First, here’s a possible reason why we have trouble facing our credit cards the right way.
Robert O. Duncan, a behavioral scientist at York College, the City University of New York, explains:
‘Why do most customers at my bookstore have trouble understanding my instructions to swipe their debit cards with the magnetic stripe “toward me?” Almost everyone positions their card the wrong way, then asks in confusion, “Stripe toward me?”—meaning themselves. What is causing everyone to make the same mistake?’… see full article at Sci Am
“I think this new Pew report — just out this week — says it all.” –Lowell Bergman, correspondent for the FRONTLINE/New York Times joint report The Card Game, airing November 24th.
‘One hundred percent of credit cards offered online by the leading bank card issuers continue to include practices that will be outlawed once legislation passed in May takes effect next year, according to a new report by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.
‘The report also found that advertised credit card interest rates rose an average of 20 percent in the first two quarters of 2009, even as banks’ cost of lending declined. With the Federal Reserve currently developing rules to ensure penalty charges are “reasonable and proportional” as required under the Credit CARD Act, the report also includes policy recommendations for regulators.’
Key findings of the report show that:
— 99.7 percent of bank cards allowed issuers to increase interest rates on outstanding balances — a jump from 93 percent in December;
— 95 percent of bank cards permitted issuers to apply payments in a way the Federal Reserve found likely to cause substantial financial injury to consumers; and
— 90 percent of bank cards had penalty rate hikes with the vast majority imposed by “hair triggers” of one or two late payments in a year. -see full report at FrontLine