Credit card issuers try hard to be consumer-friendly, pointing to their low interest rates, rebate programs, higher credit lines and lower monthly payments. But Ruth Susswein doesn't buy it.

Amid what she views as confusing advertising and debt traps, Ms. Susswein says consumer-friendliness is really the mantle of her association, Bankcard Holders of America, the self-styled voice of consumers on credit card issues.

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