You should look carefully at your credit card’s terms. They can change with just 15 days’ notice, and are often hidden within privacy notices.
You may have the ability to request that certain personal information is not shared in specific cases. Perhaps you do not want nonfinancial companies to get a look at your data, or maybe you would rather that certain branches of your bank not have access to sensitive information about you. Still, your request may be overridden by the law and certain information may be exempt from your request for protection.
An issuer may notify you of changes to a credit card’s terms involving the interest rate, the events which trigger the credit card’s default APR, and various fees.
The notification of a change in the credit card’s terms can also offer you the chance to opt out — that is, the ability to decide you don’t want to continue using the card once the new terms take effect. Opting out involves notifying the credit card issuer that you do not accept the changes. You will need to read your opt out information carefully to find out the proper way to opt out. (Update: On Aug. 20, 2009, provisions of the Credit Card Act of 2009 went into effect that mandated consumers be given the right to opt out of increases in interest rates, fees, finance charges and certain other changes in credit card agreements. See story.)
Opting out of card terms that no longer resemble what you signed up for can be a smart decision. After all, if you applied for a low interest credit card, but the new terms put you in danger of triggering a high default APR, then you may not want to accept the changes to your credit card.