There’s a credit card out there for nearly every type of consumer. Whether your preference is to find one with the lowest interest rate or a card that gives you great cashback rewards, then one will be available.
However, you should always watch out for fees. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most common credit card fees and what you can do to avoid them.
Before you apply for a new credit card, here are a few of the sneaky fees that you’ll want to watch out for.
Not all credit cards are free to use. Many have an annual fee, which for premium cards can be hundreds of dollars.
Do you like to travel to countries outside of the U.S.? If you do, this can result in foreign transaction fees to cover the conversion between currencies. At a possible average rate of 3 percent per transaction, these charges can rack up fast.
Even though credit cards always run zero-percent APR promos trying to encourage you to move your balance from one card to theirs, you have to be careful. Each transfer can result in a charge of possibly 3 to 5 percent. This means a balance of $10,000 could cost as much as $500!
If you’re ever late making the minimum payment, even one time, you can be charged a fee of at least $29. On top of that, your credit score can take a hit.
It’s well known that if you don’t pay your credit card balance in full, then you will be possibly charged interest for carrying a balance. However, what’s not well known is that your interest rate can change over time.
Most cards have what’s called a variable APR. This is a rate that fluctuates as the prime rate changes (i.e, a rate that banks use as the basis for certain loans and credit lines). Therefore, if you’ve had your credit card for more than a few months, there’s a good chance that your current APR may not be the one you had when you first got the card.
To sidestep these annoying fees, do some work ahead of time and compare credit cards. You can do this by going to a trusted credit card curation site where offers can be compared side by side.
Most of these sites also give users the ability to apply filters. This makes it simple to eliminate the ones with annual fees or other expenses you’d rather not deal with.
Of course, the best line of defense is to read the fine print before filling out the application. Once you’ve got your choices narrowed down, take the time to read through the credit card’s terms and conditions to understand what fees they charge.
Depending on the type of card, many of them may never apply to you. However, it’s always a good idea to be aware of them so that you can avoid them if needed.
Once you have your card, one move that will help you avoid almost every type of fee is to set up automatic payments. With your account on auto-pay, it’s nearly impossible to miss a payment or not pay on time. That will most likely save you from interest, finance charges, and late payment penalties.