Home » Finance » Credit

Credit Card Charges To Watch For That You Might Not Be Expecting

Mar 21, 2008
In April 2006, the OFT made a case against banks and credit card companies and the unacceptably high penalty charges they were inflicting on their customers. As a result, these companies have had to reduce the sums (previously as high as 20 per penalty charge) they had been charging their customers for late bill payments etc, to a maximum price of 12. In order to make their money back, however, the banks now add very high interest rates on default charges, meaning that the 12 charge is more like 14 once the interest is added.

Customers should always be aware of the typical credit card charges to watch for such as: late paying of bills, going over your credit limit and being unable to pay your credit card bill. Your credit card issuer won't be in any hurry to inform you about the charges, but will include them on your monthly statement, in the 'new transaction' section, so you must read each statement thoroughly, and without delay, in order to be able to contact your card issuer straight away and prevent further increases to the fine.

Some companies are less strict than others about charging for misdemeanours. For example, if your payment takes a day or two to reach them (say there is a national holiday or a weekend which delays your funds being cleared from your bank account), they might let the charges go if you contact them soon enough.

Other credit card charges to watch for are bank charges for sending you duplicate statements - you may be questioning previous fines or interest charges for example and need to refer to previous statements, which have been lost or thrown away. They are allowed to charge you a minimal amount for repeat statements, but these should not be large sums; you can consult a consumer website such as Which.net for a fair price. It is also possible to ask your bank or credit card company to send you a comprehensive list of all their charging rates. By law, they must comply with this request within 40 days. Finally, if you have been fined in the past, it is a good idea to check how much interest you were charged on top of the fine - it may be that you paid over the odds, in which case you can make a claim against your card issuer.

A recent trend occurring in the credit card industry is offering a 0% deal on balance transfers, which sounds great on paper, but did you know that they often charge a balance transfer fee, which is not obvious in their literature or advertisements. Currently, many credit card companies will offer up to 13 months of 0% interest on balance transfers, sometimes longer, but only three months of 0% on any new purchases you make during that time, which means that if you transfer your balance and spend on your card as well, the high rates of interest charged on the new purchases, once the first three months are over, negates any interest charges you may have saved on the transferred balance. I can make sense to keep two credit cards to reduce these charges, one for balance transfers and one for buying new items.

Finally, another credit card charge to watch for is the 'hidden fee', which banks and credit card companies are now introducing. In the past, it was standard practise for banks to charge a fee on 'premium' accounts, whereby customers paid a fee in order to secure another service, such as paying less insurance. However now the industry has started to charge customers for not using their cards; which means previously sensible credit card owners, who kept their cards in their wallets only for use in an emergency, are now expected to pay a charge for that privilege. It is therefore paramount that customers are vigilant about checking the small print before switching credit cards.
About the Author
Pamela Lucas, a freelance writer keen to help people make informed credit decisions - suggests it is paramount that before you apply for, or renew your credit card you read carefully the credit card charges in the small print.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 656
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources