May 20th, 2009
05:48 PM ET

Should credit card companies target customers with good credit?

Washington is cracking down on the credit card industry. With the Senate and House both voting overwhelmingly to cut down on rate increases and excessive fees, President Obama is expected to sign the bill soon.

Some of the new restrictions:

– Lenders have to post their credit card agreements online and let customers pay their bills on the internet or by phone without an added fee.

– Customers have to be more than 60 days behind on a payment before seeing a rate increase; and even then, the company has to go back to the lower interest rate after six months if the customer pays the minimum balance on time.

– Consumers get 45 days' notice and an explanation before rates go up.

– Before getting a card, customers under 21 have to prove they can repay the money or that a parent or guardian could pay off the debt.

Missing from the bill is any kind of cap on interest rates.

Meanwhile since credit card companies probably won't be able to make as much money off customers with bad credit, they might turn their attention to people with good credit. Some suggest that for years, consumers who pay their bills on time and in full have been getting a good deal - frequent flier miles, cash-back rewards and other perks.

But those days may soon be over as banks are expected to consider bringing back annual fees, cutting back on rewards programs and charging interest immediately instead of giving a grace period.

Here’s my question to you: Should credit card companies target customers with good credit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark writes:
Jack, It's already begun. I've taken great pride in building a 786 FICO score. Other than the nominal purchases I make each month on my VISA and MC, I have no debts. Both cards are paid in full every month and there's been no delinquency in 20+ years, yet since May 5th I have received notices that the rates on both card are going up.

Cindy writes:
No they should not. They should be bending over backwards to keep them happy and spending. I've already started to aggressively pay off my credit cards and now I use cash or a debit card primarily, even for hotel rooms. The almighty greenback is once again king in my wallet. Good customers usually have options and when pushed too hard are not afraid to use them.

Paul writes:
I am what the credit industry terms a "deadbeat" – I pay off my balance every month and avoid all interest charges and fees, while reaping the benefits from perks such as cash-back and frequent flier miles. They should be satisfied getting my business. After all, they are making 2-5% off every purchase that I make from merchant fees. If they pull something stupid like eliminating the grace period, then I will stop using the card. Remember, us deadbeats have money on hand to pay cash.

Jackson from Rome, Georgia writes:
I just want them to leave me the *blank* alone. My wife and I each receive at least one credit card offer daily. I'm no tree-hugging, dirt-worshipping hippie, but even I know that the mind-boggling amount of paper being used to create that much junk mail is environmentally unconscionable.

Squirt writes:
No, they shouldn't target their good customers, Jack, but they will! I'm tired of being taken for granted, too, and you know what this good customer is gonna do? I'm gonna keep some extra cash around and write checks. I'm gonna pay cash wherever I can and if they don't come to their senses and show me a little more respect, I'll chuck the cards completely....except for my gold card!

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. john .... marlton, nj

    Even with a very high credit score I still had two credit card companies raise my rate on four cards in the last few weeks. Accordingly, I took the money I made "shorting" Fannie Mae stock and paid off the meeger balances (I spend and pay about 20% of my limit on each month) . I then called by stock broker and told him I wanted another debit card that draws against a stock margin account. My new rate will be a single digit interest rate. . NO YOU CAN'T. Obama must resign immediately !!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  2. Bud

    When are we goin g to accept responsibility for our actions? I have one credit card and I pay it off every month. Now I get to pay an annual fee and interest on my purchases from day one because someone else can't controol themselves and live within their means. And its the credit card companys fault cause you have no financial restraint.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Doug

    One of the things that is not discussed is that the credit card companies make money on each transaction, whether the charge is paid off immediately or not. Typically, a retailer will have to pay a certain percentage of each transaction to the credit card company, which is why consumers sometimes will pay more when using a credit card versus cash. Some card companies (i.e. American Express) charge a higher percentage per transaction than others, which is also why not all cards are accepted everywhere.

    I would imagine that there are a lot of people who pay off their credit cards each month who still use those cards quite a bit. Charging the good credit users higher fees is just another example of taking from those who are responsible in order to subsidise those who are not. It's like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. In the long run, they will be cutting off their noses to spite their face. Credit card use will likely fall, and they will be forced to give good deals in order to bring back lost customers.

    It looks like I'll be dusting off the trusty ol' check book and using it more often.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  4. Deb R

    Should they? NO Will they? Of course they will, if not they will be the next one in line for a bail out!

    Deb, Maryland

    May 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  5. Jim Ayres, Durham North Carolina

    To the credit card company –

    I pay my balance in full every month and have for years. You get to collect about three percent each month from the merchant in transactions fees. That means you have an annual return of 36 percent from people like me. Even if your expenses cost you half of those fees, you still are making 18 percent per year. Just how are you being shortchanged?

    Finally, consider this: Since I pay in full every month, I don't need a loan. I could simply pay cash, and I will if you impose annual fees or immediate interest charges.

    I have a stamp,envelope, pen and paper to write a cancellation letter, and a pair of scissors to cut the card in half. Am I making myself clear?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  6. Joe

    They already have. My Citi card went from 7% to almost 15% for absolutely no reason. Credit score is just about perfect. The problem with this legislation: it's a day late and a dollar short. It's great that they are trying to reign in the card companies, but they have already raised rates on consumers. Protections mean nothing if you are already getting fleeced.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  7. Eric Bracke

    Jack, what an unusual question. As a business, a credit card company should ONLY give credit to people with a good credit history. Part and parcel to our financial problems is far too many people are over extended with their credit cards. They don't deserve more credit until such time they can show they have learned a little about financial management

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  8. judith Montross

    Honestly – I'm getting fed up! I always pay off my card balance as soon as I get my statement. If I start to get interest charges – goodbye VISA!
    There is always good old cash!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  9. Doug

    Milton, WV

    One of the things that is not discussed is that the credit card companies make money on each transaction, whether the charge is paid off immediately or not. Typically, a retailer will have to pay a certain percentage of each transaction to the credit card company, which is why consumers sometimes will pay more when using a credit card versus cash. Some card companies (i.e. American Express) charge a higher percentage per transaction than others, which is also why not all cards are accepted everywhere.

    I would imagine that there are a lot of people who pay off their credit cards each month who still use those cards quite a bit. Charging the good credit users higher fees is just another example of taking from those who are responsible in order to subsidise those who are not. It’s like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. In the long run, they will be cutting off their noses to spite their face. Credit card use will likely fall, and they will be forced to give good deals in order to bring back lost customers.

    It looks like I’ll be dusting off the trusty ol’ check book and using it more often.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  10. Jim Brown


    I am one of those the credit card companies call "deadbeats," because I pay off my entire monthly credit card bill promptly after I receive it at the end of each month.

    I suspect these companies are just "saber rattling" for the benefit of the Congress, when they suggest hitting me with an annual fee or charging me interest based on the period of time any particular charge sits on their books before I pay it off, on time, at the end of the month.

    I think they know, deep in their hearts (if indeed they have hearts) that if such a step led to my cancellation of my credit card it would cost them more in the way of vendors' fees they would otherwise have collected from those who sell to me than they would collect from me through the new charges, This "deadbeat" does not pay them just a few dollars each month, but, routinely, several thousand dollars.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  11. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, they already are. One of my card's interest rate went from 8.9-percent to 21.99 percent last October. I had never been late, paid about 3 times more than the minimum, and had used only about one third of my limit. Needless to say I have paid off my balance and do not plan to ever use that card again.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  12. Gale

    I think that customers with good credit should get lots of perks. The credit card companies get a transaction fee for all purchases anyways. so for every purchase they are coming out with a little something even if balances are always paid off.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  13. ds, San Diego

    well, then the question becomes should people with good credit keep using their cards?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  14. Cheryl

    Dropping some of the rewards wouldn't bother me, since I rarely use them. Making me PAY for a card would be different. If I can afford to pay my cards IN FULL ieach month, I would need to think about WHY I would need a card.

    Perhaps the threat of losing good customers would be enough to put an end to this foolishness.

    But, then again, who knows? Those crooks would find another way to try to lure and then penalize.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  15. Brian from Dallas

    They can go after me with my sterling credit rating and I will cancel every card I have and go back to debit only. Banks better think twice about doing away with the grace period or they will lose a lot more customers and suffer even more.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  16. Andrew in Chicago

    Credit card companies make money on transactions for even balances paid in full and on time via the processing fees and interchange fees business pay for the transaction. Seeing cards loose the grace period or cutting back on rewards will only lead to a decrease in customers. Why would they want to drive good stable and reliable customers away? Most these cards are hoping that their good and stable customers have a bad situation causing them to rely on the financing over a period of time.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  17. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    "Should credit card companies target customers with good credit?"

    Several months ago, my credit card company hit me with a big late fee and a two month 'trial period' in which I became liable for my entire debt with no 'grace' period.

    Fortunately, my indebetdness was not too great, but if they did the same to anyone who had 'maxed' their credit, the impact was much, much greater.

    I have paid my bills on time for many years with no outstanding balance for any future billing.

    I am convinced, especially since I checked the payment posting dates for all of my other bills which got posted within a week after I sent payment, that these companies are CROOKS.

    "Should" is the future tense. I'm complaining about the PAST.

    I repeat, these guys are CROOKS!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    It the credit card companies "target" customers with good credit, we'll use debit cards, checks and cash.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  19. Gina

    My husband and I have had a plain old green (who needs other fancy expensive colors just to look cool?) AMEX card since 1980, and either a MC or Visa card, as well; Years ago, while in graduate school, I ran up $2,000 in CC debt and freaked. I locked up the cards while I paid the balance off. Have never owed anything on a CC since. We pay for virtually everything on credit to get points and have ALWAYS lived below our means and saved (loss of half our savings in October is another story) . Recently cashed in 100,000 points from AMEX saved up over the years to get 3 Delta tickets to Caribbean. So long as I don't have to pay dreaded interest, I will keep doing this. If card companies start to charge me interest from date of purchase, then these cards will get cut up and our accounts will be closed. It's as simple as that. I'm in it for the perks. When they go-I go.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Maggie

    Credit card companies are already targeting people indiscriminately and raising interest rates even on people who have paid on time. In the credit card world, I am considered a deadbeat because I pay my card off every month and they make absolutely nothing off of me. So they've tried other tactics to trip me up such as shortening the grace period and providing notice in fine print disguised as junk mail; charging me a fee to pay my bill on line (so that I don't miss the deadline) and other stinky things. I have stopped using credit cards altogether other than to guarantee a reservation, which puts no chareg on my account. I think that if the banks and other credit card issuers expect to continue to make any profit at all from this product, they will have to go the opposite way in order to entice people who can afford to use them to keep using them.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Rick Medina,OH


    Congress just put the brakes on the 'biggest no-brainer on earth.' Let's see if I got this right: you can borrow money at near zero, and re-lend it at 28.99%. You might take a few lumps along the way from people who can't or won't pay, but the spread is so large you can absorb it and still make a fortune.

