Monday, February 1, 2010

Fine-print fiasco


That declaration blared from one of the latest credit card solicitations I received from American Express.

One of the happier results of the economic downturn has been the reduced need for my shredder because credit card mail offers slowed to a trickle.

But with additional regulations ready to take effect, credit card companies are again sending us offers they hope we can't refuse.

Never have I seen such an excellent example of why consumers should beware of the fine print as I got with this offer for American Express ZYNC.

American Express happily claims THE FUTURE IS GETTING YOU MORE THAN YOU PAY FOR.

Ominously true in terms of this fine print caveat:

"By signing or returning this application, I ask that a Card account be opened in my name and Card(s) issued as I request, and that you renew and replace them until I cancel. ... I agree to be liable for all charges to my account, including charges incurred with an Additional Card(s) issued on my account now or in the future. The information in this application is accurate through 11/25/2009."

Sign up in January under rules that expired in November? Just what could they do to you then?

Want a primer on new credit card regulations? Here's a summary from Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

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