Deceptive Tactics of Credit Card Companies


For decades, American consumers have relied on the availability and accessibility of credit and debit cards to purchase consumer products and services on the assumption that they were fully and fairly aware of the consequences of their purchases. Most consumers were under the mistaken belief that credit card companies accurately depicted and truthfully represented credit terms, interest rates, fees, and costs. However, 800 billion dollars of credit card debt later, Americans are realizing that credit card companies have sneakily and deceptively turned consumers’ naivety into a “cash cow” of profit. Accompanying the companies’ misleading tactics was an industry void of regulation, allowing these companies to wage a large assault on consumers’ gullibility without the fear of being punished or prosecuted.

In May 2009, Congress introduced the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (the “Credit CARD Act”) to regulate the timing and manner of collecting credit card fees as an initial solution. However, this original solution was attacked by credit industry leaders, as well as criticized by consumer rights advocates for still allowing credit card companies and banks to engage in deceptive and misleading tactics. This article highlights a number of traditional deceptive tactics that credit card companies routinely employed before the passage of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, as well as reveals the impact of the Credit CARD Act on the credit debt crisis. Finally, this article offers proposed solutions to reduce the risk of unfair and misleading tactics by credit card companies.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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