    Jack, all Congress did was clip a single fang from a vicious predator.

    Rick, OH

    May 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  22. Matt

    Credit card companies need to stop milking American consumers for every cent they've got. If the credit card companies start to go after responsible users just to make up for the losses they're taking from this new legislation, which rightfully restricts their conduct, then all they've shown is their willingness to hurt good, honest, hard-working people during difficult times. People who defend and perpetrate this kind of "greed is good" capitalism are disgusting.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  23. Amy Burroughs

    Credit card companies should NOT penalize those with good credit just because they can't make as much off of others. Those of us with good credit will just cut the credit card companies out of their profits by paying by debit card – because we CAN. The credit cards will lose because they won't get to collect the merchant fees.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  24. David Kabat

    Every response to this economic crisis is unfair: The scam artists get bonuses and bailouts. Those who can't afford their homes get renegotiated loans. Meanwhile, responsible citizens lose their pensions and 401Ks, and have their credit fees increased. Eventually, savers will lose even more as inflation kicks in, and innocent unborn generations will be saddled with all the debt. We were taught by good old Ben Franklin that frugality and thrift would be rewarded, yet the opposite has come to pass. The process that is occurring is a zero sum game that adds no real product or service but shores up incompetence and seeks to maintain a system that has failed and will inevitably crumble. However, before it dies it will suck all it can from the last responsible few.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  25. Fran Laughlin

    Wake up Jack! Credit card companies are already targeting good customers. I've been a good customer of Citibank for over 10 years and have paid my bills on time. In Feb 09 Citibank sent me a letter saying my annual percentage rate would be raised from 12% to 19.9%. I opted out and will close that card at the end of this month.

    So they are already punishing good customers. I'd be better off with a loan shark.

    Fran Laughlin
    Bozeman Montana

    May 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  26. Lynne Potler

    Credit card companies make money on each credit card charge transaction - a fact they never mention. They could save lots of money by stopping the unsolicited credit card offers that crowd my mailbox and those of many others, by NOT soliciting people with poor credit, and by NOT targeting those with little or no income (such as minors and college students).

    Before targeting customers with good credit, such as me, credit card companies should clean up their own houses.

    Lynne in Tucson, Arizona

    May 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  27. Linda

    The stimulus packages are all for "dead beats" and punish everyone who live within their means, pay their bills on time and have their own insurance. We have to pay for people who can not afford their house payments (if you own your own home, nothing to help us) have insurance raised to pay for those without and now have to pay for people who live on their credit cards.....give me a break ....... I was taught to live in my means – if I can not afford something I do without until I save enough to buy it – that is the problem nowadays, people want everything NOW – without thinking of how to pay for it or figure the government will bail them out - maybe I should start being a dead beat too......

    May 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  28. Valerie Doner

    Absolutely not–people with good credit should be rewarded, not punished. If the card companies start charging interest immediately, I will stop using a credit card altogether. I will use my debit card or not make the purchase at all.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  29. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    Of course they should. Why would they want customers with bad credit?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  30. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: The rules of the credit card game are changing. When the economy improves and the credit card issurers need their good customers back, they'll reintroduce the perks. That's pretty much the way it works in companies: bad economy = lessening of benefits; good economy= happy days/more incentives.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  31. RA

    I am one of those who pays off my credit card in full each month. They already get 3% of everything I buy from the merchant. A 3% return on a 30 day loan is an annualized return of about 36% and for the amount I spend that amounts to a pretty decent chunk of change over a year's time. That should be enough. Remember that people who pay their credit cards off every month don't need the credit. It's just a convenience. If they start charging me annual fees and such then I'll just cancel them and they'll get zero percent of my purchases. Let them try living on that.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  32. Phil, georgia

    Why can't Credit card companies just be happy with making a reasonable profit off Americans, instead of trying to become billionares.
    They need to practice the old art of treating customers with the utmost respect, fairly and not trying to swindle them constantly.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  33. ccollins

    Many years ago, I fell behind on my bills because of a divorce. Most of my accounts were charged off. In spite of this, I went to CCCS and set up a payment plan to pay off every account that I owed even though they were charged off and I succeeded. I believe in paying what I owe. I have never been a slacker or taken advantage of the credit given to me. I believe that many of the people that are not able to pay their bills now is because they have lost their jobs. Bad things happen to good people. The banks are more interested in paying their CFO's millions of dollars a year so now those with good credit has to continue paying those outrageous salaries. This situation reminds me of a story in the Bible where God forgave a man that owed billions of dollars and another man owed the man that God forgave a few thousand dollars. The man that God forgave would not forgive the man that owed him. God was really upset and punished him because he would not forgive even though he had originally forgave him. Now the government bailed out the banks yet the banks are targeting those that are still able to pay their bills. Why can't the banks just forgive those people and move on instead of gauging those that can? I do not believe that God is happy with what they are doing. God has forgiven the banks and gave them a second chance. Do you really think he is going to be happy with the way the banks are treating others? I don't think so.

    Lubbock, TX

    May 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  34. Sanjay from Phoenix

    Our earlier governments let greedy people dig big holes for themselves, aided by super greedy and sometimes unethical carporations; current government is helping them fill their holes by digging smaller holes all over. Me, a common man, is thinking if playing by the rule is a virtue any more.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  35. Joanne Hall

    To not supply the money needed to close Guantanamo Bay prison means that the Congress wrongly perceives the American public as in favor of torture or "extreme methods." We allowed wall streeters to fly away with millions from the bailout. We could use some funds wisely to correct our horrid mistakes which have cost us morally and as a result, have made us seem like thugs to to rest of the world. Close it yesterday.
    Joanne, RN
    Knoxville, TN

    May 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  36. Vanessa Graham

    Credit card companies should target it's product at those who can afford it. That's what sank the current market, extending credit to the un-credit-worthy.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  37. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    If banks intend try to bleed their most credit worthy customers they do so at their own peril. These people have the most choices, and are certainly the most sensitive to interest and other fees. They represent minimal credit risk, and the least cost associated with dunning calls and other interactions with the banks. Push comes to shove, they can not only switch to lower or no-cost competitors, they can revert to using cash. This would cost the banks the transaction fees they collect from vendors, but they would still be stuck with the fixed costs of their computers, telecommunications networks and other infrastructure components.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  38. Janice From Delaware

    No, of course not but it is gonna take some time before these guys can get their heads out of their butts.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  39. Mark Jacobs

    I'm one of those 'deadbeats' that pay off my charges every month, never accrue late fees. If they start playing their games with me I will start playing them against each other by threatening to cancel my accounts except with the one company that wants my business.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  40. Patty

    There are many of us that pay our credit card bills in full, and as such do not carry a balance. I do not feel that we should be targeted and penalized simply because we choose to live within our means. If Obama thinks for one minute that "we the people" are not going to notice new added fees or interest charges on our credit card statements he is sadly mistaken. I can assure you that if my credit card company charges me so much as one dime in new fees I will cut up that credit card and throw it in the trash.
    I hope that the Obama controlled credit card companies (i.e. banks) understand that they will not be generating any new fees from this consumer and in addition, they may well see a decline in credit card fees they charge to merchants. You see, I believe those of us that pay our bills in full each month can well afford to simply use cash.

    Patty from New York City

    May 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  41. Pam for Illinois

    No they shouldn't, but it is exactly what they will and are doing. Just today, today!, I received a notice from Capitol One stating they will be charging me a higher interest rate for my card beginning 2010 and will be able to charge me an even higher rate for 12 months, before they have to lower the rate back to my old rate. Doesn't this violate the Credit Card law they passed in the bill today, today! Congress should read your blogs a little more closely to see how angry people are about this issue and you should have it front and center on your broadcasts instead of talking about Newt and Nancy P. grandstanding about something that happened 7 years ago.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  42. Laura, WA

    I put most of my everyday expenses on a credit card, which I pay off every month, in order to get cash back rewards. I know the credit card companies consider me a "deadbeat", but they're raking in plenty of cash from the fees they charge the stores. If they take away the rewards, I'll have no incentive to continue using my card. If they start charging me interest even if I pay in full each month, I'll avoid using credit cards at all costs. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Let's see whether the card companies find it's good business practice to alienate all their customers, or whether "we're going to take away your frequent flier miles!" was just a scare tactic to try and stop the bill from passing.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  43. TomHandy

    It's ridiculous hearing the credit card companies complain that they'll be forced to do things like add annual fees, raise interest rates or remove rewards from good customers because of this bill. The fact is that the credit card companies already have been doing all these things. I've never missed a payment and have been a loyal good customers for years but had my interest rate jacked from 7.99% to 14.99% by Citi, and I've heard plenty of similar stories. And not only that, that new rate applied to my existing balance, not just new purchases (one of the best things I'm glad was addressed in this bill). The credit card companies can rot – personally I'm going to avoid using credit in the future, so they aren't going to be making any money at all from me. Hearing them try to blame this stuff on this bill and act like they weren't doing it anyway is ridiculous.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  44. Lee

    Hmm. Debit cards are sounding much better.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  45. Michael Olshansky

    I find it sadly amusing that credit card companies think they can "recoup" their "lost" revenue by penalizing those with good credit histories.

    The problem is that those with good credit histories have this for a reason: they are SMART and RESPONSIBLE. These same smart people will simply cancel cards whose terms become unfavorable with sign up for new ones that offer lower rates, lower fees, and more perks.

    As they try to punish good customers, mark my words: you will hear more stores in the mainstream media and folks crying foul. And they should.

    Fact is that the credit card companies railroaded people who got behind on their credit cards. Many of these people simply lost their jobs and what the credit card companies did was similar to dropping them into financial quicksand.

    Whatever happens, the free market will dictate the behavior of credit card companies... not the other way around.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  46. Ann

    I'm tired of people doing the right thing (paying their bills) getting the short end of the stick. People have to stop buying things they can't afford (houses included) . If you pay your creditors late, you should pay a higher rate. Banks have to staff employees to collect from you.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  47. Mark M

    They ruin peoples credit, I used my card for 10 years perfect credit they tripled my rates and then closed my card because I did not use my 10K balance enough. (paid off every month)

    good credit of so so credit there not happy unless your in debt to them and there rasing your rates for no reason,

    its not a perfect bill but my hat is off to any elected official for voting for this it is a start and will take away some of there power.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  48. William van der Touw

    Why should people with good credit (and the money to pay off balances) have to compromise for using plastic? If credit card companies eliminate perks and start charging fees, these customers will surely be the first to cut the cards and use cash.

