New Credit Card Statement Format
Published 7/13/10 (Modified 3/8/11)
Usually when I open my credit card statements, my eye goes right to the line that tells me how much I made during the past month in cash back and credit card rewards points. Recently, though, something else caught my eye when I opened my monthly statement: the brand-spanking-new statement format mandated by the Federal Reserve.
As of July 1, credit card issuers were required to conform with new rules approved by the Federal Reserve Board to protect consumers from what many have seen as unfair (or at least unclear) practices by the card issuers.
The new statement does a lot of things right--it's now abundantly clear, for example, just how long it'll take you to pay off even a small balance if you just send in the minimum payment required (and how much interest you'll rack up in the process). Closing one of the classic traps of card usage that have ensnared many, the new statements must tell cardholders up-front just how much their credit card rates will jump and how much the late fee will be if you're late with your payment. And interest fees and fee charges of all types are now labeled clearly--you'll be able to see at a glance whether that zero percent balance transfer transaction was correctly implemented.
FiveCentNickel.com has a nifty infographic with mouseover highlights of the new changes: