HSBC credit cards under new rules February 22nd

Effective February 22, 2010, consistent payment cycles are mandated. The Credit CARD Act mandates that statements be mailed or posted online no later than 21 days before an account’s due date. How HSBC will comply or achieve compliance after failing for many years remains to be seen.

HSBC raised many interest rates to the maximum allowed by law. Under the CARD Act, banks may only change your interest if you are 60 days or more late on your monthly minimum payment. In addition, if you make 6 months of on-time payments, banks must restore your original rate.

HSBC made a killing with overlimit fees. By requiring lenders to make overlimit transactions an opt-in feature of credit cards, regulators have effectively eliminated over-the-limit service fees that can send many subprime account holders into a debt spiral.

Credit card companies now say customers could be embarrased at the checkout counter. By contrast, most customers know what their allowable limit actually is. Like EBT (food stamps) cards, users work within available balances.

The Credit CARD Act forces lenders to make penalty assessments based only on their own relationships with an account holder. This way, a subprime credit card user with other problem accounts can focus on keeping their primary account from becoming delinquent.

Said another way, if HSBC wants to jerk you around, offer poor and rude customer service, and offends you, then you have the option to keep your reputable cards current and protected from HSBC.