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Small Business Credit Card Hikes Cause Backlash

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 5/20/2010

More action from Congress may be necessary as credit card companies hike the rates of small-business cards.

A dramatic hike in interest rates for small-business credit cards is leading some to call for an intervention by Congress, USA Today reports.

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Citing the consumer help site BillShrink.com, the paper says that over the past six months, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, Capital One and American Express have raised the rates for small-business cards offered online about six times faster than the rates of consumer cards.

The recently passed Credit CARD Act went into effect in February, but National Small Business Association spokeswoman Molly Brogan told USA Today that the absence of small-business credit card protection in the law "is likely a significant factor in these increases over the last several months."

California Representative Jackie Speier is hoping to provide some better news for small businesses in the near future. The paper reports she is now now pushing for a bill to extend consumer credit card protections to companies with 50 or fewer employees.

Congress is still making changes to consumer credit card regulations, Forbes magazine reports. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently introduced an amendment that would require credit cards to follow the card holder's state laws rather than the laws of the state where the credit card company is headquartered.

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