It often seems like there's nothing but bad news and alarming information coming from the credit card industry, doesn't it? I recently wrote, for example, about how interest rates on American Express (NYSE:AXP) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) cards can change with little notice, and how Citigroup (NYSE:C) cards (and most others) apply your payments toward balances with low APRs first.

Well, I was happy to read some good news the other day, from the folks at JPMorgan Chase. According to the company, Chase will stop increasing credit card rates on customers when their credit-bureau scores drop. The change will take effect on March 1, 2008.

This should be good news for those with volatile credit scores. If you're carrying a revolving debt of $10,000, for example, and your interest rate is 16%, you're facing $1,600 per year in interest payments alone. That's pretty painful, but the picture gets worse if, despite paying your bills on time, your rate gets hiked to 28% just because of an unexpected dip in your credit rating. A 28% rate would mean $100 per month more in interest. So kudos to Chase for reining in this practice.

But even if your credit card doesn't fall under this new "Clear & Simple" program from Chase, you may still have reason to smile. With Congress closely examining credit issuers' less tasteful practices, card companies have some incentive to do better for consumers. Look for more good news from other issuers.

Learn more
Be a smart credit card user. Check out our Credit Center, and read these articles:

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. JPMorgan Chase is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our investing services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.