Thursday, February 25, 2010

new credit card laws, free meat!

                 "The borrower is slave to the lender."

And that is a sad reality. I'm sure you've heard about the new credit card laws that went into effect this week...well, at least part of them went into effect. We have a few credit cards, but we never carry a balance and I use them to my advantage. I paid for all our hotel stays this summer with reward points. I've been getting letters from all my card companies--even store cards like Home Depot and Sears. Sadly, I don't usually read them. They go into a nebulous "to keep" file. But I have been reading about the laws. Here are a few "good things:"
1.) folks under 21 will need parental permission and proof of ability to pay. 2.) Companies will have to spell out in understandable terms just how long it will take you to pay off your loan if you only make your minimal monthly payments. 3.) Companies will be required to forewarn you of impending rate increases and give you an opt out. 4.) If you have a card that has 2 different rates (say you had a 0% interest on balance transfers for the life of the card but your rate on purchases is 10%) then any extra you pay has to go to the higher interest portion. And there are more...

However, if you think that the credit card companies are going to take this 12.5 billion dollar loss of revenue lying down, you live on Mars. They had 10 months to come up with ways to make up the difference. Here are a few of those: 1.) Look for more cards to start charging annual fees & drop rewards programs 2.) Be on the watch for fees if you don't use the card often (Like my LLBean card that I just keep to get free shipping) 3.) changes in the fine print that make fixed rates of my cards did this....that's how they get around not being able to bump rates 4.) This can be seen as positive or negative: it will be harder to get the card in the first place. (I personally think that's a good thing!!)

So there you have it. I know many tightwads swear off credit cards altogether. That's especially good if you have no will-power. I like the convenience and the rewards...but if I start getting issued fees for under-usage or annual fees...I am SOOOOO gone!

Good Deal Alert: Register with and get a $5 mail in rebate on any Jennie-O turkey product. This is available for the first 25,000. There are lots of Jennie-O products that are right at $5 or less than, so this will make for FREE meat

Daily Buck: Today I had a 3.5 hr class at the hospital. They always have snacks. Coffee and scone for breakfast, juice and yogurt for lunch. Score!!

And today is the 2 year birthday of Swagbucks. I just signed up. (put REFUNDCENTS in the code box and get 60 extra swagbucks if you are a new user). I know nothing about it yet...anybody have any thoughts on this one way or the other???

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