Consumer Payment Card News

Fee Fever

Credit card issuers are turning up the heat again on cardholders with hikes in late payment fees, expedited payment fees, and balance transfer fees. MBNA, the nation’s second largest issuer and market leader in high cardholder fees, has raised its late payment fee to $49 on some accounts. As of January 1st, MBNA raised its maximum late payment fee from $39 to $49 on customers in its “GoldOption” program. The “GoldOption” program is a separate line of credit offered to MBNA credit cardholders, and to some non-MBNA customers. It was marketed last year under the “Vanishing Debt Program.” Customers with past due “GoldOption” balances below $100 will be assessed a $15 fee, and those with past due balances between $101 and $1,000 will be assessed a $39 fee. However, those with balances over $1,000, the vast majority of “GoldOption” customers, will be hit with an unprecedented $49 late fee. In June, MBNA raised its late payment fee and over-limit fee from $35 to $39, for all customers. Meanwhile, Chase is upping the ante on its cardholders in regard to expedited payment fees and balance transfer fees. Effective March 1, Chase is raising its expedited payment fee from $12.00 to $14.95. This is a fee charged for making a payment over the phone on your Chase credit card account. Chase is also raising its maximum balance transfer fee from $50 to $70. Chase usually charges a 3% balance transfer fee. However, some Chase offers may waive the fee.

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