On Monday, the Federal Reserve introduced its new online database of credit card agreements under the guise of strides in consumer protection. This, of course, comes as the result of all the recent credit card legislation. So, let’s click on over there and see if we feel any safer.
OK, fine I’ll be the one to point out the pink elephant in the room. What you can search for here is the credit card agreements themselves (yeah, those really dense pieces of paper in 5pt type that come along with any card and get recycled immediately), not say a summary of the APR, fees, credit score needed to get the card, and any associated rewards. Here’s a hint. Consumers care nothing about the former and everything about the latter. That’s the first problem.
The second problem is finding your card. Let’s see, I have a Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Cash Reward Card. Is that there? Strike 1. OK, what about my Schwab Invest First VISA. Strike 2. Well, I’m sure my Fidelity Investments AMEX is there right? Strike 3. So, I have 3 cards and none of them are there? Well the Schwab and Fidelity cards are maintained by FIA Card Services so we can check there, but how many typical consumers know anything but the issuer? OK, so FIA is there, and when I choose them, I see a list of 8 different files none of which are differentiated in any meaningful way. Am I just supposed to click on all of them? You must be kidding. How many of my tax dollars were spent on this?
You government guys have a long way to go before this site is good for anything but a sad commentary on how out of touch you are.