19 ways to save on credit card fees

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1. Pay off your credit card balance each month. You’ll avoid frittering away hundreds and even thousands of dollars to interest and fees every year.
2. Think before you charge. Unless you’re in the habit of paying your credit card bill in full each month, don’t use the cards for anything you can eat or wear.
3. Avoid using credit cards to buy “wants” such as a new stereo or TV. Wait until you have the money to buy it.
4. Leave your credit cards for emergencies — when the washing machine takes its last breath or the car breaks down.
5. Get rid of all of the credit cards but one. Take that one and make it hard to impulse shop with — freeze it in a bowl of water in your freezer.

Keep receipts on all purchases. Unfortunately many products are made cheaply. With a receipt, you can bring back the product for a replacement or refund.

7. Don’t take cash out of your credit card. The rate for cash advances is much higher. And there is no grace period — you start paying interest right away.
8. Did you really think they’d give you something for nothing? Throw away those offers that come in your credit card statement.
9. Read your monthly statements carefully. Look out for hidden charges, such as credit insurance.
10. Don’t pay for theft insurance on your credit card. You don’t need it. If your credit card is stolen, you’re only liable for $50, at most.
11. Forget credit card disability insurance. It will make debt worse, if it ever kicks in. Even though you don’t have to make payments, the debt piles up all along.
12 Avoid those $39-and-growing fees by not exceeding your credit limit.
13. Pay more than the minimum. It’ll take forever to pay off your balance if you only pay the minimum.
14. Check your statement to see what time and date your payment is due and send it in early. If you’re five minutes late it could cost you $29.
15. Always use the envelope provided in your statement. Credit card companies sometimes change their payment P.O. Box. If you send it to the old address, you’ll be responsible for the late fee and, likely, an increased interest rate.
16. Don’t be late on any loan or credit account payment. Credit card companies frequently check their customers’ credit reports, looking for any late payments to justify raising the interest rate.
17. Negotiate better terms with your credit card issuer, especially if you’ve had a year of on-time payments.
18. Consider transferring your balances from high-interest cards to a
low-interest credit cards. Then, make the same payment as before, or double the minimum.
19. Consider a home equity loan to consolidate credit card balances. Home equity lines and loans offer lower interest rates and are usually tax-deductible.
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