Credit Cards: Fees, Fees and More Fees

Credit card fees are rising, rewards are disappearing, and marketing campaigns for new products abound. What is happening in the credit card industry these days? Joan Goldwasser of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine offers advice for people trapped paying high interest rates on their credit card debt:

  • Take advantage of a balance transfer offer to move your debt from a high-interest card to a credit card offering 0-percent interest for an extended period, sometimes as long as 15 months.
  • Beware of the fine print on balance transfer offers. Many only offer 0-percent interest on the transfer amount, not new purchases. It's best to sign up for offers that provides 0-percent interest on transfers and purchases. If that's not available, consumers should be sure to avoid making purchases with new cards used for balance transfers.
  • Watch out for balance transfer fees. You should try to avoid them. The fee can be a set amount, or it can be as high as three percent of the amount being transferred.

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