08/10/2010 - Consumers beware: Credit-card companies already are finding ways around the new law designed to crack down on their tricky fees and hidden charges.
The Credit Card Accountability Act of 2009 was intended to stop lenders' unfair practices, such as jacking up a cardholder's interest rate without warning or shortening billing cycles. For the most part, the law is working.
But credit-card companies have been busy creating new ways to gouge their customers legally. For example, a study by Pew Charitable Trusts found that the median annual fee on bank credit cards rose 18 percent, to $59, from July 2009 to March.
Read the editorial Taking Credit in its entirety on the Philadelphia Inquirer Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.