    New York, NY

    May 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Joe CE

    Their business is to make money from credit. People with good credit are logical targetys. They in business to make money not help finance the economy. In the past, they lured in too many people who cvannot afford much credit debt – any change from this is good.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  50. James A. (Moore, OK)

    No matter what, credit card companies are going to target some group of people or another and for now it looks like it will most likely be people with good credit. As much as I don't like feeling that I'm being penalized for having good credit I also feel that this new credit card bill will help people to curb some of their irresponsible spending habits which is a basic problem with American consumerism. If we were, as a whole, more responsible with our money then we would never have been placed in the economic situation we are in now. Some people need a wake up call to stop spending what you don't have to spend and this could be one step in doing that.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  51. Mary

    I realize that some people are affected by higher rates, but doesn't Washington understand that the credit card industry is a business? Now everyone can expect lower credit limits and annual fees. We can also say goodbye to zero percent on balance transfers. I don't like CEO's making billions of dollars, but what about the gas companies, athletes, and actors? Why aren't they being regulated? When the government gets involed in everything, nothing gets done.

    Fargo, ND

    May 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  52. C Bragg

    Yes, they should definitely target customers with good credit so they can subsidize people who cannot afford their credit cards. Being able to run up $20k in credit card debt and having somebody else bail you out is a fundamental right protected by the New Constitution. I'm all for it.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  53. Gail St Germain

    Dear Jack....

    So far, I have not seen any change in my credit card billings. I do have good credit, but am on a retirement income now, and I am quite sure the companies I use know that.

    I think that once more, the attacks on ANY policy to try to change the greed based idea of American life will be met with the FEAR factor ...on every front it seems to crop up. Isn't amazing that those who shout the FEAR factor have NOT responded with any solutions to the pain and disaster facing so many Americans at this time of financial distress?

    Gail St Germain

    May 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  54. AndyZ Lynn. MA

    I believe any one has the right to make money. What I want is for the credit card companies testify before congress and account for every penny of their revenues. When America realizes that the profits made by these companies come close to paying ooff the national debt then maybe, finally, congress will pass some much needed legislation to prohibit usury, which is what the credit card companies use.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  55. R A Williams

    I've got excellent credit, so credit card companies line up to let me take shameless advantage of them. They volunteer to give me cash, presents, and multiple free first-class airplane tickets, and to require only a token annual fee. In return I borrow tens of thousands of dollars every year at zero percent interest. If one of the banks gets cheeky (as Citi Cards did last year after its big bailout) I simply fire them and transfer my business to the next volunteer bank, which is so pathetically grateful it kowtows.

    I appreciate that lending institutions appreciate my superior social status and good looks, but there's no way that doing business with me is even close to profitable. Either there's a computer to blame somewhere, or a Harvard MBA is severely overrated. I found it kind of pathetic that publicly traded companies should be so irresponsible with their shareholders' money, so when I started getting pre-approved applications in the name of people who didn't exist, I realized the banks were too stupid to live and sold all my bank stock. That was a couple years ago before the big slide. Only a complete moron would buy bank stock... oh, wait, the federal government just did that. With my money.

    Anyhow, I don't feel bad about walking all over the poor insolvent banks. After how badly they've gouged some of my family members I like to think of myself as an agent of Karma. Sitting in first class. Sipping a free martini.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  56. Chris D., NYC

    No they shouldn't, but I'll outsmart them by cutting three of my credit cards up, literally, cancel my contracts and stick w/ one credit card.....I always pay on time even when they try to give me a deal on interest, by extending the time before they begin charging interest.....Now, what those w/ bad credit need to do is recognize that this is the opportunity for them to fix their credit!!!! Do it!!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  57. Katrina V

    The day that credit card companies begin charging interest immediately will be the day that my account with them will be closed.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  58. Michael McDowell

    I hate credit card companies with a passion. I thought the Mafia and their loansharking ways were unconsiousable, until the laws on usury were overturned and credit card companies flourished. Credit card companies are the lowest on the food chain, and I wouldn't shed a tear if they all went belly up. A fool and his money is soon parted.....and all at 24% plus interest to boot.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  59. Marietta

    No! And is all fraud, trick and trap greed! their massive interest charges should be illegal period...Were are all these "Christian Republicans on this one?.It is forbidden in the scriptures to charge these interest charges period Oh Republicans peck and choose their sins now---...that is why Pres Obama wants American people to have safety for us against theses crooks–could do it any time and this proves it....greed and no protection for people who get credit cards only for the banks..

    May 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  60. Barbara James

    So if I understand this, those of us who pay our bills in full will now be charged interest immediately on a purchase because we pay our bills in full and on time? Has someone lost their minds, this makes no sense. All this will do is stop us from using our credit card and stop spending. No one wins in the long run. If all the card companies want is those people with bad credit who they have to hound to pay their bills, this is a darn good way to get it. It's just amazing the thought process behind this one!!!!!!!!!!!

    North Carolina

    May 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  61. Ralph Nelson

    What we have is basically illegalize usary. Let's use the Anti-Trust Laws to bust these big banks up, enough is enough, their worse than the health insurance companies who charge $10 for a bandaid. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  62. Michael McDowell

    What is good credit anymore?? With all the stupid rules that credit card companies constantly change to nail the consumer, the only way to have good credit is to either be under the age of 10, or too mentally challenged too open all of their frivolous mailouts. Good Credit?? What a laughable notion??

    May 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  63. Chris, Dallas, TX

    I'm one of those "deadbeats" who pay off the balance every month and have thus far been getting a great deal off of credit cards for years (somewhere around $1,000 cash back in last three years). I do think there will may be some additional fees, but I expect that we over-estimate how much this bill will benefit people who don't manage their finances already. It's not rocket science, but it does take discipline and some financial education (formal and/or self-taught).

    I think we can definitely expect expect more (or higher) annual fees for a larger portion of the credit profile spectrum (starting with the riskiest group and moving up) and probably fewer "0%" or "cash back" type offers. I don't really care one way or the other, as I've always considered the rebates to be gravy and can just as easily go back to a debit card or checks if credit cards become financially unattractive. Of course, the only catch is the effect that not have a credit limit would have on my credit score. Would probably worth a small annual fee to keep that from hurting my credit score. Aren't finances fun?!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  64. Jim Underwood

    Jim Underwood, Poinciana FL
    I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see banks and CC companies try to stick it to their best customers ! Since we don't whine and look for handouts, they will try to wring their profits out ot us! Never forget how Mark Twain described bankers as "fellows who will lend you their umbrellas on sunny days and take it back when it rains."

    May 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  65. Joanne

    I pay off my credit card bills every month. I do not buy what I cannot afford. I live modestly and frugally and have put away money in savings. I did refinance my house, but took only enough to do necessary repairs, making certain I could keep the mortgage current every month.

    Now I find that all that hard work does not pay off. My savings account has gone into a tailspin. My credit card company wants to charge me for being a good client? I should have been a deadbeat instead, seems like they get off better than an upstanding citizen without debt.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  66. Cardinal

    I think credit card companies should think twice about trying to prey on a new group of customers. Or they might find themselves joining the ranks of GM and Chrysler....

    May 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  67. Angus

    Well, I am one of those customers with good credits. I don't maintain balance, and pay all my cards in full each month, so I don't pay any interests, or finance charges. The only reason I use cards is for their rewards (cash back) and their convenience. If issuers start charging annual fee or reducing rewards, I can just close my accounts and sign with someone else that does not charge annual fee. Or use cash if the store offer their own discount for cash (like Spec).

    May 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |

    No, they should not target the customers with good credit. As I see it, the people who try to live withing their means, budget, and pay their bills on time are once again having to pick up the slack for the people who do not tend to their business and get in over their heads. I am a single 63 yr female. I do not carry cash, I use credit cards and pay them off at the end of the month. I budget my money, check and watch my balances, and do without when I need to. If i spend my budgeted money I simply shut it down, eat soup or beans and rice and just do not buy anything for a few days. I think that I am already giving away enough through the house mess, the car mess, the illegal alien benefits as well as the miscellaneous dead beats who over extend. I think the economy would not be in the mess it is if people would just quit over extending themselves...try doing without or living within their means for a change. Once again, John Doe Average America is getting screwed..where and when is it going to stop? Frustrated in Humble, Texas

    May 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  69. Edward M Espinosa

    If banks start targeting people with good credit, I will have to start using the credit card slot on my shredder.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  70. The Broker.

    This question is Visa-Versa to me. I have one Credit Card. Used for the internet mostly.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  71. Jim Schroeder

    How come no one speaks of the charge that credit card companies collect on each transaction. It is a huge amount of money. The credit card companies have found another way to screw the people.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  72. Judy Bode

    Jack, Chase already is targeting us. We have great credit and have been paying our full balance on time every month for years. They are going to start charging an annual fee in one year. I'll be shopping for a new card even though the rewards are great on this one.

    Lino Lakes, MN

    May 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  73. Katherine Langford

    I am absolutely incensed. I am careful with my credit and have always been frugal. When has frugality been grounds for being punished. I have endured comments about my old car – in this country, for so long, new is better. I was taught by my parents, who, by the way, remember the Depression, that you are to buy on credit only in an emergency. They taught me to use up everything, to conserve, to be frugal. I will certainly let my creditors know my feelings and will use only those creditors that reward frugality. In short, I live by a penny saved is a penny earned. If you can't buy it outright, you don't need it. Another final rant - we are a consumerist society. What was life like without a mall every mile? When did we lose the ability to be self-sufficient. I resent being punished because of greed. Greed did not fuel the founding of this country and our ancestors learned to be frugal. We need to put down the Ipods, the newest computer, the latest fad and do without. I do not mind paying my fair share, but not for wasteful greedy people. Live within your means.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  74. Rod Greer, San Jose, CA

    Jack, That is the wrong question. The question should be why credit card companies are allowed to make exorbitant profits off consumers and why is there no CAP on interest rates banks can charge?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  75. Peter

    Just another way that credit card companies can fleece the American consumer. Shouldn't credit be afforded those that can demonstrate low risk and have the capacity to repay. Returning to annual fees just forces me back to the check book.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  76. Bill Robb

    Why go after the good credit customers? We don't cause any problems to the credit card company. Just doesn't make sense.

