Heading off credit-card shenanigans

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Millions of credit-card holders will get one-time cash refunds by March 2013 after Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) cracked down in 2012 on deceptive practices by American Express, Capital One and Discover.

CFPB says those practices included misleading telemarketing for credit-card protection and ID-theft plans, and promises of bonus cash—never paid—for signing up for cards. Unsurprisingly, none of the trio admitted wrongdoing.

The bureau says that credit-protection services that are offered by credit-card issuers promote the add-on insurance as a way to cover bills when a cardholder has lost his/her job. However, in some cases, consumers who were jobless when they bought the service weren’t told that they wouldn’t be covered.

Cardholders don’t have to do anything to claim refunds. If you believe that you’re owed a refund and you didn’t get one, you should contact the credit-card issuer or complain to CFPB at consumerfinance.gov.