Kilpinger's got a couple interesting articles. This one on credit disclosure reform greatly interested me because I'd been waiting to hear some updates on this particular topic. Here's the official press release from the Federal Reserve. The skinny is that regulators want more information on credit card statements and applications.
Some I am pleased with, others seem like a waste. Forcing them to give 45 days notice, instead of the current 15, before making term changes is pretty important in my opinion. For anyone who carries a balance, 15 days (where the changes would likely take effect the next billing cycle basically) isn't much time to reject the changes and move their debt somewhere else. Disclosing the amount it could cost you if you make only minimum payments (check out the proposed formats here and here) seem a little overboard. I suppose it is necessary for some people, but I want my statement (and my terms) to be simpler and easier to read, not more complex.
Taking out the fictitious "fixed rate" I can get on board with! Okay, give the consumer a penalty rate if they are late or don't pay the minimum. But please, a fixed rate should not be able to be changed just because I start putting smiley faces on the checks I write to you. They can change the rate for any reason, usually determined by some computer that figures out who might show indications of giving them less money (like they did to me, for paying off all my balances). What I also want to see is FULL DISCLOSURE of all terms, especially rewards terms. None of this "further terms will be mailed to you after you have received your card" garbage.
On debit cards, I'm a big fan. I use debit almost exclusively from cash (though I don't spend much because I'm broke). I'm not a fan of the new rewards debit cards because as far as I can see, just about all rewards cards are a complete joke. Their terms are ridiculous and complex and it's usually not worth my time trying to figure out how to maximize them.
Finally, they mention interchange fees. Did you know the fees the merchant is charged is lower if you use debit (pin) rather than credit? I disagree with this:
PIN or pen? Debit-card users are caught in the crossfire between merchants and card companies...From your point of view, it generally boils down to personal preference. To get cash back, you must punch in a PIN.
No, interchange fees are indirectly paid by us, the consumers. If we as consumers use debit more instead of credit, the merchant makes more profit and can lower its prices. See? It's not personal preference, it is better to use debit to purchase goods. Rewards and purchase protections aside, of course.