Robert Manning:

New federal credit card rules that took effect Monday promise to outlaw the most egregious practices of the credit card industry that have plunged customers into insurmountable debt. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure, or CARD, Act includes new protections for customers under twenty-one and makes it illegal for credit card companies to retroactively increase rates and charge certain types of misleading fees. But many credit card companies have already been trying to find ways to bypass these new rules by reinstating annual fees, cutting credit limits and hiking interest rates. Credit card issuers established or expanded the use of at least eight hidden charges to circumvent the rules, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending.