I had an account with one card issuer but I got a notice saying that the account had been sold to another card issuer. Can they do that?

Most cardholder agreements allow the card issuer to sell the account to another card issuer. You should be able to find a copy of the agreement on your card issuer's website, and you can request a copy from your card issuer. The new card issuer will mail a new card to you, often with a new account number. This may not take place for a number of months.

When an account is sold, the card issuer that buys the account and becomes your new card issuer generally cannot increase the interest rate on any existing balance. The new card issuer can increase the interest rate for new transactions, but it must give you 45 days notice. The new card issuer also can change other terms, but it must follow the same rules about giving notice that would apply if the account had not been sold and your old card issuer wanted to make the change.

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