Tricks, Not Treats -- Pew Study Finds 'Deceptive' Credit Card Practices Rising

Apart from shooting an outrage video and hoping it goes viral, how can consumers most effectively fight back against sneaky credit card companies, whether before the new laws go into effect or after?

"There are thousands of smaller providers and credit unions who issue cards and who do not, generally speaking, engage in deception or unfair practices," Ulzheimer said. "The big banks are not the only game in town. People need to shop around."

The Pew study concurred: Credit unions offered significantly lower advertised rates compared to bank credit cards, with penalty fees that were half the cost of comparable bank fees and fewer dangers associated with "unfair or deceptive" practices, researchers found.

And, of course the best way to avoid hidden fees, Ulzheimer added: "Read the fine print."

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