NEW YORK (2/23/10)--CNN and The Wall Street Journal, in their coverage about the new credit card rules that became effective Monday, told consumers worried about increases in their credit card rates that they can go to credit unions for lower rates. On Monday, CNNMoney.com's Gerri Willis discussed the changes from several provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. Calling the act a "new era with credit card companies playing by new rules," she noted that card companies will lose $11 billion a year in interest and fees, and to make that up, they will create new fees. Consumers who don't want to pay higher fees on their credit cards have several alternatives, Willis said. The first she mentioned was credit unions. "You can go to credit unions, which are less likely to charge fees and penalties on credit card accounts than banks do," she said. Willis noted one must be a member of a credit union through an organization. To find a credit union to join, "ask your employer or your college alumni association or go to creditunion.coop to find one." To see the broadcast, use the link and click on "Gerri's Top Tips" on credit cards. Saturday's issue of The Wall Street Journal also discusses the changes that began to take effect Monday. "Credit unions often offer lower rates than large banks, although some of their rewards programs are less generous than those of big banks," the Journalsaid. "There are more than 8,000 credit unions in the U.S., and they tend to have pretty expansive definitions of who can join. The criterion for joining some credit unions is as simple as your ZIP Code," the article said. "Navy Federal, the nation's largest retail credit union, offers rates as low as 7.9% on a basic platinum Visa card for three million members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and their families," said the Journal. "That compares with an interest rate as low as 11.99% on a Citibank Platinum Select MasterCard, touted as one of the cheapest rates around by Lowcards.com, a card-comparison website," the newspaper said. The average rate at the end of last year was roughly 14%, according to the Federal Reserve," the Journal reported. To view the article, use the resource link.