There was a time when having a credit card was considered to be an elite privilege.  The purpose of credit card was to avoid carrying large sums of cash.  People gladly paid annual fees for the convenience, and no one offered things like frequent flier miles or cash-back rewards.  As a matter of fact, it was so difficult to get a credit card, you were glad to have been accepted into the “elite”.

There is currently legislation in the works to limit how credit card companies can charge you in terms of penalties, late fees, and interest rate hikes.  These change in fees come, usually, with no or little warning.  So, in essence, you could be carrying a large balance on a credit card, and have your interest increase by as much as $70, $80 or $90, just like that.  Some consumer advocacy organizations claim that credit card companies are grossly profiting from these unnecessary fees and rate hikes and it has to stop.  The argument from the companies is that the free market is just that- free.  If you feel the fees are too high or unfair, then go to another company.  But we know that it’s not that easy.

To counterattack the public backlash against credit card companies, they are coming back with an agenda of their own.  The free ride and perks are about to stop.  You know how, you use your credit card and you are given a grace period of up 30 days to pay the balance off?  That will be coming to an end.  You know how, having to pay an annual fee for a credit card is now the norm?  Yeah, well, that’s coming to an end too.  So, you aren’t going to be rewarded for paying off your bill in the same month, and the gratuities and perks you once enjoyed for being fiscally responsible is going to stop.

The reason for this is simply that these companies will be losing profits if other lucrative income streams are taken away.  But at what point does the pursuit of business overshadow the casualties of debt-laden college students or unsuspecting cardholders who have no idea that they are being “nickel and dimed” to death?  No business is in it for charitable purposes.  They are there to make a profit and the larger the better, I suppose.  However, greed is a subtle animal that lurks around good fiscal intentions, and will leave a trail of carnage of anyone who gets in its way.  So make sure you know who and what you’re dealing with when it comes to your credit card company.  In other words, it may be wise to ask, “What’s in your wallet?”