credit cards

Fact No. 5: Fixed rates can fluctuate

8 little-known facts about your credit card
Fixed rates can fluctuate

Just because your credit card has a fixed rate today doesn't mean it always will.

Along with changing your interest rate, card issuers can change the way your rate is calculated, says John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at So, a card that carries a fixed rate could become a variable-rate card in the future, he says.

If the interest rate goes up because of the change, then the issuer must give 45 days' notice under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or CARD Act, says Ulzheimer. If the rate stays the same or decreases, it's unclear whether the issuer must tell you.

But if the issuer wants to slice your credit limit or close your card, it doesn't have to tell you until after the fact, he says.

On the upside, the issuer must send a copy of the credit score used to make the decision to lower your limit or close your account under new federal rules issued last year.

Also, if you're declined, the bureau which provided the information must give you a free copy of your credit report if you ask, says Ulzheimer.

"At least you know why," he says. "Before, it was kind of a mystery and you really wouldn't know."



Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 16.22% --0.00 16.22%
Cash Back Cards 16.49%  0.07 16.42%
Low Interest Cards 11.44%  0.09 11.35%
Credit cards on a table

Get advice for managing credit cards, building your credit history and improving your credit score. Delivered weekly.


Credit Card Blog

Mitch Strohm

Will card fraud increase at the pump?

Fraudsters may be taking advantage of the lack of security at pay-at-the-pump card readers.  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us