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The Future of Credit Card Fees

April 01, 2010

By MoneyRates Team | Money Rates Columnist

This is a Guest Post from Adam Jusko, founder of IndexCreditCards.com, a credit card comparison website where you can find everything from the best cash back rewards cards to current balance transfer credit card offers.

As you may know, a series of laws collectively called the Credit Card Act have recently been implemented, designed to stop unfair credit card company practices, such as random interest rate increases. The card companies are upset, as these laws are projected to cost them millions of dollars in lost profits.

However, banks are not planning to take this lying down. Already we are seeing an increase in annual fees on credit cards, higher interest rates across the board, fewer card rewards -- and it's only going to get worse.

Doing some underground investigative work, I've uncovered a secret list of new fees that certain credit card companies are considering. Here's just a taste of what may be coming:

  • Returned Item Fee - If you buy an item with your credit card but later return it and have the charge removed, the card issuer will charge you $15 for wasting their time and resources.
  • Birthday Fee - As you get older, the chances increase that you will die and leave an unpaid card balance. To counteract this, you will be charged an escalating birthday fee, starting at $10 for your 21st birthday and topping out at $100 on your 111th birthday.
  • "Bad Choices" Fee - Each month a card company CPA will review your purchases and dock you $5 for any charges that increase the chances your card will be lost or stolen, or that you have made a fool of yourself or potentially damaged your health. Charges made between midnight and 4AM will be especially scrutinized.
  • The "Fee" Fee - It takes a lot of resources to go to the trouble of charging you fees. Therefore, you will pay for the overhead involved in charging you fees -- with the "fee" fee. The "fee" fee amount will depend on how many fees you've racked up in any given month, but if the "fee" fee exceeds $50, you will be charged a $15 "fee fee" fee to make up for the overhead involved in charging you so many "fee" fees.
  • Cash Fee - Credit cards will soon be issued with internal scales that can sense when the weight of your wallet has decreased without the credit card having been removed -- thus proving you used cash to make a purchase instead of your credit card.
  • Different Card Fee - Card issuers will check your credit report monthly to see if you've been cheating on them with other credit cards. If so, a $15 fee will ensue.
  • Browsing Fee - No more window shopping for you. With an embedded GPS device in each credit card, issuers will know when you have visited shopping "hot spots" but failed to make a purchase with your card. Fee: $15-$29, a sliding scale that is dependent on the concentration of trendy stores nearby.

You've been warned.

(April Fools!)

Your responses to ‘The Future of Credit Card Fees’

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FactChecker

2 April 2010 at 12:31 am

It may be April fool's, which of course the latter fees would not stand up to consumers, but the reality is that many choices on the list have been a reality to an extent.

The concept of universal default is somewhat related to the different card fee, a cash fee advance is costly although its not the joke sensing your wallet.
A bad choices fee could be in the works, credit card companies currently choose to make any losses on their watch by paying the merchant, in other countries that could be reality. As far as a Birthday fee, the anniversary date of a credit card can affect rewards.Returns can be trouble with fees if interest is charged.

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