10 Common Sneaky Fees Credit Card Companies Charge

According to Consumer Reports, Americans shell out $31 billion in credit card fees every year. Most consumers don’t even know these fees exist until they show up on a statement. Don’t get sucker punched; read on for an introduction to the world of sneaky fees.

621161_the_money_trap_21. Late fees: Most credit card companies impose penalties when you?re late in paying your bills. The nasty surprise here is that there?s not just a due date, but also a due time. If you?re late by even a minute, you may have to pay between $15 and $39.

2. Increased interest rates: Have you been taken by surprise by a sudden rise in your interest rates? Even if you’ve been a good customer with most of your cards, a late payment on any one of them could raise your interest rates on the rest.

3. Fees for not using your card: Maybe you want to put your cards on ice for a while. It’s a good thing, but beware of the fees your issuer may charge for not using your card. It’s true; you can be fined for not charging anything to your card during a specified period of time.

4. Transfer charges: If you?re thinking of switching over to an interest-free or low interest card because you?re having trouble with your payments, find out if there are handling fees. Some banks charge up to 3% of the transfer amount.

5. Cash advance fees: With cash advances, it’s not just the interest rates that are high; the transaction fees are, too. You’ll pay fees to your credit card company as well as the bank that owns the ATM you use.

6. Overseas fees: Are you packing your credit card as you travel abroad? Be prepared to pay 3% more for any purchase made during your trip. Two percent of the foreign transaction fee goes to your credit card issuer and one percent to either Visa or MasterCard.

7. Convenience check fees: If you use these checks, you?re not only hit with a 3% fee, but you’ll also have to cough up $31 if the check is returned and $26 if you stop payment on it. Convenient, indeed.

8. No-balance fees: Some credit card companies charge you a fee for not maintaining a balance.

9. Low-interest fees: Did you think you got lucky with a low-interest credit card? Check your annual fees. Some credit card companies offer cards with low interest, but high annual fees.

10. Miscellaneous fees: It’s the little things that kill. Watch out for replacement/multiple card charges, phone pay charges, statement copy charges and charges for points and rewards.

What’s the moral of the story? Read the fine print. If your credit card has any of these fees in the contract, consider getting a different card. That is, of course, if they won’t charge you a fee for doing so.

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