04-03-2010 12:23 PM
They could up your APR at any time they want. I believe with the new card act the interest rate has to stay the same on existing balances.
by Martha C. White (excerpted by Nonaii... please read the entire article over at walletpop, if that's allowed to say by the mods here... I pulled it up while doing research for my letters to the FTC and the Reserve regarding Chase)
"....We told you card companies can't hike your rates on existing balances. That's true as long as you have a fixed-rate card instead of a variable rate card, says Bowne, and that is a loophole big enough to drive an armored truck through. This is the reason why card issuers have been switching people to variable-rate cards as fast as they can print out and mail the notices.
Right now, most variable rates are in line with or maybe even a little lower than the fixed rates users were paying before. This is because the "variable" part of the variable rate, called the prime rate, is at a historic low because the government is keeping interest rates very low. Translation: When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates -- which most experts think will happen in about a year, give or take -- to prevent inflation, your interest rate's going to rise, too. Our best advice? Pay those balances down as soon as possible to avoid paying more when interest rates go up...."
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