Unless you’re surprised by things like the rising sun or crooked politicians, you’re probably not shocked to hear that the credit card companies are still up to their devious tricks. Almost immediately after credit card reform laws were passed to help protect consumers from their deceptive practices, credit card companies have already begun implementing new ways to screw their customers.
In the past, it was cardholders with balances who were most affected as card issuers would arbitrarily raise rates or apply payments to balances with lower rates first. Now that those issues have been addressed by the new law, the companies are charging fees for customers who don’t use their cards and increasing charges for balance transfers. Fortunately, you don’t have to be held captive by these companies. Instead, take action to avoid these charges.
Eliminate Credit Card Use
The surest way to avoid credit card fees is to stop using credit cards and cancel your accounts. Instead, use a debit card, or good old-fashioned cash. This will also force you to only make purchases you can afford. Of course, in today’s world where it’s become so convenient to use your credit cards and at least delay payment, that’s easier said than done.
Take Your Business Elsewhere
If you’re not quite ready to give up your credit cards, consider taking your business to a small bank or credit union. These institutions don’t rely on fees from credit cards to maintain their profit levels. That makes these businesses more likely to have better policies in place and treat their customers with respect.
Don’t Carry a Balance
Another way to avoid unnecessary charges is to pay off your credit card each month. If you don’t have a balance, you won’t care about fees for transferring balances to a new card. Also, if you continue to use your card responsibly, you won’t have to worry about being charged for not using your card.
No matter what laws government enacts, credit card companies will always find new ways to charge fees to their customers. However, if you act intelligently and monitor your credit card statement, you can avoid whatever charges credit card companies conjure up.