We wrote about the new credit card regulations that came into effect on January 2010, and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of information on it. Searches for “new credit card regulations” and “canadian credit card legislation” brought up the same Ministry of Finance release from Sep. We did find some details on the American Express site and this is what they had to say about the changes:
Credit card limits
Before: Prior to January 1st, 2010, under Canadian law, credit card companies were able to increase the limit on credit cards. Always thought this was odd that each few months your statement would say that your limit has increased by $2,500. Not sure if you want university students to be able to go out and buy a new card on their brand new credit card.
After: The new law requires the card holders consent to increase credit limits.
Amex specific: Your approval (written, electronic or voice) will be required prior to increasing your credit limit, if qualified.
Before: If you had debt outstanding to a credit card company, only collection agencies were regulated by the provinces for debt practices.
After: The new federal law applies to banks and ensures fair and transparent practices to collect a debt. Hopefully this means no men with tire irons visiting you late at night.
Credit card T & C’s
Before: Not sure if there were laws outlining what needed to be included in the terms and conditions.
After: However, now the new federal law requires clear communication of card terms and conditions and applicable fees.
AMEX then goes on to say that customers will receive further notices about how interest will be calculated, applied to outstanding balances and how the statements will change. If anyone has details on this we’d love to hear about it.
In our next follow up story, we’ll dig up what’s going to change in September 2010.