15 million Citibank card holders will pay more, bank evading Fed's rules


Got a Citibank credit card, or any one of the co-branded cards, including Sears and MySpace, among many others? You may have hoped you'd be safe from unreasonable rate hikes thanks to new Federal constraints on banks' ability to raise rates for borrowers. But those laws don't go into effect until February 2010, and for Citibank, there's no time like the present.

According to the Financial Times, Citibank has already raised rates for you -- and you -- and you!

As many as 15 million U.S. card accounts in total. And the increases are big. A Credit Suisse analysis of the past several months' data indicates that rates were up an average of 24% between January and April of this year. That represents a three percentage point increase for those who don't pay their balance in full each month. For instance, if your rates were 10% before, now they're 13%; this would represent about a $200 difference in the amount of interest you'd pay in a year on a $5,000 balance.