Spirit of the Law

Credit Cards Hike Rates

Here's a fresh reason to be irritated with credit-card companies: they're hurrying to raise rates and fees before new rules limiting rate hikes go into effect this February. The Washington Post reports that companies including Chase and Bank of America have raised minimum payments and upped transaction fees for balance transfers or cash advances. Banks say they need to shore up revenue losses while they can, but several members of Congress disagree. New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer said banks were exploiting the delay in effective date to "wring more dollars out of their customers. It is against the spirit of the law, and it is just plain wrong."