Did you read all the terms and conditions when you opened that credit card? Maybe you missed some of the fine print in those three pages of information. These days, companies find all kinds of ways to charge fees. You may not even notice these fees until you take a hard look at your statement. Avoiding such fees will really save you money. How do you avoid hidden late fees?
Read the fine print
Before applying for a credit card, don’t skip through the terms and conditions. Read them thoroughly and if you don’t agree with something or you don’t understand something, then don’t apply for the card. Once you apply to the credit card, watch for any changes to the terms. After using a credit card for two years, I noticed that I was being charged an annual fee broken down monthly. I was being charged an extra $5 a month. A small charge that was easy to look over. I knew this was something that I didn’t sign up for. When I contacted the company, they informed me that they had sent out a letter (which I never received) and I could’ve opted out of the fee within in a given time. Of course, by the time I had contacted them, that time had expired. When I looked in the fine print, it did state that the terms and conditions could change without giving a notice. This is something that you want to look for when applying for a credit card. Credit card companies are sneaky and will slip things in when they thing you’re not paying attention.
Always pay your bill on time
If you pay your bill late by one day, you could be charged a late fee up to $39. Set up automatic payments to avoid this. Most companies will refund a late fee if it’s your first time or two being late. If you accidentally forget one month, you can contact customer service about removing the late fee. You must avoid being late at all possible because credit card companies charge a penalty annual percentage rate up to 29.99% for people who are frequently late. This can happen the first time you’re late especially if you have a special offer like 0% for 12 months.
Stay away from miscellaneous fees
You’ll be surprised what you can receive fees for. Some credit card companies charge a fee for using the card outside of the country. You can be charged for requesting an extra card if you lose yours or even for an extra copy of a statement. Credit card companies charge for everything they possibly can. Some credit card companies even charge a fee for not using your card. If your credit card company does any of these, you should switch to a different credit card to avoid these ridiculous fees.
Don’t get a deferred interest credit card
You may be tempted to buy an appliance when the salesman offers you no interest and no payments for 36 months. You think, “Surely, I’ll pay the card off by then.” More often than not, this is not the case with store credit cards. You either forget about the account or you start charging other items on your card. Even if you’re paying on it, the money doesn’t go to that particular item if you have more than one purchase on the card.
You can call in and request to have what you’re paying to go to that particular item but the customer service representative could make a mistake that cannot be corrected. This is what they don’t tell you in the store. If the account isn’t paid off in 36 months, all that back interest you would have been charged is applied to your credit card. Imagine looking at your statement one month and seeing an addition charge of $3,000.