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How must the bank notify me when it makes a significant change in account terms on my credit card account?

Banks must provide advance notice in writing when they make a significant change in account terms, including when they increase the required minimum payment on a credit card. An increase in the annual percentage rate (APR) and increases in many types of fees are significant changes in account terms that require advance notice. Generally, the notice must be provided to you at least 45 days before the change takes effect.

There are some exceptions:

  • If you agreed to a particular change, the bank must still provide you with a written notice, but it does not have to be provided before the change takes effect.
  • There are some cases when notice is not required. For example, if you have a variable interest rate tied to an index, and the index goes up, the bank does not have to provide you a notice of an increased rate.
  • The bank generally does not have to provide you advance written notice if your rate is increasing because a promotional rate you had has expired or no longer applies, and the bank already gave you information about the terms of the promotion.
  • The bank does not have to provide you advance written notice if it closes the account your card is tied to, suspends future credit privileges, or reduces your credit line. (The bank does have to provide you a 45-day advance notice before it imposes a fee or penalty because you exceeded a new, lower credit limit.)

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

Refer to 12 CFR 1026 "Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)" for more information.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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