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Niche Topics (Money and Lifestyle) is about helping you manage your finances so that you live comfortably within your means. We share frugal living ideas such as save money around the house, cheap to make recipes, budget-friendly solutions for everyday living, recycling crafts, helpful hints to buy things without getting burned, and many more!

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4 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fees and Charges

 

By Robert Banks

We love credit cards and use them for almost every purchase but how do we avoid some of the high charges often associated with credit cards? Read on to find out some easy ways to protect yourself from hidden fees and costs, and thus improving your credit score.

Some people rush into getting a credit card without being aware of all of the costs. A lot of credit cards out there come with hidden fees and charges, and you should always pay special attention to them before you apply.

In many cases, these fees and charges don't even get noticed until it's too late. You could easily end up paying possibly thousands of dollars at the end of the year without even realizing it.

 

1. One hidden fees is found in the grace period. The grace period refers to the extra time you've to pay your credit card bill from the time you receive until the actual due date.

For that period of time, usually around three weeks, you aren't charged any interest or fees on your latest purchase. Although that sounds like a great deal to good to be missed, it can quickly lead to a pitfall if you aren't careful.

To avoid hidden costs or fees of any kind, you should pay your bill as soon as it arrives and you'll have nothing to worry – grace period or the interest that can accrue from letting your credit card bill get later and later.

 

2. When you're late in your payment, credit card companies typically impose a late fee of $15 to $39 for each occurrence. This is added to the balance which they can charge interest on.

Even your payment is just a day late, your low interest rate may get hiked up to as much as 30 percent or more.

And the bad news is, it can be raised on not just the card you made late payment on but also all other cards or revolving accounts that you have. This can lower your credit score which results in a higher interest rate on future loans. Hence, your best strategy is to be organized with your finances and pay beforehand, or call the credit card company and arrange a deadline that's right for you such as your payday.

 

3. Almost all credit cards have hidden costs when making purchases in other currencies. Before you use your card overseas, make sure you factor these additional charges.

 

4. Read all of the fine print on your credit card agreement. It often gives the card issuer the right to change its interest rates and its fees for any reason. The credit card company often needs to give you only 15 days’ notice before bumping up your interest rate or raising its fees.

 

In a word, the best way to avoid any hidden fees or costs is to pay your credit card bill on time. You should also always pay more than the minimum amount as this helps to pay your bill off faster and ensure that you are actually paying on the principal and not just the interest.

 

 

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ways to avoid credit card fees charges