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New card offers exempt from law

By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com
Monday, August 30, 2010
Posted: 1 pm ET

Watch out for "professional" credit card offers, an article in The Wall Street Journal warned over the weekend. The WSJ reported that card issuers have recently ramped up their marketing of corporate and business credit cards to consumers. Some 47 million professional card offers were mailed in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 256 percent compared to the same period last year, according to research firm Synovate.

While such products are designed for business owners and professionals, it's important to note that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, or Credit CARD Act, doesn't cover business cards. The restrictions on rate hikes and fees won't help business cardholders unless their card issuer has voluntarily decided to extend the CARD Act provisions to its business cards. Bank of America, for instance, has adopted some of the protections on its small business cards.

Of course, accepting a mailed offer from an issuer is just one way to obtain a new credit card. To cut down on the number of preapproved offers stuffing your mailbox, head to OptOutPrescreen.com. You can opt out of receiving prescreened credit card offers for five years or permanently with a mail-in form. When you're ready for a new credit card, you can compare offers on websites such as Bankrate.com. Opting out doesn't affect your ability to qualify for a new credit card.

Have you been receiving more offers for business credit cards lately?

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