Credit Card Issuers Still Seeking to Take Your Money
The government has stopped some of the worst abuses by credit card issuers however, those financial institutions are not without ways of continuing to take advantage of customers, Credit-Card Fees: the New Traps
Customers can only exceed their credit limit if they agree ahead of time to pay a penalty fee. And unless a cardholder misses payments for more than 60 days, interest-rate increases will affect only new purchases, not existing balances. Banning these and other profitable tactics is expected to cost the card industry at least $12 billion a year in lost revenue
Banks already are reaping more fees on overseas transactions. Not only are they raising foreign-exchange transaction fees—the cost customers pay for purchases made in foreign currencies—but they are expanding the definition of what qualifies as a foreign transaction.
In the past, people who made online purchases from foreign merchants, or who traveled to a country where the purchases are often in U.S. dollars such as the Bahamas, were generally immune from paying such fees. But Citi and Bank of America recently imposed their 3% foreign-transaction fees on all foreign transactions—even if that purchase is charged in U.S. dollars. Discover Financial Services also began charging a new 2% for foreign purchases last year.
And there are ways to avoid annual fees. Citigroup is alerting some customers that it is assessing a $60 annual fee on their cards. The cure for that is simple. If you spend $2,400 on the card in a 12-month period, the bank will refund the fee.
I’ll tell you a better way to avoid the abusive fees. Don’t deal with the large banks that the government bailed out. My credit union offers a credit card with no annual fee without any minimum spending requirements, and many others do as well.
Related: How to avoid getting ripped off by credit card companies – More Outrageous Credit Card Fees – Sneaky Credit Card Fees – USA Consumers Paying Down Debt –