Fee Roundup Survey Interview with Compass Media Network
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Friday, July 17, 2015, with Gordon Deal of Compass Media Network about the July 2015 Fee Roundup survey. The interview and transcript are below.
Gordon Deal: In the market for some new plastic? There’s plenty of research to do, but CreditCards.com has done some of it for you by creating a list of cards with the most and fewest fees. Matt Schulz is their Senior Industry Analyst. Matt, tell us about the research.
Matt Schulz: We look at 100 different cards each week to keep track of interest rates on a weekly basis and every so often we look at those same 100 cards for other things as well. We’ve just finished looking at the fees that those cards have. And what we found is that the average credit card charges 6 different potential fees, but that the number of fees with each card can range pretty widely. We found two that charge as many as 12 potential fees and one that doesn’t charge any.
Deal: Wow. Alright so what are some of the fees, say besides a late fee and interest, that you might pay?
Schulz: Well, the late fee is definitely the most common one, but other ones include fees for doing a cash advance, such as when you use your card to take money out of any ATM or balance transfer fees or annual fees or foreign transaction fees. And then you can also get into a few more obscure ones as well.
Deal: Give me one that’s really obscure then.
Schulz: There are plenty of interesting ones. Several cards charge if you want to pay by phone. Others can charge you if you want to get a paper copy of your statement. And then there are a few that charge what’s called a credit limit increase fee, which means if you request a raise on your credit limit, when you get that, say $100 increase you may have a $25 fee to go along with it.
Deal: We’re speaking with Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst with CreditCards.com. We’re talking about credit card fees. So in an environment, I guess just because of the sheer number of cards, I would consider it a competitive environment – how are there so many fees?
Schulz: Regulations a few years back called the Credit Card Act put some restrictions on what banks could do as far as handling fees and interest rates for credit card holders. So there was a fair amount of experimentation that happened in those ensuing years and have kind of lead to where we are now where you have a really wide range of fees from card to card. And if this survey does nothing else, it proves that it’s so important to shop around before you get a card. Some cards have a dozen potential fees, some cards might not have any, but you won’t really know which is which unless you do your homework and shop around on sites like CreditCards.com.
Deal: Thanks, Matt. It’s Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CreditCards.com.