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Credit Cards - Are You Being Nickled And Dimed To Death?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Credit card fees need to be monitored.

What I mean by this, is that you have to take control of your own finances, especially with credit cards. They make their money from the interest charged, but they also collect extra fees, and it is better if you take the time to understand some of these "extra credit card fees" that your card may charge you.

I have one card, that will let you go past your limit, but for a fee. Now, this may be a good thing in a emergency, but on a regular basis this is just adding to your balance, and therefore costing you big bucks over time.

Take a look at your credit card statement, and then turn over the statement and take the time to look at their rules. Some it will sound like gobbledy goop, but you should be able to figure out their policy on interest charges, interest rates, and additional fees.

Example: When we were building our house, we were busy from morning to night, between our day jobs and supervising this house, and many of the jobs we were doing ourselves. I used my credit card for many of the purchases, as it was much easier that way. I reached my $5000.00 dollar limit, and went over by $1.99.. that was it, one dollar and ninety nine cents. But that was enough to trigger the $25.00 "over the limit fee" that my credit card company charges.

I was mad, that I had not caught this in time, as I hate paying credit card companies more than I have to. The $25.00 was now tacked on to the balance.

My sister, has a low limit card, that has a reasonable interest rate, she uses it regularly, but does not pay off the balance each month, she manages to pay more than the minimum, but that is it. She must have gone over her $500.00 limit by a few dollars, and she too got the $25.00 over the limit fee, but she doesn't look at her statements that closely, and went ahead and paid her usual payment, not realizing that $25.00 had been tacked onto the balance. Before she knew it, she had gone over the limit again.

It was only when I pointed it out to her, that she took the time to really study this statement, and that she quite regularly paid this "over the limit fee".. which adds up.

So, make sure you pay more than your minimum payment each month, to get rid of your balance, but in the meantime, watch out for those "extra credit card fees" that sneak in there. The credit card company told me, it is so that you will not be denied a purchase at the checkout, but they are going to make money off of it! So, either get your limit raised if you run into this a lot, or keep close track of your credit card charges, or pay some off if you know you will need to use it more in one month than usual.

Sometimes we just get so busy, that we don't spend the time to carefully look at our statements, especially credit cards, and if you have a few of them, or are juggling with your finances, then here is one spot that you can save some money.

Pick a good low interest no fee credit card, and transfer your higher balances to this one, then make a good effort to consistently pay more than the minimum each month, and get rid of your balance. If this is not possible right now, then at least try and avoid these extra penalties and fees.

If you forget to pay your credit card on time, now you get hit with late fees. So, between late fees, and "over the limit" fees, you will feel like you are spinning your wheels with these credit card balances.

So, get yourself informed, mark on the calendar when you need to pay by, or have it automatically paid from your account, and stay away from your limit. This way, the only fees they are getting is interest, and if that is really high, you can negotiate that or transfer to a lower interest card.

Stop paying for unnecessary fees, they get enough of your hard earned money, don't give them more than you have to!



Mar 8, 2010 4:36pm
I fully agree with your ideas that are very well presented. If we don't monitor our credit cards and spending the companies can have a run away with our money.TX thumbs up my smart friend.
Mar 9, 2010 1:28pm
Great article! I enjoy writing about the pitfalls of credit, too. The credit reformation act that is newly passed will help make consumers more away, but each person needs to REALLY read their credit card agreement.
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