The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

October 30, 2009

Penalty for staying out of debt?

Filed under: News Review, Personal Finance — Tags: , , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 11:35 am

I meant to post this article I found in USA Today by Sandra Block last week, but did not find the time.  But I still wanted to post it because it seems like every time you look up your bank is tacking on another fee.  Below is a good excerpt from the article:

You floss regularly, yield to oncoming traffic and use your credit cards judiciously, dutifully paying off your balance every month.

You may believe that your exemplary behavior shields you from unexpected credit card fees. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

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.

For me, this just enforces why I do not have a credit card and especially reinforces why I do not deal with the mega banks.  Bank of America is now going to charge you $29-$99 just to have the right to borrow money!?!?!?  For not using your card an average of $200 a month you will get a charge from Citi?  Imagining having to pay a fee for something that might not get used is just plain crazy.

That begs the question, how long will these banks be able to get away with his customer abuse before their loyal customers revolt and take their business elsewhere?  To me it is only a matter of time.

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