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New Bank of America Credit Card Statement

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Earlier this month, Smithee shared his glee after receiving his new Chase credit card statement, reflecting changes brought on through the new rules affecting credit cards. I received a new statement this month, as well. I used my Bank of America Signature Visa card recently to purchase airfare for a short vacation, and the charges are now due.

The new statement visualizes how long it would take me to pay off the total charges if I paid only the minimum every month. Here is the new information included at the top of the first page of the bill.

New Bank of America credit card statement

While it’s hard to illustrate the massive long-term detriment of credit when my balance is short of only $900, if I pay only the minimum balance each month, I will pay almost a 40% premium. It would be like paying $625 for each airline ticket rather than $450. This doesn’t account for future interest rate changes. This minimum payment wouldn’t change for me, but cardholders with a larger balance will experience their minimum payment shrinking as their balance shrinks.

The chart describes how much interest expense I could save just by doubling my payment each month.

I don’t think these changes to the credit card statement will change consumer behavior. Unless there is a system of immediate feedback, the consequences (paying more that you imagined) are too separated from the action (buying something you can’t afford on credit). Immediate feedback would have to consist of some kind of warning at the point of sale. Obviously, that will never happen, as it is in retailers’ and credit card issuers’ best interest to encourage everyone involved to complete a purchase.

Short of immediate feedback, there should be more education about credit cards deals and interest in advance. This is not a perfect solution either, but I am not convinced that the changes to the statement along will have much of an effect.

What do you think of these changes to credit card statements?

Updated February 24, 2012 and originally published March 20, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar steveDH

Right on. I smell a new app for our phone. It could evaluate the purchase and give an electrical shock if it doesn’t approve. Maybe if the purchase is at the Pharmacy, Doctor’s Office, or Hospital it could present an analysis comparing the cost of the care versus funeral cost. People do dumb things, schools don’t often teach common sense and parents don’t always teach responsibility, but technology can overcome it all!

The information provided on the new credit card statements is a step (albeit a small one) in the right direction, could alert some to avoid the debt spiral, and shouldn’t be discounted as worthless. Please forgive me for the tongue-in-cheek nonsense I started off with, afterall it is Saturday, sun is shining, getting warmer ……….forgive me…….pretty please?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

No worries, the fantastic weather today is having the same effect on me.

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avatar Smithee ♦1,358 (Quarter)

Would you say the colors in the picture here are the same as they are on paper? The contrast in the “important part” makes it really difficult to read the column headers.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

The column headers have a black dithered background, and are not clearly legible. I think the scan is a pretty accurate representation of what I see on paper. If you look at the larger-size scan, you can see the wavy blue pattern throughout the page.

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avatar Monevator

Hmm, I have to admit I think that looks pretty good… maybe even a slightly bigger than smaller step in the right direction. If it’s buried under a telephone book sized directory of paper, perhaps not so much!

Maybe credit cards should come wrapped in white coffin shaped box saying Wreckless Debt Kills or similar, like cigarettes?!

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avatar Ken

I think it’s a step further on their part to educate the consumer about interest and how paying more saves more….will it have long term impact for consumer…I doubt it.

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avatar Oscar

The new statements do provide some good information but I think most people already know this and just don’t care. It is just too tempting to use your credit card so you have to create a mentality to avoid. I remember Larry Burkett always saying you should keep your credit cards frozen in a chunk of ice to avoid using them foolishly.

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avatar Marc

I got my latest statement. I like the new layout and the information supplied. I actually cancelled 2 of my 3 credit cards already and I intent to pay off all my debt and cancel the last credit card, too. It is just to tempting and I am afraid to start acumulating debt again. Maybe I should freeze it!

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avatar Dirk

Hi there, I am only 21 years old and started my own online business. I got my first credit card (feels like I am an adult now). I started my credit card to finance my start up, but was shocked to find out what charges are being billed by the credit card companies.

With the latest statements, it became clear I need to pay down my credit card balance fast.

Thanks

Dirk

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