    Bill Robb
    Broken Arrow, Ok

    May 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  77. John Wright, Seattle

    Not perfect, but many parts of this are fair and reasonable. What I find disturbing is not the legislation, but that more people do not simply walk away from banks use these unfair practices such as rate hikes. A bank tries that to me and they lose a customer. I once did drop a card for changing the due date without notice even after they credited the late fee. If we consumers acted in our true best interests, banks would change these unfair practices without legislation because they would have already lost so many of us as customers

    So, if the banks target me as a good customer, I'll just find the rebellious bank that doesn't.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  78. Barbara Messer


    My husband and I were informed by Capital One that our interest rate would increase from 10.9% to 17.0% without cause. Period. We have never had a late payment and always pay our card off once or twice per year. My duaghter was informed today that her Capital One card rate would increase from 7% to 14%-also without cause as she has never had a late payment and pays her card off as well. This is legal extortion! I can understand such outrageous rates for risky customers but raising rates for those of us who play by the rules to pay the price for those who don't is rediculous. We will not close our card because we do not want our credit rating adversely affected but when it is paid off we will become our own 'credit' company and designate a savings account for repaying all charges that must be placed on a card; ie airline tickets, hotels, etc. The credit industry may find out that there are many of us out there that simply won't accept these terms and won't use their service. A consumer rebellion was never more in order! Barbara Messer Ventura, CA

    May 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  79. Walt

    As a "founder member", and with a promise in writing that I will never be charged an annual fee on those credit cards, I would like to see the banks try to charge me such.

    Anyway... there are still many, many banks offering credit cards, and I am sure the competition to have good credit customers, which come with little chance of defaulting, will keep annual fees to good credit rating customers at bay.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  80. Jim

    As the credit card companies charge the merchants a fee for their customer's use of cards, I think it is reasonable to also charge the users of the cards a fee for the service provided; I like not having to travel with a ton of cash in my wallet at all times. If the fees are reasonable and not excessive then I don't see a big problem.

    The people who are higher credit risks should pay a higher fee, representing the greater financial risk the credit card company is taking in extending credit to them, but the credit card company shouldn't try to force these higher-risk people to bear the support costs for the company out of proportion to the risk they present to the company. It is better for all of the users of the service to pay their fair share of the costs involved.

    Berkeley, CA

    May 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  81. Mike Deist

    The day my credit card company charges a fee or gets rid of the grace period is when I cut up my card. If banks think they have problems now, wait until they implement such ideas and watch their problems get exponential.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  82. Roy - Chicago

    Jack, unfortunately, like most business in America......when companies themselves have to curb behaviors that have very high profit margins....they PASS THE COST to the rest of the consumers to keep those margins high in other ways. So, credit card companies will increase the cost of credit to people who actually have good credit.
    Look for a follow-on bill to fix what is missing in THIS bill.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  83. Ralph

    Yes they should. I think the only credit a person with bad credit should be able to get is a car loan, because that is all you really need in life, and even that is a little iffy, but it will allow people to at least build their credit. Giveing people with bad credit, and thoes who can't afford to pay back credit is a big reason for this mess. Since when does someone need a credit card, or need a house instead of an apartment? And if you don't agree with me... well then tell me why do we need credit cards? If you are paying for groceries with one- heres a though work harder, or get food stamps, or buy less expenise things... AND GET RID OF DEBT. Its like this country, how much more could we spend at home if we didn't have to pay interest?!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  84. rob raher

    This reminds me of the old fairy tale about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Abuse your best customers...sounds like the logic that got the banks into the situation they are in now.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  85. Charles Poresky

    Jack, Here We Go Again! Fiscally responsible people paying for people too stupid or too greedy to read the fine print or even care about actually paying off the debts they accrue literally at our expense.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  86. Jay

    That's fine by me. I have credit in the high 700s; if the card companies are going to punish me then I'll just cancel half of my cards and they'll make nothing at all off of me. I have 5 cards and use them very sparingly, which means I'll use them even MORE sparingly and use my debit card instead. I'm not letting them rip me off any more!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  87. David Morris

    Does this bill include a provision to charge customers interest if the holder of the cards pay the balance off each month?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  88. Gary Stachelski

    Why not target those of us who pay their bills on time? Just another example of why it pays to live within our means. Afterall, up to now these legal "Loan Sharks" never got my money anyway. So I'm sure it's with satisfaction they will now feel justified in exacting a fresh pound of flesh.

    Gary in Atlanta waiting on a delayed flight

    PS. When you give most kids under 21 a credit card, guess who pays the bill?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  89. John

    We do a lot in our society to extend childhood, not letting an 18 year old get a credit card withour mom and dad signing off on it is just another way to keep people from growing up.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  90. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Absolutely NOT. They have done no wrong. As the proverbial financial bucket runs dry (after the flood of years of easy money), the credit card companies are just scrambling for ways to fill it up. It is sort of like a sinking boat and the passengers continue to bail with buckets that have holes in them. They might stay afloat, but it won't be easy; as it feels like "the boat" isn't getting anywhere.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  91. wanda j brown

    I wish people would learn a lesson from these greedy credit card companies the way I did. pay them off as soon as possible and train yourself to use cash. they won't change so we have to. If enough people stop using their cards what will they do then? they have no
    mercy on the consumer and we should have no mercy on them.


    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  92. Ron

    I don't think these companies should raise anyone's interest rate on their cards if they have had the card for a long tiime, have never missed a payment ,or never been late with one, have not exceeded their credit limits, etc, etc. What is this all about anyway???
    Many good credit people are having their interest rates raised – some quite substantially – for NO reason (other than the so-called "fine print" in the agreement.) They send you a letter saying that we are raising your interest rate due to the "economic times." Baloney, it is just the usual GREED factor. Aren't we all tired of this corporate greed? If we remember, it was President Reagan who did away with the "usury laws" which held interest rates on credit type loans and cards to no more than about 18% as I remember. Thanks Ronnie.
    Thanks Republicans. Good night and good luck as they say.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  93. Joe from MO

    Anything to make an extra billion.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  94. Barbara NY

    Jack, If credit card companies target customers with good credit they might end up with fewer customers. I actually want to thank them for getting me off the credit card merry go round. My husband and I have been steadly paying off our credit cards since the beginning of the year. We've both had rates raised without reason or notice. All our cards will be paid off by this September. We will cancel all but one. Good riddance.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  95. Palermo, New York NY

    My small business credit card interest has gone up from 10% to 22.9% (in two increments) so far this year, even though I always pay more than the minimum payment, always pay on time, and never go over my limit. At the same time, my business signature credit line at another bank has reduced my rate from 8% to 3% so far this year. The banking system in this country no longer appears to be based on any rules that make sense.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  96. Brad Fort Worth Texas

    Everybody should be treated equally as long as they are paying their bills on time. Make exceptions for those individuals who are not working because of job loss. Like all of the shows and advice I hear about calling the company to lower credit card rates only one did but two others raised my rates, and I was paying on time. If the banks want people to use credit then they need to keep the rates reasonable and not so high that the finance charges are greater than the minimum payment. I brought one of my credit cards to a zero balance and they closed the account because I am a high risk. I said explain that to me when I brought four accounts to zero balances and I pay all of my bills on time.
    If the government wants people to spend money then the money should have been sent to the people and people would spend money on Main Street which in turn would pump up Wall Street. Instead the government gave money to the banks and the banks are holding it and we see how bad things are.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  97. Paul

    I am what the credit industry terms a "deadbeat". In other words, I pay off my balance every month and avoid all interest charges and fees, while reaping the benefits from perks such as cash-back and frequent flier miles. I believe the credit card industry should be satisfied getting my business. After all, they are making 2-5% off every purchase that I make from merchant fees. If they pull something stupid like eliminating the grace period, then I will stop using the card and their 2-5% slice of the pie drops to zero. Remember, us deadbeats have money on hand to pay cash. That's how we manage to pay off our balance every month. And we are financially savvy enough to know when the card becomes a bad deal. That's how we ended up being deadbeats in the first place.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  98. Cindy Bowers

    That's got to be one of the most ridiculous questions I've ever heard! Of course good customers shouldn't be targeted...who's going to say they should?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  99. Bruce

    There should be a maximum allowable interest rate on cards of 2%. Bankster/Violators would be tied to the rack and stretched. All contracts to be negotiated with each customer with the customer being able to void any portion not desired; a true negotiation.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  100. Squirt

    No, they shouldn't target their good customers, Jack, but they will! I'm tired of being taken for granted, too, and you know what this good customer is gonna do? I'm gonna keep some extra cash around and write checks. I'm gonna pay cash wherever I can and if they don't come to their senses and show me a little more respect, I'll chuck the cards completely....except for my gold card!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  101. BJ, Columbus, GA

    Good grief, no! The banking industry and the credit card industry have messed with the American people's money long enough. Willy-nilly, they raise interest rates, etc. It is time that the nonsense stops. Why should those of us with good credit be penalized because of poor judgement on the part of these companies in the past?

    May 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  102. Joe van de Bennet

    Well, Jack if they did, how would us poor folks be able to buy anything??????

    May 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  103. Mary Sofatzis

    Common sense would tell one this is unjust, period! Maybe less perks, but changing the interest?!! NO or annual fees, NO!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  104. Scott

    You bet they will. I know that in the past the universal default was the bane of my credit existence. Even proven that the one late payment was not my fault the 28.99999% interest stood for over 8 years. I payed the principal on that balance 2.5 times.
    Being 36, even i can remember a day when the longer you were a customer of a company, the better your perks would be. That a company proved the customers value to their business by showing appreciation in many ways. Those days are gone, it may have been the way things should be, but they are gone. We can't even trust any company not to spend money they dont have. However they are completely eager to hold their customer to a much much higher standard.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  105. Nichole, Tulsa, OK

    I don't believe they should, but I can also see the credit card companies point of view. I am one of those customers that pay my balance in full, on time every month. I avoid any cards that charge an annual fee and I take full advantage of the freebies given out to me and use them to boost my credit score. So, frankly, the credit card companies don't make much money off of someone like me. As from my view as the consumer, I just don't agree with having my benefits stripped away from me because the company gave cards to people they KNEW were risky borrowers to begin with. That's their own mistake. I don't think it's a smart business move to go after the one's that you rely on to make money... especially in this economy. I have a feeling a lot of us are just going to drop the card companies that are going after their loyal customers and use other one's. Yay for competition!

