Monday, October 26, 2009

Banks Impose Fees on Those Who Pay Off Credit Cards

Yep, had to know this one was coming. As I watched the Today show this morning, a piece came on about credit card fees (see also MSNBC, USA Today). Not only has the financial crisis resulted in consumers being squeezed by rate hikes (see Consumer Revolt), but banks face new disclosure and other requirements under the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights Act (see Obama Signs). Banks are also scrambling to head off new debit card rules that will surely curtail fees generated by overdraft charges (see Big Banks Alter and Back to Work on Debit). Citibank and Bank of America are the banks imposing these new fees, for consumers who pay off the balance every month, who don't carry a high enough balance or who keep open lines of credit in the event of emergency. Of course, consumers have to be careful in cutting up cards to avoid these fees as it can negatively affect their credit scores. Although consumers can shop around for banks that are not imposing these fees, one must wonder how quickly other banks will follow suit. While credit unions and smaller banks might still provide low cost cards, those options might not be available to many consumers who've been hit hard by the financial crisis. As always, be careful with your cards and reexamine which ones you really want to keep.

Here's the Today show piece:


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