Do you know of any trifling people who unapologetically take two decades to pay off two shirts they charged on their credit card?
Congratulations, the fees banks used to slap on them to boost income have now been transferred to you.
At a time when the credit crunch shows no signs of improving anytime soon, loads of credit card users are resisting temptation and pinching their pennies in order to pay off their balances.
How do credit card companies respond to this? By punishing you for it. .
Following new legislation that helps curtail the excessive fees credit card companies placed on consumers, lending banks have unveiled new fees to slap on borrowers – even those who use their cards responsibly.
Starting next year, Bank of America will charge a small number of customers an annual fee, ranging from $29 to $99. The bank has characterized the fee as experimental. But card holders who have never carried a balance or paid late fees could be among those affected.
Citigroup, meanwhile, has started charging annual fees to card holders who don't put more than a specific amount on their cards, typically $2,400 a year. Other banks are charging inactivity fees if customers don't use their credit cards during a specific period of time. You heard that right: You could be spanked for staying out of debt.
No wonder the general consensus is that credit card companies are evil.
Credit card issuers are trying to come up with methods to increase profits before new rules that restrict their ability to raise interest rates on existing balances take effect in February.
You do have options, however.
You can call and complain; weigh the pros and cons of cards with annual fees and explore cards that offer other incentives; or simply leave the borrower. However, the last option may hurt your score.
Are you completely at the whim of the lender? Not necessarily. But isn’t it irritating to find yourself being charged for being a “good borrower?”
Leave your feedback below and send your own recession story to email@example.com.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.