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Know your fees: 5 basic credit card fees and how to avoid them

Extra credit charges may be ‘extra’ but they can make a permanent dent in your finances if you don’t keep them under control.


Know your fees: 5 basic credit card fees and how to avoid them

Have you ever received a credit card bill and noticed some extra charges you weren’t expecting? Those are credit card fees, and understanding them is crucial, especially if you’re a newb in the credit game or have been recently mismanaging your credit usage.


Dahil ‘pag pinabayaan mo ito, they can quickly add up and may take a toll on your finances if not managed carefully.


So let’s delve deeper into what credit card fees are:


Credit card fees are additional charges imposed by credit card companies for various reasons. They come in many forms, each with its own implications for your finances.


They include annual fees for simply having the card, late payment fees for missing your payment due date, over-limit fees for purchases that exceeded your credit card’s predetermined credit limit, and many more.


Here are the different kinds of credit card fees and how they can impact your wallet:


  • Annual fees. It’s like a membership fee for having the card. Yes, some credit cards charge you just for the privilege of keeping them in your wallet. Sneaky, right? These fees can range from a few hundreds to thousands of Pesos, depending on the card. But not all cards have them. Look for ones without annual fees, or ones where the perks outweigh the cost.

  • Late payment fees. Missed the due date on your credit card bill? Cue the late payment fee — it’s like a slap on the wrist for not paying on time. Be careful ‘cause these fees can add up fast and can even dent your credit score. So, set those payment reminders or enroll in automatic payments to dodge this fee like a pro.

  • Over-limit fees. Going a little too wild with your credit card and exceeding your limit is a big no-no. Over-limit fees kick in when you spend more than your credit limit allows. They can be a real buzzkill, so keep an eye on your spending and stay within your limits to avoid this unnecessary charge.

  • Foreign transaction fees. Every time you swipe your card in another country or make a purchase in a foreign currency, you could get hit with this fee. It’s like a little tax for being a jetsetter. Look for credit cards that waive these fees if you’re planning to travel abroad.

  • Cash advance fees. Think twice before using your credit card for a cash advance. While it might seem convenient, cash advance fees can be steep. Not only will you get a charged a percentage of the amount you withdraw, but you’ll also start accruing interest right away — and that rate is usually higher than your regular purchases. So, unless it’s an emergency, steer clear of cash advances to avoid this costly fee.


Keeping your credit card fees under control


Now that we understand the impact of credit card fees, here are a few tried and tested strategies to minimize them:


  1. Pay your credit card bill on time. Always aim to make your timely payments to avoid late payment fees. Set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure you never miss a due date.

  2. Stay within your limits. Keep an eye on your credit card limits like a hawk. Be mindful of your credit card limits and avoid exceeding them to steer clear of over-limit fees. Monitoring your spending and keeping track of your available credit can help you stay within your means.

  3. Choose wisely. Not all cards are created equal. Pick wisely and look for cards with no annual fees or at least with low-interest rates. That way, you can save some cash in the long run.

  4. Read the fine print. Before you sign up for a new card, give those terms and conditions a once-over. Look out for any hidden fees or charges that could sneak up on you later.

So there you have it — the lowdown on credit card fees and how to dodge them before they disrupt your finances for the worse. Seriously, it IS a big deal! Knowing the ins and outs of these fees and how they can sneak up on you is crucial for keeping your money game strong.


But here’s the good news: as long as you’re armed with this knowledge, you can take charge of your finances. Stay informed and find ways to minimize these fees so you never have to squeeze your wallet empty. Remember that the next time you whip out that plastic!

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