The sweeping changes in the city’s parking meter system have proved a mixed bag for Melody Fillier.

The new option of paying by credit card is a plus — no more bags of quarters to cart around. Having to walk back to the car and put the receipt on the dash? Not so much.

Another minus for Fillier and thousands of other street parkers comes Monday, when rates will increase once again, hitting $4.25 an hour in the Loop.

“I think it’s really expensive,” said Fillier, a pharmaceutical salesperson who uses the meters in Chicago almost every day and was parking today along the 900 block of West Armitage Avenue. “It just blows me away.”

The new year increases will be a way of life through at least 2013 as part of Mayor Richard Daley’s unpopular deal to lease the meters to a private company for an upfront cash windfall. The 2010 rates will see drivers paying anywhere from a quarter more an hour to park in city neighborhoods to 75 cents more in the Loop.