Credit card banks have eight new ways to hit you with hidden fees


It appears credit card issuers are determined to maintain the high levels of profit they earn from charging fees. A new report released by the Center for Responsible Lending on Thursday shows that they have created or expanded at least eight hidden charges to replace the income they anticipate losing as a result of newly enacted federal legislation and Federal Reserve rules intended to stop credit card abuses.

For example, the report shows that credit card issuers have implemented a tactic it calls "pick-a-rate" -- and it's not the customer who gets to pick. Previously, consumers were charged an interest rate tied to what the prime rate was on last day of their 30-day billing cycle. Under the increasingly prevalent pick-a-rate system, the interest rate is based on the highest prime rate reported at any time during the previous 90-day period -- a practice that costs Americans $720 million a year and could grow to $2.5 billion annually as it spreads. Already, 117 million credit card accounts are being affected by this tactic.