    May 20, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  106. Garret

    Gee, that's a though one. It seems pretty obvious that not to have a credit card at all nowadays is impossible – there are too many purchases (online, etc.) that one cannot make with cash. At differant points in my life I've carried balances on my cards or paid them off each month. Not having paid any annual fees for years it would be hard to accept having to do so just because I pay my balances in full each month.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  107. Ron N. Staten Island NY

    If there was ever an example of Capitalism not working
    it is with the credit card industry and their obuse of consumers.
    Exploiting people with the greatest financial needs is a sad commentary on the state of the banking community and our country.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  108. Josh Howard

    It will not work to target those of us with good credit by charging annual fees, cutting back on rewards programs, and charging interest on balances immediately. Many of us with good credit have plenty of cash to pay off those credit card bills in full each month, as I do each month, which means we'll quit using the cards all together. Remember, it's the smart consumers who have good credit. We will not be taken advantage of.

    Sacramento, CA

    May 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  109. AspenFreePress

    People with money and good credit don't borrow at 30 percent interest. At that high rate, it's no wonder all the defaults.
    Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

    May 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  110. Jean Nelle

    Targeting people with good credit is not the best idea, as they may decide to start paying cash for everything like they did before credit cards were used to predominantly. I know that's probably what I will do if they target or penalize me. What's the use in having good credit if you are penalized or than the convenience of using a credit card.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  111. DJ Hunter

    Credit card companies should not target consumers with good credit because those who have good credit may very well end up spending less in an economy that needs people to shop. I will cancel my credit cards if I have to start paying interest immediately and lose all the perks.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  112. David Gonzalez

    Once again, people who are responsible and pay their debts on time are being made to pay for those who are not, and for bad decisions by credit card companies. Greed by the credit card companies is at the root of this problem.

    San Antonio, TX

    May 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  113. D. Louise Fukano

    If they start charging me a fee to have the card, they will find I put almost nothing on the card. I have to keep the card. It is required to rent a car, purchase an airline ticket online, rent a hotel or motel room etc. If a card is a requirement for modern life, It should not have a fee just to have one. The difference between what a bank pays out in interest to it savings customers is far less than is charged to its loan customers.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  114. Paul

    I pay my bill on time and get cash back. The banks make plenty off the transactions I make. If they start charging me for credit, I'm dusting off my checkbook, and they'll make nothing off of me.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  115. Charles A. Gallo

    If good credit customers are penalized for paying on time ,the result may be that they may change and wait longer to pay because their incentive has been taken from them. They also in many cases may turn back to paying in cash , check or some other method. This may be a blessing in disguise for those who over purchase because of easy credit. On the other hand it could mean trouble for venders as a result of easy credit being taken away. The powers that be better think this move out very carefully as it could back fire on them by adding to the middle class consumer with additional burdens.

    May 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  116. D Schneider

    I can understand them taking away perks like reward programs–everyone is cutting back where they can and perks are the first to go. But if they're smart they won't try to target good customers in other ways. Those of us with really good credit and good financial habits will simply go back to using debit cards, checks and cash–like we were raised to do.

    Taking away the grace period would be the worst mistake–after all, what's the point of using a credit card if it will cost you more than cash the minute you use it? Also, making credit more expensive for good customers will hurt the economy because it will impact our ability to buy things online. Not a good thing for anyone right now.

    For the record, I think the Senate bill goes overboard with protecting the consumers. I agree that people should be able to pay by phone or online without penalty and those under 18 should have a parent co-sign for them (that's only common sense, after all). But after their 18th birthdays they are adults and should be responsible for their own choices. Why should we take away the ability of ADULTS to make credit choices for themselves?

    Also, while I think that requiring a 60 day wait before upping the interest rate is a good thing, I think that requiring the banks to drop the interest rate after six months of good behavior (following one screw up of 60+ days) is ridiculously controlling. This is something that should be open to allow banks to compete more effectively, not forced on them.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  117. Bob In Florida

    The ALREADY DO target good credit customers. I have a 750+ credit rating and Capital One raised my interest rate to 20% and I have never been late on a payment, I have never paid JUST the minimum and often I do not have a balance from month to month. I have been with them for more than 10 years.

    I closed BOTH accounts!!!!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  118. Janne from NC

    Why the heck not. From big bank bailouts to bailing out subprime borrowers to paying for octomom those of us that try to live responsibly are told on a daily basis by the democrats that it is our moral responsibility to pay for the bad decisions of others. Why shouldn’t the credit card companies get a little piece of my money too?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  119. Geoffrey Graves

    Oh no, you mean people will have to pay for things with the money they HAVE, and not what amounts to an IOU? Credit Card companies and the Banks themselves are predators that slowly and often silently suck the money out of the customers they need to stay in business.
    Sounds rather counter productive doesn't it?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  120. BC

    I am one of the people that pays off their credit card bill in full each month. I do this for 2 reasons: to avoid interest charges and to maintain good credit. The day that I receive a charge for being a good customer my feet will not touch the ground as I head for the phone to cancel my account.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. Ceasar

    NO!! NO!! NO!! The Congress should take this bill back, close the doors on Lobbyists by telling them to find other work and place the restrictions necessary. If Credit gets hard to get then we can deal with foreign banks and card companies. Customers with good credit Targeted to pay when others won't or can't? Start with EACH and EVERY employee of the bank and credit card companies first.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  122. Anitra

    I don't think that would be beneficial for the banks to target consumers with good credit because even though they make their money off the interest rates, in thier effort to make money they'll chase away any customer that would have been willing to pay them back anyway. And as far as the whole under 21 needing to prove they could pay back the credit card, had they not been giving away a whole bunch of pre-approved cards to college kids, they wouldn't be in this predicament now.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Ed from Montana

    In the 70's we traded more wages for more credit. Then we borrowed way past what we could afford. Now the fiddler wants to be paid. The only way out is to reverse the dependence on credit.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  124. Peter Kruse

    Yes! If credit card companies do not target customers with good credit we will see the same economic pattern that happened to homeowners with mortgages. The debt would add up until some one (not the banks) would be holding something with no value.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Nilou

    If they do so I will cancel my credit cards because it just does not worth it !!!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  126. Andrew Vouris

    I think that people with good credit should be rewarded for having just that. This bill doesn't prevent companies from profiting off of people who aren't paying their dues, it just limits the sheer amount of it. I don't believe any companies will die out due to this bill, unless they target people with good credit and lose customers.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  127. Ken in NC

    Jack, where have you been? They have targeted everyone with good credit already. When credit got tight my 6.9% card with a 780 score went to 19.99%. I call that targeting. They missed the target. All the got from that deal was a "Paid In Full Check".

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  128. jack

    It they want to play with a guy who pays on time,( I'm 72, I know the right way), and penalize me for that, then their card simply gets flushed! And I'll have a brass band for the ceremony!

    thanks Jack, jack

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  129. Joe D

    If credit card companies weren't already making money on people with good credit, then why would they keep them as customers? The credit card companies have made it easier for people to spend beyond their means in order to make profit.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  130. Jill

    I pay my bills on time every month. If I am going to be penalized for being a good customer, I will no longer entertain using credit cards. I have already seen some minor changes with some of my credit cards and they are getting paid in full and canceled. It is time that I live well within my means anyway!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  131. JoeB

    They have to target good customers, they have already flogged the poor and inept into financial servitude. My dad always said "you cant squeeze blood from a turnip" and the current regime is forcing them to change the policy that has been in effect for a number of years, when you can no longer milk the many you have to begin to target the few, since after all, they are a sure bet.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  132. mike

    The credit card companies are legal loan sharks. Not to offend sharks, When they start to feed off of customers who have never been late, that will begin the death knoll for the greedy companies.
    They'll deserve it!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Eric

    Absolutely not, wouldn't they essentially be hurting themselves? Don't the credit card companies make 1-2% on every purchase anyway?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  134. Steve (Pensacola, FL)

    Having worked for one of these major credit card companies, I will tell you that the banks will target whoever increases the bottom line. Should they go after "good" borrowers? No. Will they? Yes.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  135. wilbur deeter

    any charges that the companies try to charge me will end in a no way. I will close my account immediatly if not sooner and get what I need to buy with cash.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  136. steve grimes

    No, credit card companies should not target good-credit customers. They will dig themselves a deeper hole if they start charging interest from time of transaction, or boost annual fees. A large percentage of credit card users will drop these cards if it's not financially beneficial. These fees will put a big dent in their business. I for one, will cut back to one card (from 3) and will use that one only when I have to.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  137. Tom

    I have maintained perfect credit for all of my bill paying debt life. I have been nothing but the best customer to the credit folks. I am starting to wonder if we are starting to send the wrong message to our younger generation. By penalizing those who are responsible, it just makes the flip side more attractive, heck it is the easy way to behave anyway. So lets make sure we demonstrate the path of least resistance and least success pays off in the end.

    By the way, do you think I still have time to run up my cards, default on my loans, squat in my house, ignore the credit collectors...and wait for a bail out...Unfortunately...my guilt is getting the best of me when I even joke about this...I deserve to be punished!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  138. steve

    Hi Jack,
    I don't really see how the new credit card legislation will help people.
    The lobbist were too helpful writing the bill.
    Maybe people should boycot paying there credit card bills for one year. I bet that would inspire the credit card companies to make changes.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  139. richard miller

    Not only no but Hell no! We, the responsible people, didn't screw up the credit market-the bankers did it all by themselves by opening the Pandora's box of too easy credit. And yes Jack, I still have my checkbook and I still write checks much to the chagrin of our local retailers!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  140. Shirley Mesquite

    Cafferty, I have never missed a credit card payment, always pay on time, never been late and my interest rate has gone up for no reason several times. Citibank has raised my rate to 15.99. They are already sticking it to the card holders with good credit. I can prove it! So I don't know where this "good customer" crap is coming from. They don't care if you have "good" or "bad" credit. Just stick it to us if they can!!!!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  141. Bob in NY

    Should we spank all the good citizens? Going after good customers is a poor decision, at best. There are plenty of 'profit motivated' decisions in American business that have not done so well. Detroit anyone?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  142. Floyd Vahalik

    Credit card companies should absolutely not be allowed to target customers with good credit! I'm especially talking about interest rate hikes. The interest they want to charge used to be called usury.

    They have been giving cards to anyone with a pulse, and now they want to stick it to the people who worked the hardest to keep their cards paid up, in order to rectify their own mistakes! No Way!

    Floyd Vahalik
    Idaho Falls, ID

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  143. Greg Adair

    People with good credit have many options. If credit card companies make their services less attractive, people with good credit will likely choose a more attractive option. Seems like a bad business decision to me.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  144. Kim from PA

    Catch up with the program!! These companies have already been raising rates and cutting down limits on "good customers". They've been gearing up for the new legislation for months. Too bad it didn't have a retroactive clause. They have 12 months to escalate ........and you know they will.

    In 2007 the big 3 credit companies made a pledge to Congress and their customers to stop the most egragarious practices, and they've all since reneged.

