Credit Card Fees That You Can and Should Avoid

Written by Mike

Topics: Credit cards, Debt, Finance

With the plethora of credit card commercials on television and the unsolicited offers you receive in the mail, it can be difficult knowing if you’re getting a good deal. Don’t get duped when you choose a credit card. Read this list of credit card fees that you should never pay and read the fine print on your offers carefully!

Overlimit Fees

Overlimit fees can add up quickly. Avoid these fees by keeping track of your credit card budget as carefully as you do your bank account. This is particularly important if you are one of the many people that make the minimum payment on your balance each month. If you rack up overlimit fees you’ll never pay down your balance.

Late Payment Fees

The easiest way to avoid late payment fees is to schedule automatic payments each month. You can do this through many credit card company’s web sites or through your own online banking site. By setting up automatic payments you will ensure that your payments are posted before the due date.

Annual Fees

Many credit cards, especially those that cater to people with a low credit score, charge yearly fees simply for the privilege of carrying that card. If a credit card offer comes with a yearly fee, skip it. You can very easily find a card that doesn’t charge you this fee.

Balance Transfer Fee

It’s tempting to transfer your balances on high interest cards to one with low interest. Stop and think before you do this! Many cards will charge 5% on your balance to transfer it over and you just may end up paying more money in the long run for that ‘free’ balance transfer.

Rewards Card Fees

Rewards cards can be a great way to earn cash back or even airline miles, however many of these cards charge an annual fee that far outweighs the benefits of the rewards it offers. Again, read the fine print. If you aren’t going to use the card enough to earn more in rewards than you will be paying in yearly fees, get a different card.

Cash Advance Fees

Cash advances are handy but they should only be used in cases of extreme emergency. Interest rates on cash advances are often 5 to 10% higher than on normal purchases with the same card. Think about securing a credit card through your credit union or bank; their fees on cash advances are often much more reasonable.

Credit cards are handy to have if they aren’t abused. Many of the fees associated with credit cards can be avoided with just a bit of research and common sense. If you’re shopping for your first credit card or a card with a lower interest rate than the one you currently have, be sure to know what you’re signing and make sure that you can afford any and all fees involved with the card.

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