5. How old debts might resurface
This is not as common of a practice but some credit card companies buy unpaid debts. They will then offer credit cards to the debt-holders. If you've ever defaulted on a debt, read the fine print to make sure the credit card company is not asserting their right to include old or defaulted debts on any new credit card openings.
6. How those terms can change
When it comes to the details in the fine print, you have to keep in mind that those can change at any time. With that being said, you do need to be notified of any changes to the terms of your agreement. It is important that every time you receive your monthly statement, you review the terms agreement. You can always call the credit card company to try and negotiate different terms. If the terms are really poor, pay off the card and do not use it. This is a better choice than closing the card as it can put a dent in your credit score.
7. Arbitration requirement
With this clause, you are agreeing to not take the credit card company to court if there is a dispute. Some of the larger banks have done away with this clause while others opt you out within the first couple of months of initial usage of the card.
8. They can share your data
Credit card companies can access lots of information about you. Everything from where you shop, how much you spend, the time of day you are shopping and more. Many credit card agreements have a clause that states that they can share your information with any third party. This means any business can start sending you their marketing materials. Check the fine print of your credit card to see how you can opt out of this practice and keep your information private.
9. They can keep accessing your credit report
Credit card companies want to stay on top of the financial habits of its cardholders and they do this by periodically accessing your credit report. These types of inquiries can have a negative effect on your credit score and if it drops, they can now up your interest rate or lower your credit limit.
10. Watch out for deferred payments
Promotional offers of zero percent interest for a specified period of time can be appealing for many. Unfortunately, in some cases, if you still owe even a tiny amount of the original balance, you can be charged interest retroactively for the full amount. Furthermore, if you make additional purchase that does not fall under the "promotional" side, you can get confused as to which debt you are paying on.