    It's good to see the legislation, but the credit card companies still have time to get in the "big gouge" before it goes into effect..........and boy oh boy....... that's too bad for all of us. It should be retroactive starting 6 months ago.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  145. Tim Kay

    People who pay their bills on time should not have to subsidize deadbeats or stupid people who buy more than they can afford. Let the credit card companies charge these deadbeats interest rates similar to those charged in Mexico... say 78%. They deserve every bit of it. As for me, I pay my bill off each month. If I'm charged an annual fee or interest from day of purchase, I will simply cancel my cards and use alternative methods of payment. My taxes already subsidize the foolish deadbeats of America, I won't do it voluntarily.

    Tim Kay,
    Manistee, MI

    May 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  146. Marie

    I used my credit card a lot and never pay interest. The credit card company makes money from the seller of what I buy. If the card company wants to start charging me a fee or interest I'll simply switch to cash. I lived in Paris for 6 months on cash to avoid ATM fees, I can live on cash here, too. Cash works. It's a good thing.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  147. Brian - New Hampshire

    This is nuts- credit card companies make money everytime you charge something – the merchant pays it (1-3%). Visa reported 6 days in December when their charges totalled $25.4 billion. So, at 1% they made 254million in 6 days. That's just visa and only 6 days! They aren't hurting for money. I think they'll be fine with the new regulations!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  148. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack - Whenever I make moderately priced purchases, I facetiously ask the vendor "Are you still accepting cash" and then pay with it. If they start charging me for a credit purchase I'll buy everything with cash - the hell with them.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  149. Karen, Chicago

    People with good credit are rare gems indeed. Penalizing people for having no fault (paying debts on time or in full) is sending a terrible message to everyone. My family has always been responsible with our credit cards so if they start adding the fees, we will simply ditch the cards. Believe it or not, people can actually live without them.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  150. Dan Lentz

    Customers, like myself, who are able to pay off credit card balances in full, at the end of the month will simply turn to cash or debit cards. I use my credit card as a convenient alternative to cash, however, if my good business is no longer appreciated, I will simply save my one card for "emergencies only." Pox on all policies which penalize good behavior to cover losses of the corrupt or incompetent.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  151. Gabriel Gonzalez

    Jack you answered the question quite well ;Yes I will cancel any credit card that has an annual fee or finance charges from the first date of purchase. How idiotic to turn around and punish the loyal good customers. They have been headed the way of Loan Sharks for sometime now but to try and get the money from those of us who pay our bills is absurd, besides they get a cut from the merchants when we use the card.
    Gabriel-San Francisco

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  152. Richard

    I pay my credit card bill off each month. If the Credit card companies do away with the grace period, I'll use a debit card or cash and cancel my credit cards. Same goes for annual fees. As for any on-line purchases I need to do... well, there is always PayPal.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  153. Steve

    Target customers with good credit would be foolish. Before I pay a annual fee I would simple cancel my credit card. Cash works just fine.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  154. Elizabeth Hartman

    They are still getting away with it. If they don't have to comply for 9 mo, they still have enough time to do what they want. We have a lot of credit card debt, but we pay more than the minimum and on time each month. They have already started increasing out interest rates and even changing our fixed rate to variable rates. Cards we have had for at least 15 years and with a fixed rate that never changed, has been increased 1% and one card increased 5% in one month. That is just not right.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  155. M.P. Atlanta, GA

    They would save our economy by doing so; all Americans can start paying in cash. What is credit anyway since most of the rich pay in cash? I just see credit cards as another way to hold down the middle/lower classes and hurt our economy. Now you wonder why our currency is doing so poorly on a global scale. STOP BORROWING!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  156. Joe H.

    Absolutely not. People with good credit have worked hard to maintain their status with the FICO Gods. What happened to the usury laws we used to have to protect the consumer? The credit card companies offer, solicit, beg and plead for us to play their game and in the middle of the game, they change the rules. If everybody made delinquent payments, say 90 days past due, I'm sure they would offer to re-instate the original percentage rate. But then they have ruined you with the push of a button as they let the world know you are a bad person for not selling off your assets to make your credit card payment. Let's go back to lay away. To hell with the credit card companies.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  157. Howard H

    Should credit card companies target their good customers? No, but they will. It is very difficult to live these days without a credit card. You can't rent a car or buy anything online. Utilities and phone/cable companies do credit checks before connecting service, so anything which lowers your credit score can impact that.

    Personally, I have never paid an annual fee and I pay my credit cards off every month. If they try to charge me a fee or interest, I'll just cancel the card. And I will notify every online business I patronize that I will not be buying from them anymore as a result. Don't ever use a debit card online. The money is gone immediately and you have no recourse if the seller doesn't deliver.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  158. Rob

    I don't think we'll see the loss of the grace period. People will almost certainly think twice before using their cards if it is just for convenience at the register. People who pay their bills completely each month are not going to be the targets of the companies - instead, they will go after the much larger group of people who have a good credit record, but tend to leave a balance. They will hike up the rates these people pay - not to the ridiculous levels they hit the people who miss the payments, but high enough to recover some of their lost revenue. Still sad and painful for people like me, but I think if you are able to pay your entire balance each month, the grace period will be safe.

    -Rob, Victoria, Canada

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  159. guy mallarino

    They will try....these crooks at the credit card companies have had it
    to easy for to long....So our foolish government does a half hearted ,
    appearence only fix of the credit card scam...Even though government representives are all in the pocket of these credit card companies....
    Let the credit card companies try to get more money out of me...I'll cxl them, I don't them, they need me........

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  160. frankie

    No, and oil companies should not jack up the price of gasoline just because summer and a holiday weekend are coming. Moral bankruptcy, which was fostered by the previous Administration, is the cause of America`s financial troubles today.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |

    No. The credit card companies should not "punish" folks who pay their bill in full or are prompt with their monthly payments. If the lazy ones can't can't their act together & be responsible with their payments then they should not be allowed to have a credit card in the first place. The credit card companies should have applicants show proof that they are responsible other than showing they are employed. They should show utility bills have been paid on time, rent or mortgage on time too..things like this will help the credit card companies decide if said applicant is a risk to own a card....... God Bless :~)

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  162. ken

    everything obama has passed has punished good behavior and rewarded bad. I'm thinking about letting my mortage payments go, max out my credit cards and join a union and maybe I'll get a little love from the new president.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  163. Warren Claussen

    I have always paid my credit card bill in full every month. If I do not have the ability to pay in full every month, I do not use the card. When the card company requires me to pay an annual fee, I will simply cancel the card and pay cash. Then I will ask the merchant to give me a discount to offset the fee the card company charges the merchant. The card companies have been feeding off both ends of the transactions for years. It is time for merchants and customers to simplify their lives!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  164. Leo


    And this is a great example on "unintended consequences" of legislation. Obama is trying to steer a cow by the tail, and the results are always messy!

    Leo in Baton Rouge

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  165. Mike

    Jack – The credit card companies can target those of us with good credit, but not penalize us. Those of us with good credit will turn to debit cards and other methods of paying our bills. Credit cards are convenient, but I'll be dammed if I am going to be penalized for having good and credit and paying off my cards every month. The banks will open up a can of worms that could mean the end of the banking industry as far as credit card issuing. Maybe additional laws need to be passed by congress to require a 30 day grace period, to prevent the banks from penalizing those of us that pay their entire balance on time.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  166. Rick

    Maybe the banks should realize many of them only escaped collapse due to TAXPAYER funded bailouts. Right now they need us more than we need them. Go ahead Mr. Big Banker, make my day! If the American people quit living beyond their means, they won't need credit cards. Supply and demand baby! Raise our fees, penalize us for prompt payment, restrict credit and see how fast we can learn to live without. The banking community should pay heed to what the auto industry is g experiencing.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  167. Dennis Pascale

    If credit card companies (banks) go after their better customers to compenate for this new leglisation, just maybe some young people wont apply at all for a credit card thereby preventing themselves from becoming a "bad" customer. Whatever works to prevent someone from going into debt can't be that bad.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  168. Eve

    You mean they don't?? My husband & I both have credit scores of 740 – 760, and have never paid late, never paid an over-the-limit charge, always on time, and already they have slashed some of our lines in half, raised the interest rates on some. I don't get it! They get bailed out by "us", yet they treat us with such little respect by changing all the terms of our account. It's past time something was done to stop this.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  169. Claire Murray

    No way is hell will they get away with charging us a annual fee.
    My husband and I will tear up their cards and mail them back,
    We pay all of our bills now monthly. No minnimum payments.
    That is the thanks we get? I say to hell with them. We will buy cash and that is that!!!. Claire Murray

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  170. David

    My wife and I are in the category of those pesky consumers who use credit cards frequently and pay them off monthly. We do so mainly for convenience and accounting purposes. But, we are aware that vendors pay a fee to the card companies for our transactions.

    If we are charged to use the cards, we'll stop using them. No more benefit to the card companies for our purchases from anybody – us or vendors. Sounds like a great business plan to me.

    What a bunch of morons!!!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  171. Drew, Harrisburg PA


    For too long have the credit card companies gone after young, "spend happy teens" who think it's the cool thing to have a credit card. Posting the agreement online won't do a thing, fine print on a piece of paper becomes even finer on the web.

    I'm a 20 year old college student who has never had a credit card and has no need for one in the near future. Why offer cards to those under 21? This credit crisis has become comperable to what alcohol does for minors.

    In the end it comes down to consumers, don't spend what you don't have or plan to have. Build your credit score to afford that great home and we all don't end up living in "Hoovervilles"

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  172. Joe

    I was with American Express for 8 yrs , (Never Late always paid as Agreed) All 4 Accounts in GOOD standing ,without reason or warning they canceled ALL MY Accounts. !! This was unfair and just plain wrong, I did nothing to desirve it.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  173. jack

    everybodies got to read the book (or listen to) "American Therocracy" by Kevin Phillips. If you've missed anything about this country and our problems, past and present......read this book. It'll clear the cobwebs.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  174. Raymond Rodriguez

    Credit cards should be treated like any typical contract. Incentives are intended to promote consumer debt and rack up fees.

