WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve adopted new rules Tuesday aimed at protecting credit card customers from getting socked by lofty late payment charges and other penalty fees.
They bar credit card companies from charging a penalty fee of more than $25 for paying a bill late. They prohibit charging penalty fees that are higher than the dollar amount associated with the customer’s violation. They also ban so-called “inactivity” fees when customers don’t use the account to make new purchases and they prevent multiple penalty fees on a single late payment. The rules take effect Aug. 22.