Credit card statement makeovers were required by new federal rules that were implemented in three phases, with the last one taking effect in August, 2010.
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Your monthly credit card bill got a makeover in 2009 — thanks to lawmakers and federal banking regulators. The monthly statement makeover is part of a much larger series of credit card regulation reforms approved by the Federal Reserve Board in December 2008.
Whether you get your credit card statements in the mail or online, the documents have taken on a new look since the Credit Card Act of 2009 took effect. The Act was implemented in three phases, with the first phase requiring card issuers to provide customers a 45-day notice period before implementing any changes to the card’s terms. That went into effect in August 2009. And new design and disclosure requirements mandated by the Credit Card Act took effect in February 2010. The third phase, which involved an amendment to Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act, became effective in August 2010 and addressed unreasonable late payment and penalty fees.
Statement designs have become more reader-friendly since then to help credit cardholders easily find important information on their monthly statements — namely, when payments are due, the amount owed, the consequences of making late payments and how much they are paying in fees and interest on different types of accounts.
Another feature warns consumers about the cost of making only minimum payments each month. Each credit card bill also has a box that states how long (in months or years) it will take to pay off the entire balance if the cardholder makes the minimum payment compared to how long it might take to pay it off when making higher payments. The box also states the total dollar amount cardholders would pay when both interest and principal is factored in. The results have certainly been eye-opening for some borrowers.
The previous standard for credit card disclosure was the so-called Schumer box, which required key terms to be listed in a table and included in credit card offers, applications and monthly statements. The current standard is like the Schumer box on steroids, with much more details about terms and what they mean — and more tables.
Consumer feedback influenced implementation
The Fed conducted consumer tests of credit card statements to determine what worked best when providing key information. Users complained that wording on the old statements was confusing, the type too small and key information missing. Testers said they liked information presented in boxes that they could clearly read.
Capital One had also conducted consumer tests before redesigning its statements.
“We wanted to maintain some consistency with statement usability to ensure our customers didn’t get lost in the new statement,” said Pam Girardo, a spokeswoman for Capital One. “We showed a variety of statement designs to understand what resonated and what didn’t and to make sure consumers understood the information.”
Here’s an explanation of some of the features of the updated statements, based on the Federal Reserve Board’s samples. Your statement may not look exactly like this; each credit card issuer uses its own.
XXX Bank Credit Card Account Statement
Account Number XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
February 21, 2019 to March 22, 2019
|Summary of account activity|
Past due amount
Statement closing date
Days in billing cycle
New balance $1,784.53
Minimum payment due $53.00
Payment due date 4/20/19
|Late payment warning: If we do not receive your minimum payment by the date listed above, you may have to pay a late fee of up to XX and your APRs may be increased up to the Penalty APR of 28.99%.|
Minimum payment warning: If you make only the minimum payment each period, you will pay more in interest and it will take you longer to pay off your balance. For example, if you had a balance of $1,000 at an interest rate of 17% and always paid only the minimum required, it would take over 7 years to repay this balance. If your would like information about credit counseling services, call 1-800-xxx-xxxx.
|QUESTIONS?||Please send billing inquiries to:|
|Call customer service|
| PO Box XXXX, Anytown,|
|Lost or stolen credit card|
|Important changes to your account terms|
|The following is a summary of changes that are being made to your account terms. Changes to the APRs described below are due to changes in market conditions. For more detailed information, please refer to the booklet enclosed with this statement.|
These changes will impact your account as follows:
Transactions made on or after 4/9/19: As of 5/10/19, changes to APRs described below will apply to these transactions.
Transactions made before 4/9/19: Current APRs will continue to apply to these transactions.
If you are already being charged a higher Penalty APR for purchases: In this case, any changes to APRs described below will not go into effect at this time. These changes will go into effect when the Penalty APR no longer applies to your account.
|APR for purchases||16.99%|
|Late payment fee||$32 if your balance is less than or equal to $1,000;|
$39 if your balance is more than $1,000
|Reference number||Trans date||Post date||Description of transaction or credit|| |
Cash advance fee
Balance transfer fee
Cash advance fee
|Interest on purchases|
Interest on cash advances
|Total fees charged in 2019|
Total interest charged in 2019
|Your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the annual interest rate on your account|
|Type of balance||Annual Percentage Rate (APR)||Balance Subject to|
Balance transfers(v) = Variable rate
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Please detach this portion and return with your payment to insure credit. Retain upper portion for your records.
|Please indicate address change and additional|
cardholder requests on the reverse side.XXX Bank
P.O. Box XXXX
Anytown, Anystate XXXXX
Minimum payment due
Payment due dateAMOUNT ENCLOSED:
|XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX|
Source: Federal Reserve Board