How many times have you gotten a notice from your credit card issuer announcing “changes” to your credit card agreement but you can’t quite figure out exactly what they’ve done?
Most times, they simply announce that your new APR is so and so, or the fee for a late payment is $X. Without going back to your original agreement which you don’t have, you have no idea how much more you are being gouged. (We all know that rates and fees rarely go down.)
In a refreshing change, some Chase Freedom cardholders last week received a huge 10.5″ by 17.5″ notice about “important changes to your acccount terms.” Here is what made it even more remarkable.
Very large *MOUSE PRINT:
Click to enlarge
They actually show you, side-by-side, what the old terms were and what the new terms will be. It certainly doesn’t convey good news, with finance charges jumping over five percent, and late fees going up as well. But, at least the cardholder wasn’t left in the dark about what exactly they were doing. A big hat-tip to Chase.
On the other hand, why Chase was raising rates wasn’t quite as clear:
The changes to the Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) described below are to standardize these terms for cardmembers who have the same type of account.