CREDIT: When the Price Isn't Right

CREDIT: When the Price Isn't Right

Thanks to the invention of the credit card, no American is too poor to acquire a small fortune in debt. U.S. consumers were carrying $279 billion in obligations on their credit cards as of February. To exploit that vast market, credit-card companies are offering ever more imaginative inducements to pull out the plastic.

Latest example: Citibank, which last week announced "Citibank Price Protection" for its 30 million MasterCard and Visa holders. The program guarantees that if you buy something with a Citibank card and see the item advertised at a lower price within 60 days, Citibank will refund the difference.

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