4 Sneaky New Credit Card Fees You Need to Know About
Life in plastic? Not always fantastic.
New research shows that credit card providers are going the way of airlines and slamming customers with more fees.
In an analysis of 100 U.S. credit cards, CreditCards.com found that the average card now charges six fees -- though some tip the scales at double that number.
They include some of the usual suspects, such as late payment and cash advance fees (charged by 99 and 98 percent of credit card providers, respectively).
But others might surprise you. For instance, some providers hit credit card holders with annual fees for adding an authorized user to an account, while others are guilty of charging customers for copies of monthly statements.
The survey even found one provider that charges a $25 reopening fee to clients who have second thoughts about closing their accounts.
And as mobile payments grow increasingly popular, watch out for alternative payment method fees -- which might fine you for making a plastic-free payment.
Avoiding paying by phone will let you bypass that particular fee, but it's harder to escape others, like a one-time processing fee. In some cases, a consumer has to fork over $95 before even swiping a card for the first time.
These research findings are a reminder to use credit with caution, and there are some general best practices that can still help you minimize fees.
Setting up automatic payments or calendar reminders to pay your bill can save you from late fees, while resolving to make your cash withdrawals with a debit card frees you from worrying about cash advance charges.
And if you're in the market for a new card, shop around for products with no annual fee.