Credit card interest rates are typically pegged to the prime rate, which has fallen from 5.25% a year ago to 3.25% now. But the national average rate for credit cards has actually risen over that period, moving from 11.3% to 12.4%
* The standard balance transfer fee has risen to 3%, and Bank of America recently joined Discover in increasing that fee to 4% on certain offers.
* Cash advance fees had been 3%, but Bank of America now has 5% cash advance fees for money obtained through ATMs and at banks, and 4% fees on advances via direct deposit and checks.
* Foreign transaction fees — charged when you make purchases in other countries or use foreign banks — are going up for many cardholders. Starting June 1, Bank of America will begin charging for a service it had previously provided free: Transactions made in U.S. dollars but processed through foreign banks (such as online purchases from overseas merchants using foreign banks) will be hit with 3% fees.
The incredibly large fees are a good reason to not use your credit card for these activities. 5% to get money from an ATM. You have to be crazy to submit to such a fee. The banks continue to fight with the airlines for who can keep providing the most horrible customer service.
Related: How to avoid getting ripped off by credit card companies – Sneaky Credit Card Fees – Avoid Getting Squeezed by Credit Card Companies – Incredibly Bad Customer Service from Discover Card – more posts on credit cards