CREDIT CARD TIPS; HELP FOR YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES
How to Manage Your Bills, Checkbook and Credit Cards
Personal finance tips for simple management of your money, income and debt.
How to balance a checkbook and easily find mistakes. When to pay bills and avoid late fees, penalties and bad marks on your credit record. How to keep unplanned expenses from making you go into debt.
Consumer guide to frugal living - from previous newsletters © Copyright 1995-2000 by SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com - All Rights Reserved
This is a free service by the nation's #1 web site for smart consumer ideas
click here to find our more about SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com
9.0 CREDIT CARD TIPS; HELP FOR YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES
9.0.1 CREDIT CARDS ARE CHANGING!
Here are 7 tips to help you save.
Credit cards are changing. If you don't understand the new rules, you can be in for a nasty surprise.
== 1. For example, many credit cards used to have a "grace period" of 5 days after the due date. If they received your check before 5 days, your account was credited and there was no late fee.
Now many cards have removed the grace period. If the payment arrives after the due date, you will be socked with a late fee and a late payment mark is put on your credit report.
addition, if you have a low interest credit card, the company can increase you interest
rate if you make one or more late payments.
== 2. Fees are being increased and new fees are being added. For example, a late payment fee can now be as much as $30! Going over your credit limit can be very costly also.
== 3. There may be major changes in the rules of your credit card when the card company merges with another company. They must notify you of changes so pay attention when you receive a notification in the mail. This is often written in very small print, sometimes called mice type.
== 4. You should allow 5 business days for a check to reach the payment office or 7 days (including the weekend) if there are no holidays in between.
== 5. Here's what to do if you must make a payment in less than 5 business days before the due date. Call the company and ask if you can pay via phone. Some can draft directly from your checking account if you authorize them to do so. This may be free or there may be a $10 fee for this service, but it will save you a late fee and a late mark on your credit record.
== 6. Always protest a penalty fee. You will have a good chance of getting it removed especially if you have a spotless credit record.
== 7. Always call the credit company when there is a problem. When you explain in person what happened, most are very accommodating.
9.0.1 BEWARE OF AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS TO CREDIT CARDS
Credit cards can be sneaky. When you sign up for a "free magazine" subscription, or take advantage of a lower interest rate offer, or take advantage of a "free" trail period for an auto club, beware. You may have agreed to let the credit card charge your card indefinitely! For example, I know that a number of people entered a sweepstake along with a free trial magazine subscription offer only to find that their card was being charged years later for the subscription. A representative at the credit card agency admitted to me that many people were confused and surprised by the charges, but company would only refund billing that was less than 30 days old.
9.0.2 CREDIT CARD LATE FEES DROPPED
When my Visa card company tried to charge me $18 for a late payment (I had mailed my check in plenty of time), I called and said I would cancel the card if the charge was not removed. The company agreed.
You can get many charge card and bank charges removed the first time they appear on your statement.