    Most people will only get the cards they need without enticements.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  175. Bruce

    Mr Cafferty,
    I am a credit card transactor. I pay my bill in full each month and I have no clue as to what my interest rates are because of this practice, nor, is it important to me. However, if the credit card issuers start charging annual fees, and, interest from the time of purchase, I will change my habits. What bothers me is what is to prevent the banks (which are the predominant credit card issuers) from charging fees for using paper checks and debit cards. The only long term benefit of this credit card bill is the ability to carry a concealed weapon in a national park. The consumer will pay in some way shape or form as banks are in business to make a profit.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  176. Thomas Dobbins

    How is giving extinctions and other handouts to some that clearly have not learned how to pay their bills on time, and cutting off rewards for those that do, helpful to the customer? If this indeed comes to pass, I wouldn't be surprise if the number of debts increased. Its good to reward a behaving child, not a misbehaving one who could possible never learn pay on time.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  177. Bill from pa

    People possibly being forced to recognize the concept of not getting anything until you actually have the money to pay for it? How quaint. I see the prevailing attitude not changing, and the economy going right back in the tank again. These new rules won't go into effect for nine months. Nine seconds would be more like it.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  178. Dave in Saint Louis!

    Yes! Tax them more too! Also make them pay for my heath insurance because I am lazy and just don't feel like getting a job. Besides my unemployment check might never end.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  179. Elizabeth

    Absolutely, emphatically, no. I can't believe the atmosphere of our country now, which nurtures the kind of behavior that poses these kinds of questions. I can see perks and rewards maybe being reduced or discontinued, but annual fees and charging interest immediately? Pretty soon, the only people you will see having credit cards are people with bad credit. And If annual fees and immediate interest takes effect, I would hope it would go into effect for bad-credit users also. Oh, all that would really solve the problem... not. This administration makes knee-jerk decisions, to put it mildly, then realizes its mistakes. This is no way to run a country. We look and feel so weak.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  180. mike

    Jack, The credit card companies already charge a fee to the vendors where we use the credit cards often charge 2-3% of the purchases. This is 24-36% rate already just to handle the transaction. Why should we have to pay additional fees when we pay on time. It's a great return just to handle the money when you have responable people who pay every month on time. Mike

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  181. Joanne

    Jack –

    You're late on this one. Credit Card companies have targeted their customers with good credit a long time ago. Remember Universal Default? It's interesting that Congress claims they are listening to their constituents about GITMO, but can't seem to listen to them when it comes to Usury.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  182. Pat, Fayetteville, NC


    You are late! No! This has been done to make up for those who are unable to meet their obligations. Ergo, the CEOs can still have their massive salaries, and the credit card companies can have these incredible profits. Haven't you noticed?

    Get real!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  183. Ellen

    Grand Haven, Michigan – This is old news for me: I received a letter in the mail from Capital One in February informing me that the interest rate on my card would be jumping from 7.9 percent to 17.99 percent. Needless to say, I canceled it. I almost threw the notice away, since the envelope it was in looked a lot like normal junk mail. I'm sure there were people who did throw it away and will open their next monthly bill to find an unexpected surprise–the new rates weren't going to activate until sometime recently.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  184. hillndale

    If credit card companies keep or increase fees, etc., that people don't like, there is another alternative, not mentioned on your show, to using plastic. It's called a savings account. Good for the consumer, good for the financial system, good for the country.

    San Diego,

    May 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  185. Bob in Virginia

    It's a free country Jack. I think the credit card companies should target anyone they want. In the end everyone involved pays for whatever consequences result. I"ve pretty much gone totally to a check card. It gives me the same benefits but without any fees.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  186. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    No, i had seven card closed in good standing, and my two remaining card had their limits cut by 10,000 and 12,000 dollars, that is over a 95% on each limit. I was never late, always paid in full or three times as much as the minimum, and they still punishing good card holders for over the last year. We do not need any more beating on our credit history, because credit card companies do not trust the people that have been making them rich for years! Credit Card companies do not care about credit ratings that just care about making as much profit as possible, no matter the cost in the end, even if it drive them and the American people into a deep whole!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  187. Sunny

    Yet another example of how big money just doesn't "get it." Let them bite the very hands that feed them, and we'll see how they too will one day shamefully appear on national TV crying poor. Meanwhile, we'll always have our cash and debit cards. As a regular on-time payer of my bills, life could easily go on without credit cards.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  188. Jay

    If the credit cards companies do go after good credit customers, those customers should give up all but one of the least offending cards (keeping for emergencies only), and save to pay for big expenditures like in the old days. Where would the card companies be then? These companies have been taking advantage of slower paying card holders for years, charging ridiculous fees and penalities, not to mention, the laughable interest rates – and really should be ashamed of themselves. People better start making smart , and good decisions before we all end up in a place none of us want to be.
    Greenville, SC

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  189. Julie from Colorado

    Let's not forget that credit card companies receive per transaction fees from every mechants who accept their card as a form of payment. So, credit card companies aren't losing their shirts here.

    To even think about bring back annual fees for responsible card users for having the gall to actually pay their bill on time and in full–gasp–is ludicrous. If the card companies are so short sighted that they do so, I for one will simply cut up my cards and mail the pieces back to them–postage due.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  190. Jay

    Jack, they're already targeting customers with good credit. I have good credit, but one company changed my account number without notice, then charged me when I used the wrong number on a check from Quicken. Another charged me a late fee and increased my interest rate because the check arrived on a Friday and wasn't posted until Monday. Still another - this was a couple of years ago - received the full-payment check on time but credited it to the wrong account before reporting me to the credit bureaus. Having good credit is no guarantee, though I suppose the target on our backs is a little smaller.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  191. Nick

    What? Credit card companies care about whose lives they choose to ruin?


    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  192. Alisa - Littleton, CO

    I hope they do; I hope they gouge their way right out of business. I stopped using credit cards five years ago and the strangest thing happened...I now own my car and have no credit card debt. I have no consumer debt, because now I only buy what I can afford to pay for up front.
    Credit cards are nothing but a waste of money. With debit cards becoming prevalent, credit cards are unnecessary for *most* people. It's painful at first, but once people make the transition they will discover they have more money to spend.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  193. Barry

    If a credit card company targets me for a raise in rates, or fees, they will lose my business. It's a free market somebody will be wise enough to keep customers with good credit. The banks know this, they are simply trying to sway public opinion and kill the bill so they can keep the gravy train going.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  194. Ed

    They will do that regardless. Credit Card companies give Loan Sharks a run for our money, so far as I can tell, the only difference between them is that one of them rips people off with the Government's blessing.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  195. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Absolutely not! I'm a cash and check nut. I only use my credit for certain purposeses and at certain times. I always pay the entire balance off by the end of the month. If they start giving me any problems with fees I will simply go to another form of payment and avoid them altogether.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  196. kelley

    Jack, I suppose I am in the minority in this country who's paying every credit card bill IN FULL by the time it is due. I use them to accrue travel points, money back – you name it. What I DON'T use them for is fantasy. The fantasy that I can afford hundreds – or thousands – of dollars worth of THINGS that I cannot pay for within a one-month time period. Unless you need credit cards to buy necessary items like food, unexpected car repair, doctors, etc. NOTHING should be charged to your card that you cannot afford. That's called responsibility. Integrity. REALITY. The best thing? If you aren't able to pay for what you charge each month, cut up your cards right now. Over the years, you're paying hundreds, maybe thousands, more than what those THINGS are worth. And in the process, making your worth substantially less. Kelley in Atlanta.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  197. James Matthews, III

    Credit card companies are the main culprits for subjecting us to a class society. The sooner they even things out for us all the better it will be for everyone.

    James Matthews, III
    Myerstown, PA.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  198. William Carter

    Jack, wrong question. It should be should people pay for what they need with cash, instead of credit? It's called living within your means, time to get back to it. Save for what you buy and leave the credit card at home.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  199. Ryan

    Credit card companies are providing a service. Whether you have good credit or bad credit, when you use your credit card, you are incurring costs for the provider of that service. Everyone should pay something for the use of that service regardless of your credit status. It seems as though the 'good' customers were getting free service on the backs of the 'bad' customers.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  200. Mary

    Well I see the greedy oil companies are back at it again! Just as they did last year they have been quietly and steadily raising their prices. Have we forgotten this was how this whole economic hell began ! They are the only industry that can report demand is down and supply is up, but yet they can raise their prices ad lib! Where is the outrage against them, they are also only motivated by their greed and their bottom line! I am so sick of hearing "Oh well its not as bad as last year!" When are we going to tell the ENOUGH!!!!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  201. Paul

    No they should not but why should that stop them. I already work hard , pay my taxes. Don't have kids but pay more and more school taxes. I got a $13 increase in my pay per week from the payroll tax cut while unemployed people got a $25 increase a week for not working and retired people got a $250 check. I work and pay my taxes while welfare and disability people who know how to work the system get a free ride. I guess they haven't quite broke my back yet so I guess I can pay more on my credit cards for being a responsile person that pays more than my amount due every month so people that are not responsible can get the breaks instead of me. Why not , it's becoming the american way to pass off responsiblities onto the people you can count on to carry the ones that can't.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  202. daniel tekle

    god, it is about time. What is the ceo of capital one going to eat?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  203. brian s

    Yes , they absolutely should. Let the same geniuses who got us into this mess keep on making great decisions. that sounds as smart as putting toothpicks in your toe nails and kicking a wall.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  204. Terrence Cain

    I see Obama has become just another politician. Speak a good mouthful, then break their words to their voters. Obama said he'd stop credit card companies from charging interest, now he's allowed lobbyists to rape the new bill so that it's back to business as usal. Obama is a sellout to the corporate world & this democrat who voted for real change got screwed along with the rest of us. This is a travesty to all of us. Good credit, bad credit, no credit. Really doesn't matter. Corporations shouldn't be allowed to act like a bunch of thieves & charge ungodly amounts of interest just so they can make their billions & make the rest of us poorer year after year. If the economy keeps tanking & Obama keeps letting lobbyists buy him off, I guarantee you there will be a 2nd Civil War in America. This time it will be the working class vs. the business class. I can guarantee you that. Obama needs to get back to his core & do everything he promised.

    Terrence Cain (Big Spring, TX)

    May 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  205. Jim Waldor

    Believe me Jack, the government is not going to out smart the banks.
    Since when has government produced a Profit? Today Bof A shares soared.I do have one question however for Wells Fargo. Seems that they have misplaced a 100 thousand dollar C.D. That I had purcased
    in 1997 for my grandchildrens college education. Today my grandson is in his second year at University of California Santa Cruz and could use his money..After contacting wells Fargo, they told me it had escheated to the state of Nevada, after contacting the Nevada Treasurer , they say it hadn't..After contacting Wells Fargo again, they simply said they can't find it. Upon contacting the FDIC they said that is not there department, but referred me to the U.S. Comptroller's office...This has been going on for a month, and to date..no response from anyone, Wells Fargo or the U.S. government. I don't believe that there is any competance in either, whether credit cards or CD's. Why put an overdrawn congress in charge of banking ? Sounds like the lunatic's are running the assylum.

