Credit Cards facts

FEES TO BE PAID

Under any circumstances, the following are charged by most credit card companies:

Annual fee Paid for being a user of the card

Cash advance fee. Paid when the card is utilized for making a cash advance; usually a flat fee or a percentage of the amount advanced

Balance-transfer fee. Paid when a balance from another credit card is transferred to the other card. Checks are usually sent to pay-off the card. Balance transfer happens when the check is used to settle the amount due on the other card.

Late-payment fee. Paid if payment was done after the date due

Over-the-credit-limit fee. Paid for payments exceeding the credit limit

Credit-limit-increase fee. Paid for a credit limit increase request

Set-up fee. Paid for opening a new credit card account

Return-item fee. Paid for returned checks when bill payments by check was done for insufficiency of funds (meaning, the check bounced)

Other fees. Payments made for over the phone settlements, cost coverage for credit bureau reporting, account review, provision of other customer services. Other fees and charges are information which may be found on the credit card agreement.

CREDIT LIMIT

The credit limit is the maximum cost - for making purchases, cash advances, transferring balance, finance charges- which may be charged on the credit card. An over-the-credit-limit fee will be paid for exceeding the credit limit.

FEATURES AND INCENTIVES

Incentives and special features are offered by many credit card companies for using the card:

Rebates money discounted on purchases

Regular flier miles or minutes for telephone-conversations

Additional warranty coverage for purchased items

Insurance for car rental

Insurance for accidents incurred while in travel

Credit card registration, in case wallet is lost or stolen and a report of missing credit cards had been made

For a certain amount, credit cards may also offer,

Insurance coverage on credit card balance payments for card holders who become jobless or disabled or suddenly dies. Premiums are usually paid monthly, allowing payment cancellation if payments are more than what the desired payment amount is or if the insurance is no longer needed.

Insurance coverage for the first $50 of charges in case card is lost or stolen. Charges over $50 are protected under federal law.

Prior to availing of these special features, carefully decide whether these features are useful. Never pay for a feature which is not needed or is not useful.