Q. I'm self-employed and have been receiving lots of solicitations for "business" credit cards. Are they a better choice than regular cards for people like me?
A. These cards are touted as having generous rewards and enhanced transaction reporting to help you monitor spending. But they come with a huge drawback: They're not covered by key protections of the Credit CARD Act of 2009.
See also: More on credit, loans and debt.
Unlike regular plastic, these cards, also marketed for "professional" or "corporate" use, may be subject to "anytime" changes in terms: unrestricted increases in penalty fees, perhaps, or sudden interest rate hikes for any violation of terms — even on existing balances. In a recent survey, the Pew Charitable Trusts found that people 65 and older get a higher proportion of offers for these cards than any other age group.
Also of interest: Credit card payoff calculator. >>
Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.