Credit Card Fees: Credit Card Industry Aims to Profit from Sterling Payers

I use my credit cards responsibly and pay off my balance each month. I am not enthusiastic about the plans of the card companies to go after me in order to make up for their losses on others.

Credit card companies have clearly extended extraordinary amounts of credit to American households that cannot make payment and have extracted large fees and interest penalties from those who cannot make payment. The US Congress is putting in a plan to protect those of have taken out too much debt that will protect many of these people and cut revenue streams for the card issuers.

According to this article in the New York Times, these companies now have a plan to make up for this shortfall by going after those cardmembers who pay on time and have excellent credit.  Their plans include reviving annual fees, curtailing cash back and other reward programs and charging interest immediately upon a purchase.

I, for one, always pay my credit card balances on time.  Over the years, I have earned large sums of airline miles and other loyalty points through using my credit cards.   Aside from this incentive, I use my credit cards primarily as a method of convenience.  Recently, I was two days late on a American Express payment for which they insisted on charging me a late fee (they claim that they had made a 1-time exemption for me in 1997) and moved into "revolver" status on a Visa cad when I questioned a charge (Visa insisted on charging me $16 and a representative called me a "deadbeat").  I have little tolerance for this type of treatment, but I've continued to use the cards.  If the issuers however take further steps towards charging people like me for the mistakes of others, I will start to go back to cash.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to financial literacy and bank transparency. Since co-founding this website in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.
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