Consumer Payment Card News

Fee Escalation

After a brief pause at the $35 level, late payment fees and over-limit fees have resumed their climb upward. The nation’s second largest issuer is now assessing cardholders, with balances over $1,001, a $39 late fee and a $39 over-limit fee. MBNA is also notifying cardholders this month it is raising its minimum and maximum transaction fee for credit card access checks. MBNA’s new late fee schedule, effective with the June billing cycle, calls for a $15 fee for late payments on accounts with an outstanding balance under $101, and a $29 late fee for accounts with balances between $101 and $1,000. MBNA’s new over-limit fee schedule, also effective with the June billing cycle, calls for a $15 fee for being over-limit on accounts with an outstanding balance under $501, and a $29 fee for being over-limit on accounts with balances between $501 and $1,000. MBNA’s transaction fee for credit card access checks will apply to checks posted after July 15th. The transaction fee is 3%. The minimum transaction fee will now go to $10 from $5, and the maximum transaction fee will rise from $50 to $75. One year ago, as growth and profits slowed, MBNA launched an aggressive re-pricing campaign with punitive interest rates. Since 1998, late payment fees have risen 56% on average, from $19.38 to $30.29. Over-limit fees have increased 52% since 1998, from $18.59 to $28.21.

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