credit cards

House passes reform bill

Monday, Dec. 14
Posted 3 p.m.

Bankrate reporter Leslie McFadden contributed this entry.

On Friday, the House of Representative passed legislation that would overhaul financial regulation. Among other changes, the bill would establish a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would oversee compliance with consumer protection laws for products such as mortgages and credit cards. Read more about the bill here.

New study shows credit card issuers gaming the rules: Credit card issuers are exploiting loopholes in the CARD Act and Federal Reserve rules, according to a new report (PDF) from the Center for Responsible Lending. The nonprofit looked at issuers with more than 400 million accounts and discovered eight anti-consumer practices not addressed by the law that are growing in prevalence. For instance, inactivity fees, which aren't covered in the CARD Act, cost as much as $36 a year, and are more common than they were a year ago. Variable rate floors -- below which the interest can't drop -- have also increased in popularity.

Blippy makes credit card purchases social: New social networking service Blippy lets you broadcast your credit card purchases to your friends.

That is, the transactions on your Blippy-connected credit card would be published to the Internet in real time, according to TechCrunch. With some vendors, this would include the amount you spent and the items you purchased. Your friends could then comment on your purchases.

Blippy is in private Beta at the moment, but you can get an invite to use it here.

I can't say I'm a fan of the concept -- seeking social approval for credit card purchases. Seems like it would influence people to spend more than they otherwise would on credit cards.

What do you think? I'd love to hear from anyone either horrified or excited about the new service. Would you really keep tabs on what your friends are buying?

Credit union site launches: This month credit union consultancy Card Analysis Solutions launched a new Web site called creditcardconnection.org. It helps you find credit unions by name or ZIP code. This credit union search tool only lists credit unions that offer credit cards.

The Web site has a five-star rating for institutions, where one star means it has at least one of the following features for its cards: interest rates of 18 percent or less, no balance transfer fees, late fees of $25 or less, no penalty APRs and no annual fees.

Find credit union cards on Bankrate.com

Questions? Comments? E-mail plastic_rap@bankrate.com.

Read all of the Plastic Rap blog entries.

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Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.71% --0.00 15.71%
Cash Back Cards 16.41% --0.00 16.41%
Low Interest Cards 10.86% --0.00 10.86%
 
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