Consumers may get a helping hand with their credit card debt consolidation in the near future, as many credit card companies have unveiled new consumer-friendly card programs.
In response to a recent flurry of criticism from consumers and even policymakers about overdraft fees, slashed credit limits and hiked up interest rates, companies such as Bank of America and JP Morgan & Chase have introduced more transparent, basic card policies.
In addition to responding to the new legislation that restricts credit card companies’ ability to raise fees and rates, the trend is an attempt to win back some dissatisfied customers, including the one Bank of America customer that – very publicly, in a YouTube video – refused to pay her credit card bill until the bank reduced her suddenly inflated rate.
One of these customer-friendly cards, Bank of America’s Basic Visa card, offers one rate for all transactions as well as a $39 flat late charge, while the Blueprint Card from Chase allows customers to select which expenses they pay off each month without receiving a finance charge, even if they have a balance or interest in other categories.
Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is also working on legislation that will further help consumers with their credit card debt consolidation, making it so that consumers must opt-in for overdraft protection.