4 Best Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fees

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated April 4, 2019

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April 4, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Credit card fees can lock you into a spiral of debt – but, if used wisely, they don’t have to. Learning to use your credit card so that it works for you and not against you is essential for financial freedom.

Here are a few of the best way to avoid credit card fees.

The first step is getting to know your credit card. And the best way to avoid going into debt is understanding exactly how and when you are being charged. You can avoid paying unnecessary fees simply by having a clear idea of the charges you may be incurring.

Always check the website of your credit card for updates, new fees, or recent changes. You can also always call up your credit card company and speak with someone to get a clearer understanding of the credit card charges.

If you don’t like what you see, or think the fees are too high, consider switching to another card with lower fees. We have done a full review and comparison of the best credit cards so you can take the guesswork out of switching.

If you buy something in foreign currency or withdraw from an ATM in a foreign country, the banks will charge your card for service fees, plus you are likely to lose money in the currency conversion.

It pays to know exactly the percentage of the transaction amount so that you can either choose a different ATM or use another card when paying for purchases overseas.

Sometimes you are charged when you exceed your credit limit, but some cards do allow you to opt-in to having over-the-limit transactions—they don’t do it automatically without your permission.

Use credit cards that allow this policy. It makes being in control of your finances easier and more manageable. Just remember that if you do opt out, then your credit card won’t be valid for transactions that exceed your limit.

Most credit cards will have late fees, and you can inquire about then when signing up for a new account. Every month that you are late in paying back credit, those charges may rise.

If you don’t want those unexpected charges, it’s wise to stay on top of spending and pay back all your dues before the deadline. Paying your credit card payments on time and never being late is the safest way to avoid this fee.

Something to remember is that a good credit score can lead to credit cards with much better fees and terms. Check your credit report and take advantage of the best credit cards for your credit score. Don’t pay high fees if you don’t have to.

There are many more hidden fees to be aware of, and more ways you can spend wiser, be more thrifty and still enjoy life. Check out our other articles on financial health and tips for managing your hard-earned money.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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