WESTPORT - New regulations on credit cards that make it much harder for banks to change the terms of cards went into effect on Monday.

Jim Randal, of Westport, author of "The Skinny on Credit Cards" says there are four main things consumers need to be aware of about the new rules.

First, credit card companies cannot raise interest rates in the first year unless you are in default.

Second, it is now harder for companies to raise rates and apply them to an existing balance.

Third, it's now harder for credit card companies to set arbitrary fees.

Fourth, you should have at least 21 days to make a payment from the time a statement is mailed to you.