Sneaky Credit Card Fees

Sneaky Credit Card Fees

You should already know that credit card companies use fees and interest rates to make money. In fact, there has already been a lot of press about how many companies set minimum payments that are too low for individuals to ever pay off their debts. Consumers should know to watch out for that trick, but there are other sneaky fees to look for before applying for a credit card. Learning about them will help you avoid additional fees and higher interest rates.

Sneaky Late Payment Fees

Avoiding late payment fees isn't always as easy as you might think. Many credit card companies include fine print in their agreements stipulating that payments must be received by a certain time on the due date. If they require payment by 2pm on the due date, then they can charge you late fees even when their offices know good and well that the mail doesn't come until 4 o'clock.

Many online payment options are also set up to dupe customers into paying fees. Credit card companies should have the ability to process online payments quickly (after all, just about every other company in the world can do it), but some of them take more than a day to post payments made online. Most customers who realize that they forgot to send in their payments will log on to their online accounts to find that they have to pay additional fees to post their payments on the same day. So the option becomes pay the late fee or the processing fee. Hardly a fair choice.

Sneaky Over the Limit Fees

You would also think that over the limit fees are easy to avoid. Again, though, many credit card companies have found sneaky ways to trick their customers into paying these fees. One of the most common ways that customers get duped by sneaky over the limit fees occurs when the credit card company suddenly decides to lower their credit limit.

If you owe $1,500 on a credit card that has a maximum credit amount of $3,000, then you might feel that you are perfectly safe. There's no way that you're going to accidently go over the limit, right? Don't be so sure. Credit card companies can lower your account's maximum at any time. This puts you in danger of exceeding the limit.

One of the most angering things is when the credit card company lowers the maximum to a level that you will exceed when interest is applied to your current balance. They've set you up to max out and pay over the limit fees even if you make your minimum payment.

Adding Fees after the Introduction

Many credit card companies snag new customers by promising unbelievably good introductory rates. Be sure to read the fine print, though. Many of those awesome credit cards become expensive after using them for a few months. Plus, the credit card companies can continue to alter your rates and limits after the introductory period. Many customers have unwittingly applied for high-interest, variable rate credit cards with tons of fees because they believed their introductory offers would last forever.