Siegel+Gale put together this PDF which boils down a sample credit card’s terms to one page.
While the language is simpler than your average 30-page contract, it’s still not ideal; note that the late fee is still $39, there’s Binding Mandatory Arbitration language, and the bank reserves the right to change the credit limit at any time for any reason. It’s less clear if this contract allows the bank to change any of the terms at any time for any reason, which is the reality for most cards.
Consumers Union also took a stab at simplifying credit card language. Here’s their letter which gets at what the banks are really saying with those 30-page contracts:
The good news is that in February, some great changes will go into effect, and banks won’t be able to raise your interest rate on old debt unless you pay more than 60 days late. If you’d like to see that change go into effect sooner (like in time for the holidays), click here to take action.