WASHINGTON (6/24/09)--Though many traditional banks have chafed at recent changes to credit card regulations, saying that they are too restrictive and would ultimately hurt consumers, a New York Times op-ed said that these fears are “largely unfounded,” as credit unions have long been able to turn a profit under these same conditions without charging high fees and/or penalties to their members. In the op-ed, published on Tuesday, the writers said that recent studies found that credit union credit cards generally offered “lower annual fees and longer grace periods” than cards from traditional banks. “Credit union fees for exceeding the credit limit are on average just half those of other issuers,” the op-ed added. Additionally, the study found that very few credit unions raise interest rates if a credit union member fails to pay their credit card payment on time. Kiplinger.com also praised credit union cards in a recently published feature, recommending that customers that are looking for a “hardworking portfolio of credit cards” look to credit unions and community banks for their consumer loans. The op-ed also sought to dispel the belief that the corporate income tax exemption for federal credit unions gave them a substantial edge when competing with bank-managed credit accounts, saying that credit union lending practices meant that they would still “make profits” if they were taxed, “they would just retain less of them.” Overall, according to the op-ed, the consumer loan model that is used by credit unions is “absolutely” feasible for traditional banks, and “credit union cards are a great test case for how regular cards will perform under the new law.” Additionally, the evidence collected shows that “the credit card act is likely to bring about moderate, and even positive, changes” in credit card policies.