Consumer Payment Card News

Fee Party

The credit card fee frenzy appears to be finally fizzling out. All but one of the top ten issuers have capped late fees and over-limit fees at the $29 level. Fleet is the only exception, pushing late fees to $35 for most of its cardholders. However there are some variations, as Capital One does not assess an over-limit fee for its Platinum cardholders. For consumers, the bottom line is to avoid getting caught in the late fee trap. Best advice is to make two payments each month. Send in the minimum payment due as soon as you receive the bill and a second payment before the next billing cycle closes. When it comes to over-limit situations, the best advice is to stay on top of your card activity. Get a credit card from an issuer that offers online access to your account data, and, avoid maxing out your card. Keep balances at no more than 75% of the credit line. You’ll not only avoid penalties for going over the credit limit, you will also boost your credit score.

                                       HIGHEST
ISSUER               LATE FEE     OVER-LIMIT  FEE
1. Citibank                $29            $29
2. MBNA                  $29            $29
3. First USA              $29            $29
4. Discover               $29            $29
5. Chase                  $29            $29
6. Providian             $29            $29
7. Bank of America        $29            $29
8. Capital One           $29            $29
9. Household             $29            $29
10.Fleet                  $35            $29

Source: CardTrak

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