After writing my earlier post based on an article by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, a WSJ reporter on personal finance, I came upon a second article that is worth your attention published on 7/31/2010 in the Wall Street Journal.
I have grown fond of (and thankful for) the quality reporting by Ms. Silver-Greenberg. You can search Google or the Wall Street Journal site for her name, and find other interesting and informative articles she has written.
The title of Ms. Silver-Greenberg’s July 31st article is “The New Credit-Card Tricks“. The article is subtitled, “Just months after historic legislation banned certain billing practices, card issuers have dreamed up new ones designed to trip up consumers.”
You must read this article to understand credit card company tricks to avoid. Ms. Silver-Greenberg relates that by complaining loudly and repeated (but always without foul language I suggest), you sometimes can have trick fees reversed or lowered. For the most part, however, it is best to avoid doing business with credit card issuers engaging in the following practices:
(1) Increased annual fee.
(2) Increased cash advance and balance transfer fees.
(3) “Professional” cards.
(4) “Small Business” credit cards.
(5) “Corporate” credit cards.
(6) Inactivity fees.
(7) “Rebate” cards.
(8) Companies that accept payments “7 days a week”.
(9) Shortchanged payment grace periods.
(10) Foreign transaction fees.
(11) Low limit credit cards with “up front processing fees”.
(12) Increased minimum monthly finance charge over past historical levels.
Ideas for Action: You should never either shop for or sign up for a credit card without knowing what all of the above twelve terms mean. This way, you can ask pointed and direct questions of the credit card issuing company to ensure that the card for which you are applying will not put you at risk of falling victim to one or more of the above practices.
Read Ms. Silver-Greenberg’s July 31, 2010 WSJ article; you will not be disappointed. Instead, you will be a smarter credit consumer, empowered by learning what Ms. Silver Greenberg researched and reported.