Avoiding UK Credit Card Fees – Some Tips
Credit cards are infamous for burdening innocent users with high interest rates and fees. The story gets worse when there turns out to be hidden charges, or those mentioned in fine prints which may not be well read and assimilated by the user. All a credit card customer is looking for is some relief from the charges incurred so that they can actually enjoy the benefits of having instant money. The analysis below provides you with some useful steps you can take to at least minimize the fees, if not evade them completely.
This is the most burdensome of all the fees types and encompasses all the credit cards following the universal default clause. Under this, if you fail to pay even a single payment due on any of your credit cards, you are charged with high default interest rates, as much as 30% in some cases, on all your credit balances outstanding on each of the credit cards you have. This is something that can afflict your finances to the core. Therefore, prior to subscribing for a credit card or even for your current card, confirm from the issuing bank if universal default fees apply to your credit card. In case they do, then it’s prudent not to subscribe to this card and if you already have, settle it as fast as possible and pick the one not participating in this clause, while offering you your desired benefits.
If you are a first timer with credit cards or it’s your first late payment, you can always request a "waive off" from the issuing bank which is usually executed. At your end also, make payments on time for a good credit history and to avoid the recurrence of late fees as you cannot have them reversed every time.
Over limit fees
Similar to late fees, you may request the issuing bank to zero your over limit fees if it is the first time you have exceeded your credit limit. You generally get exemption here as well. At your end, you should strive to stay within your credit limits to avoid over limit fees.
You can have your annual fees reversed practically each time you request if you are a valued customer of your credit card issuer. If you do not get a concession here, you may opt for another card with similar benefits and no annual fees. No annual fee cards can be found here. The credit card company however, usually forgoes the fees to keep its existing customers happy. Acquiring a new customer in the very competitive UK market is so expensive that the credit card issuers cannot afford to have their current users drift away.
When you withdraw cash against your credit card from an ATM, usually you are charged with a withdrawal fee and the worst part is you do not know about it. Therefore, you may call up your bank to get a list of ATMs allowing you cash for free.
You might decide to use your credit card whilst you travel to different countries but this may be a trap. International credit card transactions are the most expensive ones among all the credit card charges. Therefore, do not use your credit card when traveling out of UK until there is an emergency.
Some credit card issuing banks determine charges on a customer’s average daily credit card balance. The interest is charged on the entire credit card balance even if the customer has already paid it off. This subjects the customer to double billing. Therefore, prior to subscribing for a credit card or for your existing card, do confirm that the card issuer has a monthly billing cycle. Change to a card with similar benefits as your current card but with a monthly billing cycle, in case your existing credit card is double billed.
Last edited by brian; 08-18-2007 at 07:10 PM.