New York State Credit Card Law Now in Effect

One thing about residents of the Empire State that is known to us is their penchant for extravagant spending. We love to spend cash, and we love to spend it on credit cards—all you have to do is look no farther than the amount of debt the average New Yorker holds. For the ideal illustration, just look at how much money we spent over the holiday shopping season in 2023.

Customers spent around $10 billion on Black Friday alone, and the great bulk of that money was spent on credit cards. When using credit cards, a lot of individuals look forward to earning credit card rewards and points, which is another benefit of all that spending.

New York State Modifies Credit Card Point Laws

In order to entice consumers to apply for their goods, credit card firms invest a great deal of time and effort in finding the finest rewards schemes. Since millions of Americans apply for credit cards in the hopes of receiving a specific benefit or advantage when using those cards, their research frequently bears fruit.

Credit card rewards, which might include cash back on purchases, free flights, or other perks like free food at specific restaurants, are frequently highly desirable to consumers and contribute to a high level of debt activity. Despite how well-liked these programs are, many credit card issuers have rather rigid and ambiguous policies on the use of rewards and the possibility of losing them.

Like a lot of other people, I was unable to use a certain credit card company after the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost me several thousand flying miles. I frequently wondered myself, “How could I possibly use my air miles when no one was able to travel?” Given that New York has changed the way credit card points and incentives are handled, it appears that I’m not the only one who has had this query.

Protecting New Yorker’s wallets is a top priority and we’re helping families save money this holiday season… With this law taking effect, New Yorkers can rest assured that they won’t lose the credit card rewards they’ve earned.
-Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State

When it comes to these awards and points, New Yorkers will have more consumer protections starting on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Credit card firms operating in the Empire State are required under New York State Senate Bill S133B / Assembly Bill A05698-B to take extra precautions to ensure that customers do not lose points or rewards when programs are altered or discontinued.

Credit card issuers have 45 days to provide notice to cardholders when any existing credit card account or rewards program is cancelled or closed or modified in a way that is less favorable to the consumer. This includes any change that eliminates or reduces the value of a consumer’s points, makes it harder to accumulate points, limits rewards availability, or otherwise diminishes the value of the rewards program. From the day the credit card issuer sends this notice, consumers have 90 days to redeem their accrued points or rewards in accordance with the program’s original terms and conditions. While consumers often cash in their rewards before closing their accounts, the law requires a grace period after any account is closed.
-New York State Division of Consumer Protection

Visit the New York State Consumer Protection Website for additional details on these new rights.