Fee Roundup Survey Interview with KOMO Radio Seattle
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Thursday, July 16, 2015, with Herb Weisbaum of KOMO Radio Seattle about the July 2015 Fee Roundup survey. The interview and transcript are below.
When most people go shopping for a credit card, they compare interest rates and maybe rewards programs. It’s easy to overlook the fees that many cards charge, fees that can really add up. New survey by CreditCards.com show how common credit card fees are. They looked at 100 cards and KOMO’s Herb Weisman spoke with Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz.
Matt Schulz: Well, what we found is that the average credit card comes with about six different potential fees, but that number can range very widely. And some had as many as 12 potential fees and we saw one card that didn’t have any.
Herb Weisbaum: So let’s talk about those fees. What kind of fees are we talking about?
Schulz: Well, the most typical fees that we found were fees for late payments and for making cash advances, but there are also things like balance transfer fees, annual fees, and then more obscure ones like fees for paying by phone or having a replacement card shipped to you quickly.
Weisbaum: So you can get charged if you lose your card to have a new card shipped to you?
Schulz: Well it’s called “expedited card shipping” so if you needed it in a big hurry in a couple of days, you can pay a little bit extra for that.
Weisbaum: So to be fair to the credit card companies here, many of these fees, a lot of these fees could actually be avoided unless you do specific things: if you lose your card and don’t want it expedited, if you don’t want to get a cash advance, you’re not going to pay those fees.
Schulz: Yeah. Really the good news is that the vast majority of these fees can be easily avoided by two things: 1) shopping around for a card before you buy and also setting up auto payments once you get the card and that way you’re much less likely to ever run across a late payment fee.
Weisbaum: You mentioned that there was one card that had no fees whatsoever?
Schulz: Yes, that was the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Promise Visa card. It was the only card that we found that had no fees. We found a few others that had only three, but that was the only one that had zero.
Weisbaum: So if you make a late payment with the PenFed Promise Visa card, they don’t charge you a fee?
Schulz: Yeah. It’s a pretty rare thing. That was the only card that we found that did not charge a late fee. The other 99 did.
Weisbaum: If people are shopping around for a new credit card, is it easy to find all of these fees? Are they all disclosed in one place, are they required to be disclosed in one place? Or are you searching all around the website to find them?
Schulz: The most common fees that are associated with these credit cards are generally pretty easy to find. They’ll be in that big box that you’ll see typically on the site where you’re applying for a credit card, but some of the other ones you might have to look a little more into the fine print to find. But they will be there. It’s just further proof of how important it is to read the terms and conditions and do your homework before you sign up for one of these cards.
Weisbaum: As always, a little bit of time on the websites saves you a lot of grief on the downside.
Schulz: Yes exactly. You can save yourself quite a bit of money and quite a bit of headache if you know what you’re getting into before you sign up for one of these cards.
That’s KOMO’s Herb Weisbaum with Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz.