Hidden credit card charges aren’t always as hidden as you think. You simply need to make sure you’re smart and savvy and read your statements thoroughly. Keeping on top of them is really important and it’s worth making sure you know how much they are and where they appear on your documents so you can keep track of them and most importantly, make sure you’re not being overcharged for anything. Here is a handy guide to credit card charges and how to avoid them.
Fees on Credit Cards
Some cards come with additional fees. If you use your card abroad, if you fail to keep up repayments, etc. – you’re then likely to incur extra monies which you really could have avoided. Hidden credit card charges like these shouldn’t necessarily be hidden as your provider should be very upfront with you about when to pay them and how much they should be, but it is surprising how many people don’t realise they’re there or feel confused when they feel they’ve been overcharged.
Go onto your provider’s website and read up about excess charges and make yourself aware of what you might be liable for.
Are There Add-On Services You Need To Know About?
There are hidden credit card charges known as add-on services that many people don’t know about. For instance, when you signed up for your credit card you might have been miss-sold services you didn’t want or need. Some credit card companies have been in trouble with the authorities for this after people complained that they had been either bullied into taking the extra services on, or that they were charged extra when they tried to cancel them. Many credit card issuers were forced to offer and pay out compensation to those people that had been affected.
Some card companies will charge for recurring services and subscriptions. Many trial subscriptions to services will require you to give your credit card number and rely on you forgetting to cancel at the end of the trial period thus meaning that your card then starts to get charged every month. This can come as a shock to people when they get their statement and wonder what all the excess charges are for.
Keep track of anything like this and remember to make notes of any subscriptions you start, so you know if you decide not to go ahead with it, you cancel it before the end of the trial period and thus avoid losing an extra money.
Spotting Hidden Credit Card Charges
BillGuard which is a free credit card monitoring app stated that credit and debit card holders paid an average of $14.3million in hidden credit card charges over the last year. You can download this app if you have an iPhone or Smartphone and check your own accounts to see for yourself, but you certainly don’t need to be tech savvy to run the checks!
Of course, the best way to sort out hidden credit card charges is to check all your statements thoroughly once a month and make notes of any monies you’re not sure about. If you’re in any doubt at any time, contact your service provider to talk to them and get them to explain anything you do not understand. Chances are it will be perfectly legitimate but it is always better to be safe than sorry in cases like this.
If you do spot something that you’re not sure about, go back through your previous few month’s statements to see if the same “mistake” occurs on those too. If it does, again, check with your company to see if they can explain.
For other problems such as trial subscriptions that have taken money from your account without your consent you should always talk to the merchants themselves first to see if they can help you out. The terms of enrolment can sometimes mean you might not get any money back, but cancelling there and then will also mean that they can’t take any more money from you either. If the merchant continues to charge then you must contact your credit card provider to see if they can then help you out.
The best placed person to spot hidden credit card charges is you. You should always be the person who takes responsibility for their finances and keeps a check on where your money goes. Making sure that when you sign on the dotted line for any credit card, you know exactly what the terms of service are, is essential, and before you commit to getting a card such as this you should make sure that you can always afford to make the minimum monthly repayments on anything you buy and that you’re not likely to get yourself seriously into debt by taking a commitment like this on.