    P.S. keep your money under he mattress

    Jim Waldorf
    Reno Nevada

    May 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  206. Philomena Duran

    Bluntly: those of us who are responsible with our money should not be punished. In the same way, we can be responsible with our cash and kiss the credit cards goodbye. As regards the perks, we can reward ourselves and will probably spend less and have more for our own preferred perks.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  207. Barbara Rinaldi

    Bank of America is already doing this. They are giving cash advances of 19.24% for good customers paying their bill in full.
    This is an outrage and should be considered a crimal act. After being bailed by the government they have the nerve to charge these outrages interest rates. II have banked for over 50 years and have never heard been treated like this. I for one have decided not to use my Bank of Ameria Credit Card since I do not agree with their policies.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  208. Lori, Dayton,Ohio

    The credit cards companies are going to target anyone they can in order to make money. By restricting what can be done to customers who get behind in payments, they now will target those who use their cards in faith and responsibly.

    The merchants pay fees to the credit companies for their customers to be able to charge items with them.

    As a consumer, the whole point to "credit" was a delay in interest and in paying the bill. If you pay whether you use the card or not (annual fee), interest from the moment you charge and get no perk for using it, why would you use credit?
    I have great credit and would just pay the old-fashioned way (cash)!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  209. Will

    These companies have made multiple billions from the average working joe by charging excessive fees and being creative with " miscellaneous charges". They should not and probably will not make up losses on those users with good credit. Probably , if so, they will simply self destruct. I , for one, will just pay them off and go back to the "cash" standard.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  210. Bill Kidston


    Long before the current bills were finished, the credit card companies have been hard at work, notifying their "good" customers that their reason for existence is to make money.

    I received this one from Chase today.

    Under "other notices" in the Chase card agreement is this friendly testament to Company intent:

    "The principal factor we considered in amending your account is maintaining profitability on your account"

    Warm and fuzzy stuff indeed.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  211. Pat Hilty

    I agree that credit card companies need to be controlled, however, I think it is wrong to charge good customers because the deadbeats are not paying or their interest rate is reduced. Credit card companies picked their customers and I am sure that they just love the ones who don't pay so they can get the interest. Seems to me that if you take away the good customers, you will end up with only the bad and when they can't pay the company is out . You can't get blood out of a turnip. I, for one, will be glad to cancel my credit card if I am penalized for paying in full and on time. Then if it ever comes time that I need to pay the minimum for a short time and also pay interest, they won't get that either. Credit card companies get a fee from the businesses that you charge through so if you cancel or don't use your card they can't get that money either. Maybe they need to rethink the entire picture before they choose to penalize their good customers.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  212. Jeff in Sims, NC

    Hi Jack

    My rule of thumb for my credit card use is, if I can't cover the charge with a good check from my bank account then I can't afford it. Strange way of thinking these days huh?

    And by the way, I make less than 45k a year, pay my bills on time and live within my means. I don't want protection or this bunch of polititians "looking out for me". I don't want a bailout and deinitely don't want to pay for anyone elses.

    Be responsible or ride a bike, be homeless or whatever just don't cry on my shoulder when you're over extended or failed to say "what if".

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  213. Bishop

    While true you can pay your bills another way, those other methods will not help your credit score like credit cards will. maybe the government should look at other institutions with respects to how we rate consumer spending.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  214. Lisa

    Guess what Jack, they already have. I have perfect credit and have been with the same credit card company for 12 years. A couple months ago my interest rates were raised and my "perks" were scaled back...the explanation as to why? a bunch of BS that amounted to: because we can. Welcome to the 1920's banking reprise...

    Bloomington, IN

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  215. Louise from Huntsville

    Is there no end to the banks' evil greed? What happened to the good ole' American value of rewarding those who do right and pay their bills on time? Some banks are making it difficult to even write checks and charge for standard services. At this rate, even bank robbers will have to pay a fee to go into the bank to rob it!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  216. Herman

    No, good customers should not be penalized. However, this is a money game where the credit card companies will always find a way to have the long end of the stick. Unfortunately, Congress participated in that game, IN FAVOR OF THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES, by passing a law that allowed ALL credit card providers to adopt PUNITIVE RATES on any consumer who would happen to be late once, for whatever reason, on one credit card while his/her other accounts would be current.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  217. Don Geier (Guyer)

    I pay off my credit card balances each month and will cancel my cards if the credit card companies do away with grace periods or impose annual fees. Banks will lose merchant fees, online shopping will dwindle, paypal will take a dive and airline ticket sales will plummet. The banks will be shooting themselves in the foot– appropriate considering the gun amendment tacked onto the bill.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  218. Michelle

    If they do that, only one word for me: SCISSORS

    May 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  219. Ed

    Credit card companies have already targeted the good credit with the bad credit folks. I can always go back to my bank card, but my bank is in finacial turmoil too. I guess I'm to blame for extending credit to those with questional resources. But what the credit agencies fail to understand is that good customer may not return but bad ones will.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  220. Jeff

    There is no doubt that the credit card companies are looking to the card holders who pay on time. If that were the all that was at issue, then the question would be an easy one. That the perks under discussion are in large part financed by the high risk/rate card holders in the first place somewhat invalidates the way this question has been posed.

    If you are still reading at this point, I don't see the removal of these perks to be any kind of injustice, rather a balancing of financial pressures. Then again, I don't hold a single credit card.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  221. Tomasz

    Greetings Senior Cafferty:

    If the Credit Card Industry has the money, why don't they contribute to buying the toxic assets of the banks?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  222. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Its counterintuitive to charge the poor more money than the rich, but that is what credit cards do. Why do we penalize the poor for not paying their high balances, which were approved by the credit card company initially. They approved the cardholder so much of a limit, so they are at fault too, not just the irresponsible holder.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  223. george green

    NO,NO,NO, The bank card companies should not penalize good paying customers. The banks again have shown their greedy ways, they alrealy get money for each charge made at stores by customers, not even counting their outrageous interest hikes. It was the banks in large part that have caused this international financial crisis. Our government should increase our scrunity and regulation of anti-consumer regulations and not rest until every individual connected with wrong doing in this financil crisis be procecuted to the fullest extent of our laws!

    The public has not even heard about "Shadow Banks" created by
    the large banks to create more devious ways to make money!

    May 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  224. Lila

    Dear Jack – Have you ever tried to rent a car, book a motel/hotel room, buy airline tickets without a credit card? It doesn't happen, even with cash you cannot rent a car. We had two credit cards for years with a 4.9% and 5.9% fixed interest. We always paid more than the minimum and always paid them off early. We got notice they were going to 10.95 VARIABLE up to 27% interest.
    Needless to say, they won't be used unless it is a dire emergency.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  225. Justo Gonzalez

    What do you mean "should they"? The question assumes that we are not being taken advantage of already. I have excellent and have had several notices of the "changes in terms." My options are except the intreest increase or close the account. I have a third option. I'll stop using the cards and keep the account open as that helps my credit score. No more abuse by the credit card companies. The new "Bill of Rights" should be implemented immediately to put these abusive pactices to an end. I'm not going to pay for the stupidity of these credit card companies.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  226. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Recently my employer added a 'payment by credit card' surcharge to his invoices.

    I wonder how many 'prongs' the credit card companies hacve already stuck us with?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  227. Josh, Ohio

    Jack. come on... it's just speculation. And perks are just that. Perks! I'll keep the new regulations over a cerdit card company that pressures me in to buying expensive items to boost my miles.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  228. Harry from GA

    men carry cash

    live by these three words and you won't have any trouble with this

    May 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  229. Antoine in Plant City, FL

    Why not? The system is screwed for those who are of lower income. You NEED credit to get things these days. You get a credit card, miss a payment, and they charge you for it. Well, the reason people miss the date is because they don't have the money. So, if I can't pay the $100 this week, what makes them think I can pay the $125 next week!? Next thing you know, you got "bad credit," similar to being labeled a convict in this country. So what happens? You try to get a loan, and they give you high payments or no loan at all! Yes, makes a lot of sense, giving poor people the responsibility of higher payments or denying them certain necessities. Oh, yeah, that's right, you can charge them more when they miss another due date. At least when the companies charge those with "good credit" (usually those who "have" vs. "have not"), they'll get their money. Let's stop rewarding the rich and punishing the poor...

    May 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  230. billbattles

    Anything to get people to spend less money than they make is a great idea, and this bill will help keep cards out of peoples hands that cannot handle them. America is in enough debt already.

    Bill from Oklahoma

    May 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  231. Gary in Lexington


    Absolutely NOT! I was a banker for nearly 30-years, and the ONLY way any rate should be established is on the "first law of lending", and that would be to base it on the rate risk reward theory. The lower the risk, the lower the rate, the higher the risk, the higher the rate...period! The "miss" in the bill however, is not putting a cap on the limit, the lobbyists did indeed get their way with our cowards on the hill as you stated Jack. However, the States do have usury laws on the books, which limits maximum rates that may be charged. Unfortunately, some are too high.


    May 20, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  232. Victor

    Jack, This credit card companies have no feelings. At this time, I think it makes no difference to pay credit card bills on time. Just yesterday, I received a letter from Capital One that told me that my APR will be above 17% in my next bill after having an APR of 8.99% for over 2yrs without breaching any of our contracts in terms of payment. I called them, couldn't talk to anyone but a machine that gave me no option than to either accept the raise or cancel the credit card. So, I cancelled the card.
    As you see, credit cards companies have started going after good custormers already. It is obvious that we have "NONENTITY" management and "EMPTY HEADS" in our credit cards companies. I advise every good credit card custormer to cancel their credit cards if they try to dupe them.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  233. pat in lansing michigan

    they already have . they raised my rate 8% and i always pay ahead and more than the minimum. So I paid it off . ha ha .try and get interst off me now you jerks.

    May 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  234. Doug

    Why is everyone complaining? You are borrowing money that you don't have, they have the right to do whatever they want. If you good credit you are probably paying off your cards monthly or have very little in debt, therefore the increase is minimal to your monthly expenses. Americans need to wake up, we did this ourselves, not the government or the credit card companies, we did it with greed and selfishness. Quit complaining and wise up

    May 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  235. Corina

    Absolutely not! If good customers are penalized they will simply stop using their cards altogether, and close the accounts. It negates their purpose. As it is, there are too many limitations on frequent flyer miles, and rewards points because of holidays, black out dates and travel during peak seasons. Cash back rewards are small amounts too, barely enough for a dinner out, but only after you've spent hundreds on your credit card of course. They call that incentive?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm |