GE Capital Corp. is taking a very public thumping for its decision to slap a $25 annual fee on credit card customers who regularly pay off their balances. But consumer backlash notwithstanding, other card issuers are likely to follow suit.

The move, jeered in the media as anti-consumer, was cheered in financial circles as a savvy way to extract some income from "convenience users" - the roughly 20% of cardholders who pay off their bills every month.

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