A bill restricting credit card practices and sudden hikes in interest rates and late fees that have left millions of consumers swamped in debt was passed by the House on Thursday.
A bipartisan vote of 357-70 passed the legislation following lobbying by President Barack Obama and members of his administration.
The bill will prohibit so-called double-cycle billing, retroactive rate hikes and bar companies from issuing anyone under 18 with a credit card.
If the new measures become law, they won't take effect for a year, except for a requirement that customers get 45 days' notice before their interest rates are increased. That would take effect in 90 days.
In the past consumer advocates and some Democrats have unsuccessfully sought to bring new rules to the industry.
A big vote in the House will create an even bigger momentum as it goes to the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters.