CARD Act helped consumers avoid $16B in fees, CFPB says

December 4, 2015

WASHINGTON (12/4/15)--The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure (CARD) Act has helped reduce the cost of “gotcha” credit card fees by more than $16 billion, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CARD Act was passed into law in 2009.

While many credit unions offer credit cards, credit unions generally don’t view themselves as part of the credit card “industry,” rather they are offered as a service to members, generally with lower fees and better rates than traditional credit cards.

The CFPB’s report found that:

  • Consumers have avoided more than $9 billion in over-limit fees;
  • Consumers have saved more than $7 billion in late fees;
  • Total cost of credit is roughly 2 percentage points lower than before the CARD Act;
  • Available credit has increased 10% since 2012;
  • New account volume is growing, and this growth in account volume is outpacing population growth; and
  • More than 100 million credit card accounts offer consumers free access to their credit scores.

In addition, the report highlights a number of areas that remain a concern, including: back-end pricing on deferred-interest promotions; higher costs for credit from subprime credit card companies; obscure or incomplete terms and conditions for rewards programs; and the complexity of some product agreements.