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Some Credit Card Companies to Begin Charging For Having a Zero Balance

How Your Zero-Balance Credit Card Could Cost You

Think you’re avoiding extra fees by being savvy and paying off your credit cards in full every month? Maybe not any more. Some companies, including Bank of America and Citigroup, may start charging credit card holders for not using their cards enough. Good habits like paying off your balance in full, not using your card for a few months, or even not spending quite enough every month could all earn you extra fees.

Credit card companies have just a few short months before new regulations go into effect, and they appear to be getting desperate. Card holders have seen everything from higher interest rates to new annual fees over the past few months, as companies scramble to stay ahead of the restrictions that'll go into effect in February.

If you start seeing these fees, you do, of course, have options. You can call the company and complain (although there’s no guarantee they’ll listen; remember the Debtor’s Revolt woman?), move to another company that doesn’t charge these fees, or cancel your cards altogether. What do you think of these proposed fees? What will you do if your credit card starts charging them?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
starofsorrow starofsorrow 7 years
I got lucky big time with my cards. Two of them are shut off (one is paid off!) and in debt mangement program. The other two, one I just started a new payment arrangement that will last for one year and another has a zero interest till April. I"m definitely gonna focus on paying off nearly all my balance on the fourth one before April!
katie225 katie225 7 years
my dad always jokingly says to companies looking at his credit, "you WANT a customer like me, i'm the one who you make money off of! my credit isn't bad, it's good for you!" because of his occasional late payments. :)
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
I don't like that at all - I will switch to other credit card company for sure.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Oh no! I'm one of these people. It's my first credit card and I've only used it a handle full of times, especially since I left my job and don't have a steady income. When I use it I pay it in full immediately and then go months, I've checked and that report says my credit utilization is low. I'm fearful of hidden fees, if I get a job soon I may use it more often but I'm afraid that may not be enough. Thanks for that tip bluebell. I also have a BoA card too Mek,(a Visa rewards card), it's a great card and I would hate to cancel it. I guess I have to start using it. Overall, I think this is a pretty desperate and sleazy thing to do and I think more people will revolt if they keep up with these shenanigans. Thanks Savvy for the heads up!
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I just read a small article that Citigroup is "testing" annual fees on accounts that good customers(ones that pay on time)have. The article implies that they are testing how many complaints come in. So sugars - if this happens to you be sure to call and complain!
mek123 mek123 7 years
I have a Bank of America credit card and if they start charging me a fee to use the card since I pay it off every month, I will quickly cancel the card.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
My hubby just got a letter in the mail stating that the new interest rate on his card will be 29.99%. Luckily he pays off the balance every month but this irked him so he's looking into switching to another company. 29.99% - WHAT A JOKE!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
We heard about this...we use our Chase card all the time and rack up a balance of around $2000 out of a $10,000 limit every month and pay it in full, so we don't have interest. If they start charging us a fee just for using the dang thing, we're going to complain about it and if they still want to charge us for it, we'll switch to another bank that won't charge the fee. It's freaking ridiculous to charge people a fee just for using their card.
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