Conditions – read the agreement before applying to the card to make sure you agree to terms such as mandatory arbitration or re-clause provisions.
Security features-does the card allow you to turn it on or off immediately after purchases, receive fraud alerts or receive text messages?
Chip and PIN-does the card editor offer chip and PIN security features that use embedded chips instead of magnetic strips? You may need this type of card if you are travelling internationally. In 2015, vendors and businesses in the US were required to add in-store technology and processing systems so you could shop using a chip card.
The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act requires credit and debit card providers to include all of the above information on credit practices.
Credit Card Guides
Get tips to help you choose and use your credit card:
Credit card guide-learn about the important things to consider when choosing a credit card, such as customer service, transaction fees and more.
Shopping with a credit card-learn how to plan, shop and buy a credit card that best suits your needs.
Using a credit card-get basic information about using your credit card, including refunds, errors, disputes, unauthorized payments, and security.
Credit Card Laws
The credit card arrangement protects you from unfair practices, gives you the right to object to charges on your credit card, and allows you to file a complaint with your credit card company.
Credit Card Holders ‘ Rights
Credit Card law, often called the credit card holders Rights Act, protects you in two ways:
Fairness – by banning certain practices that are unfair or abusive, such as raising the rate to an existing balance or allowing you to overspend and then imposing an overpayment fee
Transparency – make rates and fees on credit cards more transparent so you can understand how much you’re paying for your credit card
Objection To Credit Card Charges
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (PDF, Download Adobe Reader ) , you are entitled to dispute charges on your credit card that you did or did not wrong, or that you did not receive goods or services. Follow the guidelines below to contest a payment:
Send a letter to the creditor within 60 days of the postmark of the invoice with the contested fee.
Include your name and account number, the date and amount of the contested fee, and a full explanation of why you objected to the payment.
Send your letter by approved mail with a refundable receipt to ensure it is received.
The credit or card issuer must accept your letter in writing within 30 days of receipt and make inquiries within 90 days. You do not have to pay the amount contested during the investigation.
If there is a mistake , the creditor should deposit money into your account and remove all fees.
If the bill is correct , you must tell me in writing what you owe and why. You must pay along with the relevant financial costs.
If you do not agree with the creditor’s decision, file an appeal with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
For problems with your credit card company, call the number on the back of your card or submit a complaint to the CFPB . This includes managing your credit card account, billing disputes, changes in your annual percentage rate (APR) and unauthorized transactions. If you can’t solve the problem, ask for the name, address and phone number of the card company’s Regulatory Authority.
Credit Card Protection
Did you know that your credit card may offer you other protections that are not usually advertised ?
When using your credit card for travel purchases, your credit card regulator may offer you travel insurance in certain circumstances:
Your trip was delayed.
If you or a family member is ill, you should cancel your trip.
Your luggage is lost during your trip.
If you rent a car, you may be given an auto insurance coverage as part of the rental. Some credit card networks even offer refund assistance programs that expand the window for returning unused products. Remember: rules vary between cards and publishers.
Find your credit card contract by checking the CFPB database to find out about the special protections your card offers . The agreements also cover the fees, features, terms and conditions of your credit card. Learn more by examining a sample credit card agreement .