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Consumer Friendly Credit Cards

While some credit card companies are raising interest rates and cutting back perks, others are reaching out to customers. Kelli Grant, Sr. Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, has some information about the best cards right now.

Recently, President Obama asked the government to pass his credit card consumer protection bill by the end of the month. This would help cut down on credit card company practices that are costing Americans millions, such as higher interest rates and lower credit lines. Some companies are already willingly adhering to the guidelines.

For example, Grant says she likes Discover cards because they are payment friendly. "Discover is actually one of the issuers that is adhering to most of the Fed's rules," says Grant. Discover mails out their statements at least 25 days before payment is due and also accepts payments up to 5:00pm ET on the due date. The company also allows customers to choose when their payment is due and supports free phone payments, which many other issuers charge for.

Grant also likes Wells Fargo because of their low interest rates. "They adhere to some of the more important parts of the Fed's new regulations. They've already said that they're not going to raise your rate if you're late on an account with another issuer and they also are going to offer at least 45 days notice if they are going to raise your rate," says Grant. Some of their rates are as low as 7.65%, but in order to qualify, you have to have a bank account with Wells Fargo.

Citibank is a card that rewards good credit consumers. Grant says the new Citi Forward Card rewards people with good credit behavior. "If you're consistently paying on time and staying within your credit limit, you'll get extra reward points and even a break on your interest rate," says Grant. As a whole, Citibank has also eliminated double cycle billing which was used to calculate finance charges based on your total spending history, not just within one billing cycle.

If you're looking to transfer your balance to another card, Grant suggests looking at Capital One. They offer 0% balance transfers for 12 months which few issuers are doing now. Like Discover, they mail out statements 25 days before the due date and accept payments up to 5:00pm on the due date. They have also said they won't raise your interest rate because of a late payment with another issuer.

For more information on credit cards, as well as additional personal financial advice, click here to visit www.SmartMoney.com.
By Erin Petrun

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