Posted By Pete Hill
As of Feb. 22, a new law will bar banks from a host of practices that consumer advocates have long blasted as unfair
The problem for consumers is that the prime rate is at 3.25%, a historic low. It will almost certainly go up. And so will credit card rates, which currently average 14.9%, according to the Federal Reserve.
While most credit card holders already have variable-rate cards, banks have been busy these past few months making sure nearly all customers have those kinds of cards. The credit card reforms outlawed some seriously abusive practices, but the cards will still be loaded with other tricks and traps
For a couple of months now, American Express has been running an ad campaign for its charge cards aimed in part at consumers who are trying to be more responsible with their money. Amex introduced the Zync card, a charge card aimed at people in their 20s. Here is how the card works. “The basic card costs $25 each year and includes participation in the Amex Membership Rewards Points Program, though it does require you to pay off your balance every month. You can choose from among four “packs” that yield extra goodies. The Go pack, for instance, costs another $20 annually and doubles the points you earn on airfare. The Social pack has the same price and doubles points for restaurant, concert and theater purchases.”