Keep the Change? No thanks.
The credit card industry is on a roll -- bank roll, that is. More than two billion credit card solicitations are blindly mailed off to Americans every year. Not surprisingly, some consumers are as profligate with their credit card spending as the card companies are with their mailings. So the industry got their congressional toadies to approve a new bankruptcy law that makes it tougher for millions of Americans to declare BK. These aren't just the over-shoppers. The new law affects people who have a catastrophic illness and don't have adequate health insurance (who does?) or lost their most valuable asset-- their home -- in a natural disaster, but still have to pay the mortgage. Always looking for yet another way to make money, here's the latest. Bank of America has announced a new credit card program called "Keep the Change," in which whenever you charge something, they round the price up to the nearest dollar and then they put the extra money in a savings account for you. This is being hyped as a way to build savings, but it's the credit card that keeps your change, not you. And you can't get your money back for one year. It's hard to believe many Americans will buy this pig in the poke. If our elected officials really cared about our wallets, they'd let states pass laws protecting consumers against the outrageous late fees and other abusive practices of the credit card industry. The Bush Administration has won several cases blocking states from passing such protections, arguing in court that only the federal government can regulate the industry.
Hear Harvey take on the powerful insurance lobby on behalf of 'the little guy' and speak about his success in lowering the cost of insurance at our next Marketplace of Ideas talk on Oct. 24.
Read more about the talk the insurance industry doesn't want you to hear