The final provisions of new credit card legislation aimed at protecting consumers won’t go into effect until February. What this means is that right now, while consumers are relatively unprotected, credit card companies are raising rates and adding fees to reap in as much profit as possible from their customers before such strategies are …
Among a certain group of consumers, it’s becoming a DIY world. To save money, they’re reevaluating many of the services the rest of the world has grown accustomed to paying.
One of the frustrations of modern life is that often, you must spend money simply to get your money. I speak of the $3 fee for using an ATM not affiliated with your bank. Now, there are apps for the iPhone and other smartphones to help you avoid ATM fees, as well as other charges, including the ever-annoying overdraft.
You’d think that a credit card customer who pays his or her bill on time is a good customer. But these customers don’t make the banks and credit card companies money—at least not enough of it.
The dreaded “early termination fee,” or ETF, can hit you with a fee of $100 or more if you dare try to get out of your cell phone contract before the contract runs out.
Prepaid debit cards are attractive to certain consumers—immigrants and low-income people in particular—because they can be purchased quickly and easily in drugstores or Wal-Mart, and there’s no I.D. or paperwork necessary. What people who use these reloadable cards often fail to understand is that they’re …
When a consumer buys something with a credit card, the credit card company gets a cut of the transaction. Stores figure that cut into their pricing system, figuring that when they sell an item for $100, they don’t get all of that $100 if the purchaser uses plastic. If it’s a cash purchase, on the other hand, the store gets all of that $100.
The gift card is viewed as a thoughtful, less crass alternative to cash. When you present a gift card to someone, the message sent is something like, “I didn’t want to buy you something you don’t need, so you decide.” But if it’s truly the thought that counts, old-fashioned greenbacks are the better way to go.
Cabbies in Chicago have requested a bump up in fares—up from $2.25 to $2.75 to start off, and from $1.80 to $2.10 per mile—along with several new fees. One request is a $50 fee assessed to anyone who vomits inside the taxi.
Bank of America is introducing the Bankamericard Basic Visa, due in part to consumer requests for “products that offer simple and straightforward solutions,” according to a BofA exec.
All T-Mobile USA was supposedly trying to do was go green. That was the main reason it gave for planning to add a $1.50 monthly fee to customers who wanted paper copies of their bills.
Significant parts of the new credit card law go into effect today that in theory will make it easier for cardholders to pay their bills without incurring fees, and to avoid digging themselves further into debt. Balancing out this good news is an onslaught of new fees and higher rates that nearly all cardholders can expect coming down the pike.