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Archive for Monday, March 19, 2007

Money tip

March 19, 2007

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— Here are some of the most commonly overlooked credit card fees:

The late fee. Banks charge as much as $39 (on top of finance charges) if your payment doesn't arrive on time.

The balance-transfer fee. Many cards will advertise low APRs on balance transfers to entice customers, but the transfer fee could negate the advantages. The good news is that some cards don't have them - Capital One, for example, has no balance-transfer fees on most cards.

The cash-advance fee. Use your credit card to get cash from an ATM, and you're actually taking out a loan - probably with a very high interest rate. But you may also have to pay a transaction fee both to your credit card company and to the bank that owns the ATM. It's best to avoid cash advances altogether.

The over-limit fee. Exceed the limit on your credit card and you may have to fork over another $39. Some companies will OK the overcharge as a "convenience" for you, or let them know not to let you charge more than your limit.

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