New credit card regulations are having a trickle-down effect on all consumers who shop with credit cards -- even those who don't carry balances and therefore weren't the intended targets for protection from unseemly and predatory practices.
Bank of America announced Tuesday that it will begin charging annual fees ranging from $29 to $99 starting next year. The fees will be targeted at customers in good standing who don't carry a balance -- i.e. the customers who don't pay interest and fees to Bank of America.
Consumer Reports has some helpful tips on finding good deals on credit cards, but here's the principle that I think most people would benefit from following:
Do NOT look to your credit car to make you wealthier. Look for one that won't make you poorer.
Signing up for a card with absolutely no annual fee and then paying off the balance every month is the surest way to prevent your credit card from harming your financial life. There are a lot better ways to make money than rewards points, and whatever you gain from those air miles will likely be more than made up for in the extra spending that comes from paying with plastic.