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Watch out for this surprise credit-card charge, the CFPB warns

Consumers, beware of confusing retail credit cards.

That’s the message from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday. The agency said it has sent letters to major retail credit card companies to reconsider a pricing method some of them are using because it may “lack transparency to consumers.” The CFPB also said consumers can file complaints about credit cards to the Bureau online.

“Deferred interest” means they offer no interest for a set period of time, as long as the balance is paid in full by the end of that promotional period. For consumers who are able to pay that balance off, a deferred-interest card can then be a viable option.

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