The government has stopped some of the worst abuses by credit card issuers however, those financial institutions are not without ways of continuing to take advantage of customers, Credit-Card Fees: the New Traps
Banks already are reaping more fees on overseas transactions. Not only are they raising foreign-exchange transaction fees—the cost customers pay for purchases made in foreign currencies—but they are expanding the definition of what qualifies as a foreign transaction.
In the past, people who made online purchases from foreign merchants, or who traveled to a country where the purchases are often in U.S. dollars such as the Bahamas, were generally immune from paying such fees. But Citi and Bank of America recently imposed their 3% foreign-transaction fees on all foreign transactions—even if that purchase is charged in U.S. dollars. Discover Financial Services also began charging a new 2% for foreign purchases last year.
And there are ways to avoid annual fees. Citigroup is alerting some customers that it is assessing a $60 annual fee on their cards. The cure for that is simple. If you spend $2,400 on the card in a 12-month period, the bank will refund the fee.
I’ll tell you a better way to avoid the abusive fees. Don’t deal with the large banks that the government bailed out. My credit union offers a credit card with no annual fee without any minimum spending requirements, and many others do as well.