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In May 2009, Congress passed and the President signed into law new federal rules governing credit card accounts and terms. The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009, also called the Credit CARD Act, provides new protections to credit cardholders by limiting interest rate hikes, providing more disclosures in plain language, eliminating some unfair billing practices, and limiting the availability of cards to consumers under the age of 21.
Most of the changes took effect on February 22, 2010, although some took effect on August 20, 2009, and a few others are slated to be in place as of August 22, 2010. To learn more about the Credit CARD Act, see Nolo's article New Credit Cards Rules for 2010.