I found this information and wanted to pass on to everyone so we can band together and "Fire" the major predatory loan sharks which we currently have our credit cards with and switch to a better company. Hope this resource helps many. The 10 most consumer-friendly credit cards, per Consumer Reports.
**, a leading source of data on the credit-card industry, analyzed 10,200 card offers to identify those with the lowest cost in a group that provided the best terms based on CR's criteria. None of the 10 cards has a universal default clause, two-cycle billing, or balance transfer fees, all of which can jack up finance charges. All cards have a grace period of at least 25 days and have no annual fees. The information is current as of Aug. 1, 2005. An “f” indicates that the card has a fixed rate; “v,” a variable rate. Rates are the lowest offered to customers who meet issuers' credit-score standards. The “go-to APR” takes effect at the end of the promotional period.
Card Issuing bank, Intro APR, Go-to APR,Cash advance fee, Late-payment fee, Over-limit fee, Currency-exchange fee, Phone number. Platinum MasterCard Town North, none, v 7.99%, 2%, $15, $15, none, 877-866-2265. Visa Platinum First Tennessee, f 3.90%, v 8.40, 3, 35, 35, 3%, 800-234-2840. Visa Gold Pulaski, f 0.00, f 8.50, none, 35, 29, none, 800-217-7715. Visa Platinum Rewards Simmons First National, none, f 8.95, 3, 29, 29, 2, 877-245-1234. Target Visa Target National, none, f 9.90, 3, 35, none, 1 877-474-8378. Visa Platinum BB&T, f 1.90, f 9.90, 3, 35, 29, 2, 800-476-4228
Platinum MasterCard Franklin Templeton Bank & Trust, none, v 9.99, 3, 29, 29, 2, 800-238-2761. Visa Platinum RBC Centura, f 2.90, v 9.99, 3.50, 29, 29, 1 800-236-8872. Visa Platinum Commerce, f 2.99, v 10.49, none, none, none, 2, 888-751-9000. Visa Platinum Zions, none, v 11.50, 2, 29, 29, 1, 800-789-8800.
NATIONWIDE -- Report the credit card issuer to the Comptroller of the Currency. Phone number is 202-874-4700. Report the company to your state's attorney general's office. You can find links to your state's AG website at **. Your state might allow you to file a complaint online. This is probably the most effective complaint to make as it is the attorney general's who have filed most of the lawsuits against credit card companies. For example, it was the California AG who sued Providian and forced them to pay the largest judgment against a credit card company ever.
Report the company to the Better Business Bureau. Submit your case for dispute resolution online at www.bbb.org. Report the company to your elected representatives. You can find their email / mailing addresses at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. The banking industry, which is composed mostly of credit card companies, has a lot of power in Washington, D.C. in the form of lobbyists and contributions to election campaigns. Despite this fact, your elected officials are more afraid of you because you can vote them out of office. If you think contacting them is a waste of time, you're wrong.
Someone will read your correspondence and if enough complaints are received something will be done about it.
Report the company to banking regulators. Their mailing address is Division of Credit Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580 or file a complaint online at www.ftc.gov. Report the credit card company to the FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. www.fdic.gov
Contact the consumer / investigative reporter at your local ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS station and let them know what you have experienced. The station may do a story if they see the event as newsworthy or they receive similar complaints from several consumers.
NATIONWIDE -- Here is a sampling of states with consumer-friendly credit card laws and guidelines. Remember, the rules apply to people using credit cards from issuers based in that state. The state laws do not apply to people using credit cards issued by a company based in another state.
Low interest rate - Arkansas: State law caps interest rate at 5 percent above the Federal Discount Rate at the time of the credit card contract. These super-low rates (currently 9½ percent) are reserved for people with excellent credit.
Caps on annual fees - Georgia: $12, Mississippi: $12, Tennessee: $15, Kentucky: $20, North Carolina: $20. Extra time before late fees charged - Maine: A customer has 15 days past a bill's due date to get a payment to the issuer before a late fee is imposed. Iowa: Iowa-based issuers give customers 10 days of leeway after the payment due date. Iowa law also caps late fees and over-the-limit fees at $15.
Extended notice of change in credit card terms Iowa: 60 days, Wisconsin: 90 days. Allows people to pay off balance at old rate when rate hike occurs - Maine, Iowa, Wisconsin. Gives consumers a comparative listing of credit card rates, fees and grace periods - New York, Iowa, Minnesota.