The New York Times reports one of the early casualties of Congress' recent credit card "bill of rights" legislation. A few prominent credit card companies are actually taking a right away from many in response to the new regulation: the right to exceed your credit limit.Basically, the law apparently says that credit card companies can't charge you a fee for going over your limit unless you specifically ask for permission to do so and agree to the fee. Discover and American Express have responded by changing their system so that if you try to go over your limit, the transaction is either declined, or accepted with no fee. (They didn't want to go through the hassle of implementing a system whereby one could request permission and agree to a fee.)
How did [Discover and American Express] do it? Easy. They eliminated their cardholders' ability to purchase anything that would put them over their credit limit, unless the companies allow them to do so for no additional fee. After all, those who cannot breach their limit will never need to pay the fee.
I completely fail to see how this is a diminishment of my rights (even taking "rights" in a pretty loose sense). I never actually thought I had the "right" to go over my limit; I thought it was basically a screw-up when it happened, and then I would be penalized. I mean, it's the same thing (in my mind) as overdrawing your bank account - it can happen, but it's not something you're really "allowed" to do, hence the penalty.
I certainly prefer that the transaction is either declined, or accepted with no additional fee.
Are there people who viewed the ability to go over their credit limit in return for paying a penalty as a good thing, a service they enjoyed using?