Can my credit card company change the terms of my account?
The credit card company has the right to change the terms of your credit card agreement. For significant changes, the card issuer generally must give you notice 45 days in advance.
Significant changes generally include increases in certain interest rates and fees, increases to the minimum amount due, or changes to the grace period or the way interest is calculated. You might not receive notice 45 days in advance about changes to the benefits you get from your credit card, such as points or cash rewards, or changes in the brand (for example, changing from Visa to MasterCard or vice versa) because these changes are generally not considered to be significant.
There are restrictions on what changes the card company can make. For example, card companies generally cannot increase the interest rate you pay on existing balances, except in certain circumstances.
For many changes, you have the right to opt out of the newly changed terms. However, if you opt out, the card company might close your account. If your account is closed, you do not have to pay the balance in full immediately after the account is closed, but you are still responsible for making payments until the balance is paid in full. Depending on the card company’s policies, your minimum payment may increase. The amount of the new payment cannot be more than the amount needed to pay the balance off in five years or double your prior minimum periodic payment, whichever is higher.
Note: Closing your account may negatively affect your credit score because closing the account will lower the amount of available credit you have and increase the percentage of available credit you are using.
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