No matter how good you are with managing your credit cards, you’ve likely been charged aggressive fees at least once by your lender. Even if you are good at managing them now, chances are that you’ve learned your lesson the hard way some time in the past.
Here are some tips of tricks that credit card companies like to play. Of course not all companies have the same policies, but these are some to be aware of:
* They are allowed to move your due date without notice. Right, so every once in a while they might move your due date up by a couple of days to try to trick you up. If you are used to having your bill due on the 10th for a long time and then suddenly it is due on the 8th this can mess up the most organized of money managers.
* Sometimes they will cancel your auto-payment if they have received an additional payment in the same month. They say that this is to “protect” you, assuming that you wouldn’t want to pay more than once a month. In my opinion this is just to make sure you aren’t paying off as fast.
* They will also not allow you to make consecutive payments; making you wait 5-14 days between payments. This adds to their bottom line and makes it more difficult to manage payments.
* They make it hard to set up auto-pay, in hopes that you will not be able to manage it yourself.
* They hike up the rate at any opportunity (late payment, bounced payment, just for the heck of it!)
* Setting bill due times at noon, so even if you pay on your due day you are already late. For this reason it is a better practice to schedule online bill payments for the day before the bill says that it is due. Also make sure that if the due date falls on the weekend, pay on Friday instead of Monday to be on the safe side.
* Applying payments to the lowest interest first. So, if you were to take out a cash advance on a card that already had a balance, you’d have to pay the full balance before funds would be applied to the cash advance funds.
* Making cash advance interest effect from the day you borrow. Thats right folks, no grace period. Be careful about this!
Readers: If you have additional tricks of the trade that you’d like to help folks avoid, please leave us a comment.