You are on page 1of 1


(601) 856·0911 I (205) 758·8610
Circulation:: 2550
10/14/2010 •
BBB Issues Warning
Bank Card Fee Increases
'}:... \
The Better Business Bu­
reau (BBB'}8erving Missis­
warns consumers that
are increasing credit
card rates and fees in Febru­
ary, an action many con­
sumers have forgotten about
because it was approved
eight months ago. While
con:3umers can shop around
for a better rate, there may
be little they can do about
tho increases other than be
aware of them. Consumers
need to especially guard
against scammers using
these increases as 'an oppor­
to steal personal in­
formation from individuals
looking for better rates.
"Many banks are chang­
ing interest rates and fees
they don't make any new
chases. If any new purchase:;
are made, the higher rate will
be enforced.
• Find a better deal
where. Other credit card com
panies might be ouerin!! bei
ter deals (such as low
ductory rates) that will
the holder a less
way to pay down
piug around often pays oft:
• Manage credit responsj·
bly. According to banks, most
rate hikes affect people who
maintain balances on their
card or have rates that are too
low for the market. TherefoIT',
one of the bOb;; ways to avoid (1
sudden interest rate hike is to
use credit cards
(which includes paying bilL;
before a new set a
signed to protect consumers
will go into effect in Febru­
ary," explains Bill Moak,
President/CEO of the Mis­
sissippi BBB. "This legisla­
tion was passed so long ago
that most consumers have
forgotten the increases are
Scammers are using this
as an opportunity to steal
personal information and
use it to commit fraud later
on. The typical sram prnce­
durn reported to the BBB by
consumers is that they re­
ceive calls from organiza­
tions promising lower credit
card interest rates. To ac­
complish this, the callers say
need personal infonna­
tion, such as social security
and bank account numbers.
The BBB offers the fol­
lowing advice that con­
sumers can take both short­
term and longer range to
help them obtain lower
• Contact your credit card

rate hikes affect only cus­
tomers who carry a balance,
some customers in good
standing have seen their rates
increase as well. Anyone who
believes their rate was in­
creased by mistake should
contact their credit card com­
pany. There is evidence that
credit card companies might
be willing to negotiate rates in
order to keep cardholders as
• Pay offthe account. Ifthe
cardholder doesn't want to ac­
cept the new rate, they can
choose to keep their current
rate and payoff their out­
standing balance, as long' as
"Consumers sl10ulCl neVI'
give personal or financial il;
formation on the
unless they initiate the caJ!
and know and tmiSt who limy
are talking to," explained
Moak. "Consumers should
wait to receive information
from their banks concerning
any mte and fee change. Omx'
they have this information,
they should contact their fi­
naocial institution dil'f'c.tly tv
discuss and ne!,'Otiatc H Jowor
The BBB has'ooen
Mississippi consumers
businesses since 1964 in
moting an ethical and
marketplace. Visit their Web
site ( foi'
further consumer tips.