NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Banks and credit card companies will be required to adhere to the final provisions of Credit Card Act of 2009 beginning next week. However, the new regulations are unlikely to curtail card offers once again piling up in consumers mailboxes, some say. As of August 22, banks with large credit card arms like JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Bank of America ( BAC), Wells Fargo ( WFC), and Capital One ( COF) will have to include further measures designed to curb consumer abuses. Included in the final provisions that take effect Sunday, card issuers will be required to:
- Designate "reasonable and proportional" penalty fees to the omission or violation.
- Periodically review all interest rate increases since January 2009 and reduce rates when a review indicates that a reduction is warranted.
- Amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to limit dormancy, inactivity, and service fees associated with gift cards, according to the House Committee on Financial Services' web site.
In terms of annual fees, 28% of new cards carried annual fees down. That was down from 33% in the second quarter of 2009, according to Mintel. The survey added that fifty-six percent of the mail offers promoted an introductory annual percentage rate for balance transfers and new purchases. This was up from 37% in the year-earlier quarter. Among other measures, the survey noted that while card issuers initially raised interest rates to compensate for the changing rules, rates are now beginning to slip. Last quarter the mean APR for variable rate offer was 13.79% down from 14.21% in the first quarter and the first quarterly decline since the beginning of 2009. --Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.