They granted her a card with a $300 limit -- typical for new customers -- and a starting rate of 29.9%, which Riss said she considered decent given her credit score. But about six months after opening the card -- at the end of 2009 -- she received an unwelcome surprise in the mail. "I about had a heart attack when I got a disclosure notice saying that my starting rate of 29.9% was going up to 79.9%," said Riss. "It was ludicrous. Talk about a highway robbery."