CreditCards.com

Fred Williams

Fred O. Williams is senior reporter for CreditCards.com. A business journalist since 1987, he writes about consumer financial issues from Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in USAToday and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, and he is the author of "Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices," published by FT Press.

Posts by Fred Williams

New products, Research, regulation, industry reports

Can fintech revolution preserve consumer protections?

At a daylong forum about new banking technology, one question electrified the audience. “Do consumers still need a bank?” asked Grovetta Gardineer, a senior staffer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the 153-year-old regulator of national banks.…
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Fine print, Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

Prepaid debit cards need clear price tags

Shopping for prepaid debit cards, as I did in March and April, makes you appreciate the more orderly world of credit cards. Take, for example, the Schumer box. That’s the chart on credit card offers that tells you the APR,…
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Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Beware: Pricey upsells take the free out of free credit reports

You hear the advice again and again: Look at your credit reports every year. It is your right, and they are free from the federally approved website www.annualcreditreport.com. I’m adding one footnote: Watch out for the upsell. Otherwise you’ll be…
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Fine print, Research, regulation, industry reports

Limiting mandatory arbitration will benefit consumers

What’s the biggest problem consumers have getting a fair break? Many consumer advocates say it’s mandatory arbitration. That’s the fine print in millions of contracts that says you can’t take the company to court. The advocates are applauding the federal…
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Living with credit, Protecting yourself

$3,000 mystery: AmEx sends big refund, little explanation

Beth was surprised when she got a big check from American Express. The check for more than $3,000 gave back the premiums she had paid into the company’s “credit protection” program for years and years. “The letter didn’t explain a…
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