Credit card fees are the price of doing business, and it’s not hard to see why.
For starters, most credit cards require you to pay an upfront fee.
If you’re a first-time consumer and have no previous experience with credit cards, the upfront fee can be a big financial burden.
But a recent survey of more than 1,200 Americans found that most consumers are not overly concerned about the fee structure, and that some feel that the fees are reasonable.
The survey also found that the majority of consumers have no financial worries about the fees.
“Credit card fees do not come with a lot of added complexity,” said Elizabeth Pazner, senior research associate at Credit.com, in a statement.
“It’s easy to understand the fees and the fees don’t make sense.
And, in most cases, consumers are satisfied with the balance on their credit cards.”
Here are five tips for avoiding the fees that you might have expected.
Understand your credit limit, credit score and credit history.
Credit cards may offer a number of benefits to consumers, but the most important aspect of the cards is the credit score.
Credit scores provide information about your personal and business creditworthiness, as well as your likelihood of defaulting on debts.
A low credit score can lead to higher rates on future credit cards and credit cards offers, especially if you have trouble paying down a debt.
But the more credit you have, the more likely you are to default on your credit.
“The more credit cards you have and the higher your credit score, the better off you will be,” said Robert B. Kallman, director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America.
The Federal Reserve has recently set a target of reducing the credit card debt load of Americans by 20% by 2020.
Read the fine print.
Most credit card offers require you pay a fee upfront, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s a good deal.
While most credit card providers require a minimum monthly fee of $75, you can choose to pay no fee upfront or pay a reduced fee at the end of the first billing cycle.
Some offers require a fee if you cancel the card within six months.
Paying a reduced monthly fee can help you save money when you use your card in the future, especially when you have debt on the balance.
“You can choose a lower monthly fee when you are able to make the payments needed to cover your balance or when you will not be able to pay that balance at the beginning of the next billing cycle,” said Pazners.
Check your terms.
Most issuers provide you with an option to check the terms of your credit cards before you sign up.
But be aware that these terms may not be the same as the terms you will have when you get your card.
If your issuer requires you to set up a payment plan, it can be confusing to you because it may include additional terms and conditions that you will never see on the credit cards’ websites.
Consider other forms of payment.
If there are other payment options that may be available to you, like checks or debit cards, you might be able with a smaller upfront fee than you might initially think.
If a card offers rewards, you may want to look at the terms and features to see if there are rewards offered.
“As the terms change, there are ways to keep your costs down, including checking whether your rewards are available to people who don’t have a credit history,” said Kallmann.
Use a card with more than one issuer.
Many credit cards have multiple issuers, which means there are many ways to earn rewards on your account.
“For example, you could earn rewards by signing up for credit cards that have a bonus offer, or by signing-up for cards that offer a bonus when you spend $50 or more on purchases,” said CFPB Assistant Director of Credit Research, Jennifer Schuster.
If the card offers multiple issuer benefits, like the ability to add more than five cards to your account, you’ll be better able to balance your needs with the card’s terms.
Consider the fees associated with each card.
The fees associated to each card may be similar, and some may be more costly than others.
You may be able pay a lower fee when the balance is higher than the minimum, or when the fees you’re charged exceed the total amount you are paying.
Some card issuers may have higher fees when the card is not offered through a third party.
Credit card offers may also include extra charges that are not part of the fees, such as fees for credit monitoring and overdraft protection.
“Consumers may be concerned about their financial well-being when they sign up for a card and are not offered additional financial benefits,” said Schuster, in the statement.
Creditcards are a common way to access credit, and the rewards offered by the card can be lucrative. If