01.Are you covered by the new reforms?
Not all banks are applying new credit card reforms (introduced in July) to existing credit cards in the same way.
The three key reforms that do not apply to cards issued before 1 July 2012 are:
- a ban on over-limit fees (unless you have agreed to them)
- notification when you go over your credit limit, and
- directing repayments to the most expensive debt first.
NAB has applied all of these important reforms to existing cardholders, but other card providers are taking a piecemeal approach. St George and ANZ have elected only to direct repayment to the most expensive debt first. A CHOICE member has reported that CBA extended all of the new regulations when asked.
By contrast, 28 Degrees MasterCard is only including overlimit notifications and, worryingly, is also trying to encourage its customers to opt in to receive credit limits by advising that “not all customers are aware of when they are eligible to apply for a higher credit limit. If you’d like us to let you know, you’ll need to opt in to receive these invitations”.
In fact, 28 Degrees customers can apply for a credit limit increase through their online account access.
All this provides yet another reason to make sure that you’ve got the right plastic. Check out Compare, Ditch and Switch for an unbiased comparison of credit cards.
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