The bank raised my interest rate because I made a late payment on an account with another bank. Can the bank do this?

It depends on when you opened your account.

If you opened your account on or after February 22, 2010, the bank cannot increase your rate for making a late payment to another bank during the first year after the account was opened.  After the first year, it can increase your rate if it gives you a written notice 45 days in advance of the increase.  The increase will only apply to transactions that occurred more than 14 days after the notice was provided.

If you opened your account before February 22, 2010, even if the account has been open less than a year, the bank can increase your rate for making a late payment to another bank, but it must give you a written notice 45 days in advance of the increase.  The increase will only apply to transactions that occurred more than 14 days after the notice was provided.

Be sure to review your account agreement, which is the contract governing your credit card account. It provides information on changes that may occur to your account.

March 2010