New Credit Card Fee Coming Soon

By Al Pefley - bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Are you a credit card customer who pays off your balance in full each month?

You could get a surprise when you get your monthly credit card bill in the near future.

Katie Carlo of Jupiter is a Bank of America credit card customer. She works in a law office, and she prides herself on paying off her credit card balance just about every month.

But now, Bank of America customers who pay off their card each month, could soon be charged a yearly fee.

"I think it's unfair. I think in this economy, I think, that's the wrong move for them if they want to maintain customers," Carlo said.

Josephina Otero of West Palm Beach, a mother of a little three month old boy, likes the convenience of her credit card.  We found her shopping for baby clothes at Target.

Josephina told us she too, tries to pay off her balance each month to avoid paying interest. But folks like her could soon be hit with a fee. And she's not happy about it.

"I think that's wrong because us buyers and us consumers should not be paying if your credit card is paid off, should not be paying a fee at all," Otero said.

Starting sometime in 2010, Bank of America will charge its credit card customers who pay off their balance each month a fee, reportedly $29.99 a year.

And Citigroup has started charging its customers an annual fee if they charge less than $2,400 a year on their credit card.

"If you're a credit card customer and you're not happy with the new fees, experts say you don't have to just sit back and take it. There are some things you can do.

"I would call the credit card company and ask if it can be waived. I can say I've been a customer with you for 10 years and I would like you to waive that fee. I always say if you don't ask, you don't get," said Jessica Cecere, president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

Cecere predicts some people will switch to a credit card company that doesn't have the fee, others will simply pay it, but in this economy, it may be tough for them to take.

She recommends doing a little research on the Internet, and making a few calls to check with various credit card companies to find out if they will charge a fee for customers who pay off their card in full each month.

If they don't charge such a fee, she says, you may want to switch.