"Direct mail offers are flowing for business credit cards, many with attractive promotional interest rates and balance transfer deals...while there are many reasons to open an account, there can be substantial risks involved."More info
"Four Senators today called for more disclosure on business credit card offers so cardholders will understand that business cards are not protected by the same laws as regular consumer cards that bar practices like retroactive interest rate hikes.
In a letter today to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the four Democrats asked the Fed to “take immediate steps to protect consumers” from mistakenly believing that the more than 10 million business credit card offers that go to households each month have similar contracts as other cards. The Senators are Charles Schumer of New York, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
In addition to seeking more disclosure, the Senators ask the Fed to make business credit card issuers require business tax ID numbers from applicants to prevent non-business owners from getting the cards. Fed spokeswoman Susan Stawick declined to comment on the letter.
The Pew Safe Credit Cards Project highlighted the separate treatment of small business credit cards in a report last month. It’s not a new issue, however. As far back as 2008, the Fed made rules for consumer credit cards that did not apply to business cards, even though such cards are personally guaranteed and function similarly to personal cards. When Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act in 2009, small business cards were carved out of that as well. Business card users still got hit with penalties, such as “overlimit” fees they never opted into, that consumer cardholders were protected from."
- Date added:
- Jun 14, 2011
- Safe Credit Cards Project
This fact sheet focuses on the lessons learned from consumers who purchase and use prepaid debit cards.More info
"Something is wrong when keeping cash in the kitchen cookie jar seems a reasonable substitute for your bank.''More info
"It was early 2007, and Michael Roster and Dwane Krumme each viewed the credit card industry with growing dismay."More info
''More small companies—already struggling with weak sales and tight lending—are being forced to rely on business credit cards to provide working capital.''More info
''If you've ever thought someone was playing fast and lose with the rules on your credit cards, credit score or mortgage, but you had no idea where to go with your complaint, you now have a place to turn.''More info
''Households receiving offers for 'business' credit cards would be wise to throw them away, a nonprofit research group is warning consumers.''More info
"It’s been two years since the landmark Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 was signed into law, and by all accounts, it’s led to some pretty significant changes in the giant industry grinding away behind those little pieces of plastic."More info
"Credit-card issuers are marketing so-called professional cards—formerly reserved for small-business owners or executives—to individuals, a new report says."More info
"The sudden interest-rate hikes, high fees and steep penalties that last year's credit card regulations were designed to eliminate are still lurking in one segment of the credit card market: cards designated for businesses."More info
"From January 2006 to December 2010, American households received more than 2.6 billion offers for so-called "business" credit cards, according to a new report from the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project."More info
"Each month, Americans get more than 10 million business credit card pitches in their home mailboxes. The cards are aimed at small businesses and sole proprietors, but they generally lack the new protections that apply to consumer cards, a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts says."More info
The Credit CARD Act of 2009, signed into law two years ago, made consumer credit cards safer and more transparent. But, its rules did not apply to cards labeled for business or commercial use, placing millions of individuals and small business owners at risk.More info
Every month, millions of consumers receive offers for business credit cards which are not protected by Credit CARD Act safeguards. The large number of solicitations for less-regulated cards place American families at risk.
"Credit card interest rates have held steady, penalties are less costly for consumers and annual fees and other charges have changed little over the past year, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project."More info