Statements must now be mailed at least 21 days before the due date. Credit card companies make a good profit from late fees and rate increases. To increase the amount of late payments, they began billing closer to the payment due date, sometimes forcing you to pay within a week. This allowed them to add fees and raise rates based on payment history. The new rule allows you a standard billing cycle to review your statement and remit payment.
Second, creditors must now notify you within 45 days of a rate change. This is better than the previous 15 days notice. The rule change gives you a chance to accept or decline the offer, and gives you time to shop for a new credit card company.
The rest of the Credit Card Act will go into effect next year, hopefully with more consumer protections. Remember: if you owe creditors a balance that can’t be paid in full each month, you give them power over your financial health.