Fee Roundup Survey Interview with KTBC Austin

By Media Relations

CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, with Amanda Salinas of Fox 7 KTBC Austin about the July 2015 Fee Roundup survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Amanda Salinas: In this day and age, we all want the best deal we can get when choosing credit cards. And, lucky for us, we’ve got an expert this morning to talk about it. Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst for CreditCards.com joins us this morning. Good morning, Matt. Thanks for being here with us.

Matt Schulz: Thanks for having me.

Salinas: We were talking that there is a new survey out in terms of fees. Tell me about it.

Schulz: Yeah. We looked at 100 of the most popular credit cards out there in the market. And what we saw is that the average credit card has 6 potential fees with it, and some have as many as 12, one even has zero. But the important thing to know is that a lot of those fees can be avoided if you shop around at sites like CreditCards.com, and also if you do things like set up auto payments so you make sure you don’t miss a payment.

Salinas: You talk about the number of fees, anywhere from 6 to 12, and then we have zero. When we look at those larger fees, 6 to 12, what is the bottom line for the consumer, the one who has the credit card?

Schulz: The bottom line is that you really have to do your homework before you apply for these cards. And if you’re somebody who’s just getting started with credit or rebuilding your credit, you’re probably going to get hit with more fees than the average … than somebody who might have really good credit. But, you can also find cards that have no annual fees, no late fees, that sort of thing.

Salinas: Here on the screen we’re looking at some examples here, the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum, Regions VISA Platinum Rewards, the numbers on the side, I imagine those are the number of fees that we’re looking at there.

Schulz: Yes, exactly. And then there were two that were even higher than that, one from First Premier Bank, the First Premier Bank credit card, and then another of the First Premier Bank Secured Master Card. And those both had 12. So that’s obviously a lot fees, and it’s just proof positive that you need to do your homework before you apply for these cards.

Salinas: We do our homework by going onto company sites or CreditCards.com. How else? Is it a matter of reading the fine print when these companies send us these requests in the mail?

Schulz: Yeah. It’s about looking at the fine print. It’s about going to sites like ours. It’s about looking at things that might – And then also remembering that you can negotiate these things a lot of times. And especially like if you have … if you’re late with a payment and you’ve got a good history otherwise, chances are you can make a phone call and there’s a pretty good chance that the bank will waive that late fee the first time.

Salinas: This may seem obvious, it may seem like common sense, what we’re talking about in terms of fees and doing your homework, but what’s the bottom line for our consumers, and why is this so important in the last minute that we have here?

Schulz: It’s so important because banks make literally billions of dollars off of fees. And the good news is, again, that you can avoid a lot of these fees by doing your homework, paying attention, reading the fine print, and setting up auto payment, to make sure that you don’t miss any payments.

Salinas: All right. CreditCards.com, thanks for this new information.

Schulz: Thank you.

Salinas: Saving us all a little bit of money.

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