Credit Card Fee Blues

By Amy Lin. Last updated 10 June 2007. 1 comment

credit card bills

I am very good with my bills. I manage 3 bank accounts, 5 active credit cards (not including any specific store cards), cell phone, regular phone, DSL, dish network, medical, netflix, and student loan payments every month. I'm never late and I'm never overdrawn. Until this month. I don't know what happened, but I was late. I checked online today and saw that I had TWO late fees charged to the two credit cards I was late on (2 days!). At a whopping $39.00 EACH I almost had a heart attack. But after a bit of cursing and stomping around the house for a minute, I decided I would try to get the fees waived. Two phone calls later I had $80 back in my pocket! Whew.

The deal with credit cards is that they have soooo much leeway with their fees, interest rates, and offers. It's like a car dealership. If you ask the right questions, get the right csr, and at the right time, you can get anything. I once got offered a 1.99% LIFE interest rate on a balance transfer (I'm still paying it off). You can get any interest rate lowered just by asking.

What really concerns me though is hearing about these cards now that don't even give grace periods anymore (a certain amount of time before they start charging interest on purchases). I pay off my cards every month. I will be a very unhappy camper if I start seeing finance charges on my bills.

Not all credit cards are created equal and there are plenty of credit companies in the sea...



Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Fitch Hurst's picture

Last time I did that, it was the same thing— I forgot two cards! And when I called, they waived the fees. Some cards don't let you earn a single point or penny on cash back/points for the month if you're late, too. Not sure if that gets refunded when the fees are waived. I did ask them if there was a way to start an autopay and there was, for both. Unfortunately it was a form they sent me and I had to mail it back with my own stamp! That killed it for me. I was already hesitant and then I was doubting myself: what if I get lazy and stop checking to see if there's enough cash in my account each month? And where do I find a stamp at this hour? The credit card company wants to make it difficult to set up autopay— you know that you could set that up online in 2 seconds if they wanted to let you, but then they’d never get to collect their fees!