Unveiling Hidden Charges: Understanding Bank and Credit Card Fees

Banks and credit cards are essential financial tools that facilitate our day-to-day transactions and provide convenient access to funds. However, it’s important to be aware of the various hidden charges that can impact your financial well-being. In this article, we will shed light on some commonly overlooked fees imposed by banks and credit card companies, including cess on international spends, late payment charges, service charges, and cess on ATM withdrawals. By being well-informed, you can make better financial decisions and avoid unnecessary expenses.

  1. Cess on International Spends: When you make purchases or transactions in a foreign currency using your credit card, some banks impose a cess or foreign transaction fee. This fee is typically a percentage of the transaction amount and can vary across different card issuers. It’s crucial to understand the cess percentage and factor it into your budget when using your credit card for international transactions.
  2. Late Payment Charges: Paying credit card bills after the due date can lead to hefty late payment charges. These charges are typically a percentage of the outstanding balance or a fixed fee. To avoid incurring such charges, always pay your credit card bills on time. Setting up automatic payments or reminders can help ensure timely payments and save you from unnecessary expenses.
  3. Service Charges: Banks often levy service charges for various services, such as account maintenance, balance inquiries, or duplicate statements. These charges can vary depending on the type of account and the bank’s policies. It’s essential to review the fee schedule provided by your bank to understand the services that incur additional charges. Consider opting for accounts with lower or waived service charges if they align with your banking needs.
  4. Cess on ATM Withdrawals: Using ATMs to withdraw cash can also come with hidden charges. Some banks impose a cess or fee for using ATMs that belong to other banks or are located in different regions. These charges can apply to both domestic and international ATM transactions. It’s advisable to use ATMs that belong to your own bank’s network or research the fees associated with using third-party ATMs to minimize withdrawal charges.
  5. Overdraft Charges: Overdraft fees are applied when you spend more than the available balance in your bank account. Banks typically charge a fixed fee for each overdraft occurrence, and these charges can accumulate quickly if not managed properly. To avoid overdraft charges, keep track of your account balance, set up account alerts, and consider linking your account to a savings account or credit line for overdraft protection.
  6. Currency Conversion Charges: When making purchases abroad, some credit card companies offer the convenience of dynamic currency conversion. While it may seem convenient to pay in your home currency, this option often comes with unfavorable exchange rates and additional fees. Opting to pay in the local currency can help you avoid unnecessary currency conversion charges and potentially save you money.
  7. Annual Fees: Certain credit cards come with annual fees for the privileges and benefits they offer. These fees can range from modest amounts to more substantial sums, depending on the card and its perks. Before applying for a credit card with an annual fee, carefully evaluate the benefits and assess whether they outweigh the cost. Consider no-annual-fee cards if you do not require the extra features provided by premium cards.
  8. Inactivity Fees: In some cases, banks may charge inactivity fees on dormant accounts with no transactions or activity for an extended period. These fees serve as a way for banks to recover costs associated with maintaining these accounts. To avoid incurring such fees, keep your accounts active or consider closing dormant accounts that you no longer need.

Being aware of the various hidden charges imposed by banks and credit card companies is crucial for maintaining a healthy financial outlook. By understanding these fees

Download personal finance app (FinArt) now to stay in control of your finances and avoid these hidden charges.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *