Credit Cards to Lose the Legalese

I’m not enough of a sucker for punishment that I’ve ever actually read a credit card application – a terrible thing for a lawyer to admit, I know. The pages of dense text full of words I’m not likely to really comprehend just discourage me. So I just look at the annual fee and rewards offered and go from there.

But it looks like that may change. The government of Canada has teamed up with Mastercard to produce a credit card agreement in plain English. It looks quite simple, readable and informative – like it’s goal is to inform rather than confuse.

The text of the Application is available here. The normally dense and unreadable portion is led off with the following:

“Interest is the amount of money you may have to pay the bank for using your credit card. For example, when you use your credit card to buy something or to borrow money, you may have to pay interest on the amount of money you spent or borrowed.”

It’s like music to my ears! And not a mention of the words “double-cycle billing” – whatever that is – to be seen.

Here is the government agency’s press release about the Agreement.


  1. You still have a lot of reading to do, but this is definitely an improvement. It would be nice if they did this with everything and not just credit cards.