Banks Don’t Want You To Know These Ways To Avoid Credit Card Fees
If you’ve ever been slapped with a credit card fee, you know it’s no fun at all. You can incur a fee for making a late payment, getting money out of an ATM, buying something with your card overseas, accidentally going over your credit limit, or ordering an extra card so a partner can use your account.
But you don’t have to pay these fees ever again, if you know the secret to avoiding them. That’s good news for all of us who don’t have the extra money to pay $35 or so in fees – the average amount you pay when making a late payment or going over the limit – when we accidentally slip up.
Here’s how to avoid those sneaky credit card fees and keep your money where it belongs: in your bank account.
• Get a card that doesn’t charge fees. There are actually many credit cards that no longer charge late fees or over the limit fees anymore. At least, they don’t charge them the first time you’re late or go over the limit. They might charge a fee for the second or their time, but try to find one that has a forgiving policy and you’ll have a better chance of not paying these fees.
• Say goodbye to foreign transaction fees. If you travel out of the country a fair bit, you’ll want to apply for a credit card that doesn’t charge transaction fees at all. Luckily, there are plenty of them and they are easy to find. This fee, which is usually about 2-3% of your transaction amount, is a totally unnecessary fee to ever pay.
• Set up automatic payments and balance alerts. This is an easy way to avoid making late payments or going over your credit limit. Your minimum amount due will be taken out on the date you request each month; either the due date, or a day before that if you wish. And you can get a text alert to your phone when you are approaching the credit limit on your card, so you know to either pay it down or put it away for a while.
• Call and ask for a fee waiver. When all else fails, many credit card issuers will waive a fee if you simply call and ask them. If you’re a good customer, they are usually eager to keep you happy. There’s never any harm in asking, anyway.
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Generally, we can accept that paying fees is something most people don’t want to do. Bank fees, penalty fees, usage fees, processing fees—there are too many fees that crop up from day to day.
Can you perform magic? When your credit card statement reveals that you’ve been charged a fee, you might wish you could.
When you apply for a new credit card, chances are you don’t pay much attention to all those long legal disclaimers. The terms and conditions, the fine print, the nitty-gritty—whatever you call it, it’s boring.
Late fees. Balance transfer fees. Inactivity fees. Swipe fees. Overlimit fees. Transaction fees.
No one likes paying credit card fees, but some are more painful than others.
If you’ve ever been hit with a credit card fee, you know the frustration that can result. Often, you know you could have avoided the fee.