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CONSUMERS BEWARE OF HIDDEN CREDIT CARD FEES

Have you ever checked your monthly credit card bill, only to notice your credit card company charges you a fee you did not expect to see? Do you want to avoid any unexpected charges or expensive penalties in the first place?

The more you learn about hidden credit card fees, the more you will be able to avoid them.

Look closely at the fine print and read everything before you apply for a credit card. When you apply for a credit card, there are many terms and conditions you have to acknowledge, and if approved, you will most likely receive a lengthy cardholder agreement. These documents outline all the fees you may be charged for simply using your credit card.

Common fees include:

Annual Fees: Be sure you know upfront what the fee will be, and if the company intends to increase the fee in the future. Beware of teaser rates, which are low at the beginning and increase after an initial period of time, often six months to a year.

Cash Advance Fees: When taking a cash advance out on your credit card, you will typically pay a fee – sometimes up to 5 percent of the balance. Know how much it will cost you before you choose this option and only seek a cash advance if you really need one.

Late fees: If you make a late payment on your credit card, expect to pay a late payment fee. If it is your first late payment, call the credit company and ask if they will remove the fee. If you pay your bills online, you should be aware that your credit card company may not receive payment on the day you pay your bill. So, if your payment is received by your credit card company after the payment date, even if you pay online before the payment date, you will probably be charged a late fee. Likewise, if you pay your credit card through the mail, beware of lengthy delivery delays, which could also cause you to be charged a late fee.

Balance Transfer Fees: Every time you transfer a balance, expect to pay between 3 and 5 percent of the transferred amount in fees. However, many credit card companies run promotions that allow you to transfer a balance without a balance transfer fee, so you may want to explore whether any deals exist at the time you need to transfer a balance. Just be careful to read and understand the interest rate you will pay after the promotional balance transfer period ends.

Returned Payment Fees: Most credit card issuers often charge fees for returned payments.

While the fees discussed above should be clearly stated in any customer agreement, you should look carefully to make sure what you are agreeing to when you apply for a credit card. If you see too many fees buried in the details, you may want to shop around for another card.

Most importantly, you should carefully review your credit card statements every month, and if you see any fees that you do not think you agreed to, you should call your credit card company and ask to have the fee explained and removed. If that does not work, consult with an attorney. Even if the hidden fees are small, you could have claims against your credit card company that can be brought as a class action.

If you already have the credit card, learn how and why fees are charged and then do what you can to avoid them.

If you believe you are being charged wrongfully, and your credit card company is not willing to help, we can. The attorneys at George Gesten McDonald, PLLC have decades of experience successfully litigating consumer protection and fraud class action claims against some of the largest and most powerful companies in the nation. For more information, contact us at https://www.4-justice.com/contact/