Oct 5, 2009
Approximately 34 million Americans were late in making their credit card payment in the past year. As if that’s not bad enough, the default rate in 2009 is at its highest since 1991. It all points to the fact that consumers simply do not have enough money to pay back their debts. These days, missing a payment or two seems inevitable for a variety of reasons.
However, while many consumers recognize that they would need to pay higher interest payment and penalty fees, they fail to realize that they are also damaging their credit card score and even sacrificing their credit card rewards. In the last several months, consumers are heavily preoccupied with asking questions about fees, interest rates, and due date of their bill. One aspect they overlook is the rewards program offered by their card issuer.
Rewards might not be an issue for first-time card holders who don’t know better. But for individuals who had been using it for vacations, household appliances, and special occasions, loosing reward points can come as a big blow to their lifestyle. In a research conducted among major credit card companies like Citibank, Bank of America, American Express, and Capital One, it was revealed that institutions will revoke any points you earn during a billing cycle in which your account was delinquent.
Discover Cards is particularly harsh because it revokes all reward points you earn if your account is delinquent for two months. American Express is likewise strict but it revokes points on a case-by-case basis. The rules may seem harsh but what’s even worse is that all major credit card issuers reserve the right to modify the terms of the agreement at any time, for whatever reason they choose. They can even cancel the program at any time. So while consumers can now avoid the loopholes when it comes to interest payments, they are still at the losing end when it comes to rewards. Some of the new credit card laws will prevent the issuers from making changes to your account without prior notice.
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- Credit Card Regulations – Senator Dodd’s Push
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