Study: 'Business' Credit Cards Put Consumers at Risk

Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Jeff Gelles


05/19/2011 - From January 2006 to December 2010, American households received more than 2.6 billion offers for so-called "business" credit cards, according to a new report from the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project.  The cards look, feel, and perform just like consumer credit cards but for one small-but-critical detail:  They don't have to conform to basic consumer protections - including the new safeguards of 2009's Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act.

You don't have to be a businessperson have one of these cards, which Pew says are "labeled for business or commercial use, regardless of whether the account holder is a large corporation, a small business owner, an employee or an ordinary consumer."  You might have one in your wallet today.

Why does it matter? You can read the Pew report here, but Pew says the basic problem is that "while consumer credit cards in general no longer include unpredictable pricing structures and hair-trigger penalty interest rates, these and other potentially harmful practices remain common on business credit cards that millions of individuals use.

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Read the full article Study: 'Business' Credit Cards Put Consumers at Risk on The Philadelphia Inquirer's 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Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.

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