In the last couple of years there have been more stringent regulations placed on banking institutions in regards to excessive bank fees. Whilst banks credit card fee income dropped by 11% last year, there are still other fees and charges that you need to be aware of and avoid.
Here are some of the credit card fees you should not be paying.
Cash Advance Fee
Cash advance fees are often unknown. This is when you are allowed to draw cash from your credit card but should seriously never be done. Not only are the interest rates on cash advances extremely high but you will also incur a percentage fee on top depending on the amount you withdraw. In some cases this is a set fee. To avoid using cash advance fees you should take more careful notice of your checking account and making sure you have enough money to cover your weekly expenses and bills.
ATM Fees for using another bank
I have been caught before when there has been none of my banks ATM’s around and so I incurred a charge to withdraw money from another banks ATM. This is because there are added costs for the bank to process the transaction. Now in Australia the ATM has to tell you how much you will be charged. Try and have some foresight as to whether you will need some cash, also keep in mind that many banks have smartphone apps where you can find the closest ATM. If you do have to use one avoid doing extra transactions such as balance checks which will cost you more.
Foreign Currency Fees
If you are travelling overseas, you can incur a mass of extra costs by using your Australian ATM cards and credit cards. Each transaction incurs a foreign currency fee usually around 3% of the transaction amount. If you are travelling shop around for the best card to use overseas or consider purchasing a travel card in the currency you will be using to avoid these fees.
You will probably have been hit at least once but most probably many times with credit card surcharges at different merchants and retailers. Credit card companies (eg mastercard, Visa, American Express etc) will charge the merchant a certain fee which they often pass onto the customers. Whilst they should be telling you before the transaction goes through some will not. Ask before you use your card and if there is a surcharge use an alternative payment method.
You may have found that your transaction goes through even if you do not have enough available credit on your credit card. What will happen is you then get hit with an overlimit fee which can vary from bank to bank. With the changes that came in July this year the company must tell you before charging this fee. In any case you should be aware of what you owe and how much your limit is.
Late Payment Fee
Every month your bill should list your transactions, what you owe and a minimum repayment amount. If you do not pay your minimum repayment amount by the due date you can incur a late repayment fee. To make it simpler the bank can set up a direct debit where they withdraw the changing minimum amounts each month from your transaction account. If you make the payments yourself do it about a week before so that public holidays and weekends are taken into account.