What the 'CARD Act' does and doesn't do

Pioneer Services analyzes the new law and shares what you should know about these new credit card protections

In an effort to simplify credit card disclosure and billing practices, and to help consumers better understand the pros and cons of using credit cards, last year Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure (CARD) Act. While the CARD Act, which went into effect on Feb. 22, 2010, will help most consumers, there is still confusion over what the law actually does, including its impact on rate changes and fee structures.

To assist consumers, Pioneer Services, a Division of MidCountry Bank, has created an article with tips and information about the CARD Act and how credit card users will be affected. The article, entitled "New federal credit card protections: what you really need to know," highlights the key points, as well as other provisions that won't necessarily show up on your next statement, but are integral to how your account will now work.

"While the CARD Act does provide some new protections, credit card users need to be aware of certain billing practices and expanded issuer charges or fees that may not be as obvious," said Laura Stack, chief financial officer for Pioneer Services and author of the article. "If you're a credit card holder, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about these new rules. In the end, it's up to each of us to make sure we use credit cards in a responsible manner."