Things are always changing in the credit card industry. One of the latest and most widespread trends in the business is the increase of fees and the addition of newly created fees. And let's face it, credit cards are in the business to make profit - just like any business. They've found that people want lower interest rates and more rewards with their credit cards and one of the ways they can deliver those advantages to their customers is by making up the profit in other areas, such as fees.
But that doesn't mean that you as a credit card holder must take getting nickel and dimed to death for granted. Here are the 7 things you need to know on how to avoid credit card fees…
1. Mail That Check Early - Credit card companies seem to be sending out account statements later than ever before and requiring payments earlier at the same time. This causes late payments and therefore increased fees and extra charges too. If you pay by mail, send that check right away to avoid any problems!
2. Pay Online Every Time - An even better solution than mailing the check early is to pay your bill online. This helps to assure that your payment doesn't get lost, delayed, or anything else that can happen to a check in the mail. Usually, paying online a few days before the due date is your very safest bet.
3. Keep a Schedule and Set Reminders - Life is hectic these days and staying on top of every last bill can be quite a daunting challenge. Don't let them get the best of you. By putting together an organizational reminder system to pay each of your bills on schedule, you'll be removing a stressor from your life and avoiding late fees at the same time.
4. Read the Fine Print - The use of annual fees by credit card companies is becoming really popular again. You'll see this trend especially with rewards cards or other credit cards that give you significant incentives for signing up. Be sure the rewards you're receiving will be worth the annual fee charged to your account.
5. Don't Make Cash Advances - Fees for taking a cash or ATM advance from your credit card can be really pricey. In fact, a 3% fee is not unusual at all. Any convenience usually comes with a price and this situation is no different.
6. Beware of Balances Transfers - Charging a large set fee or charging a percentage of the balance to be transferred is common practice with balance transfer offers nowadays. Again, the advantage of transferring a large balance to a low or zero interest card usually far outweighs the fee charged, but sometimes the fee can be avoidable.
7. Keep Copies of Your Statement - Hopefully you'll never need to go back and retrieve old credit card statements for any reason. But if the situation does arise and you don't have the past statements tucked away on file somewhere, credit card companies will gladly produce a copy for you - for a fee of course!
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