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The Return of The Annual Fee

A couple of weeks ago President Barack Obama officially signed into law a bill that will change the credit card industry forever. Now, the main problem remaining for consumers is that most of the new rules don't actually take effect until February of next year.

As the dust begins to settle in the aftermath of the bill's successful passage, credit card companies are frantically scurrying about trying to reap whatever spoils they can while time remains. In fact, as you may have experienced yourself, many banks are raising interest rates to unprecedented heights. This is a testament to one of the biggest criticisms of the new credit card bill: it doesn't set caps on the interest rates card issuers can charge. Another thing many lenders are focusing on right now is developing ways to increase fee-based revenues without driving their existing customer base away. And credit cards that no longer have annual fees are beginning to see these yearly burdens bounce back - a practice that seems to be catching on like wildfire among many of the major credit issuers. Of course, the card companies maintain they’re only doing this to ensure they have enough income to keep their lending services afloat in the face of extremely tough economic conditions. What remains to be seen is whether loyal customers will continue to stick around once they have to start paying annual fees again. Would you?

Photo credit: Shutterstock / KenDrysdale

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Logan Abbott's picture

Logan Abbott is a personal finance and credit card expert with over 5 years of experience writing about each topic. He is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, and also contributes to other online finance publications. He has been quoted in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, TheStreet, and more.

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