How to avoid costly credit card fees

Make sure you read disclosure information that comes with your card.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Avoiding fees starts with picking the right card. Look for cards that don’t have an annual fee and don’t charge you for things like a cash advance, transferring a balance or not using the card.

Look for a card with an interest rate under 15 percent. Some charges, like a fee for overseas purchases and for paper copies of past statement, are becoming less common.

Jon Reske of the UMass Five College Credit Union offered some advice. “Look at the solicitation disclosure you get with a new card. It’s spelled out very clearly what the fees are. Most people don’t bother looking at it,” he explained. “If I could say anything, I would say set up an automatic payment for your minimum balance every month, and then you can avoid the biggest fee that people get hit with which is a late fee.”

Reske told 22News that using your credit card to withdraw cash can sometimes result in a 5 percent fee and the interest rate on that is usually higher than making a purchase. If you happen to get charged a late fee, call the company; many times, if it’s your first time paying late, you have good credit, and you’ve been a longtime customer, they will waive the fee.

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