Consumer Friendly Credit Cards

The new credit card regulations that aim to rein in excessive, and sometimes abusive, practices by credit card companies won’t take effect until July 2010. Congress is proposing a new legislation that will further regulate the credit card industry, protect consumers, and, hopefully, speed up the implementation of the new rules passed by federal agencies early this year, if it becomes the law. But the gap between now and July 2010 is large and credit card companies, at the same time, are using the time to do what they want to their customers such as increase interest rates, lower credit limits, impose fees, and close accounts. However, if you don’t want to wait till next summer to get a credit card, there are a few choices available now that already comply with the new rules.

An article on SmartMoney.com yesterday listed four credit cards that are consumer friendly, cards that have “new favorable terms” and “the best perks for different types of spenders”. For the four cards in the article, each seems to have its own purpose, just like those mentioned in a CNBC On The Money article a few days ago. Following are four cards recommended by SmartMoney. Two of them, the Discover Motiva Card and the new Citi Forward Card, have already been covered here before.

  • Wells Fargo Platinum Card: The Wells Fargo Platinum Card belongs to the category of low rate card. The card was selected not only because of its 7.65% variable APR, but also because the bank always send statements to cardholders 25 days before the due date, giving them plenty of time to pay the bills. While the rate is low, you can enjoy it unless you have a Wells Fargo bank account.
  • Capital One Platinum Prestige: The Capital One Platinum Prestige Card is a card for balance transfer because it offers 12-month 0% APR introductory rate. However, at 3% balance transfer fee, I can hardly agree that the cost to transfer balance with this card is low. But the card doesn’t do double-cycle billing and give cardholders 25 days to pay their bills.
  • Discover Motiva: When the Discover Motiva Card was first introduced two years ago, I thought that the card encourages credit card debit because it rewards cardholders who has a balance on the card. It looks like that’s how the card is selected: Motiva is good for a person “who is not able to pay off the card in full when it arrives, and doesn’t want to dig into that natural debt hole that usually follows.”
  • Citi Forward: What I like the Citi Forward Card is that, on top of the 11,000 bonus points, it actually rewards card members with good behaviors (such as pay bill on time and stay under limit) by reducing their rates, up to 2%. There’s no other cards do that as far as I know. The card also has a generous rewards program as well, making it good to earn rewards.

Check them out to see if they are worth considering before the credit card industry comes clean with their behaviors.

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