Here’s the straight scoop on what’s up with the story in that “Capital One: Waive Your Rights, Get $10 Off Your Next Overlimit Fee!” post.
American Express and Discover will no longer bill customers who exceed their credit limits, according to company spokespeople. The creditors aren’t eliminating the fees because they care about their customers. No, they’re providing what American Banker calls “the first concrete examples of how a new law will restrict issuers’ abilities to turn a profit.” The new CARD Act that Congress passed in May requires consumers to opt-in before they can exceed their credit limits. Since overlimit fees, which can reach $39, aren’t very profitable for creditors, they decided to ditch the fees altogether.
Corbin had a very confusing experience with his Chase credit card. Because of a unexplained returned payment by his bank, his $30 automatic minimum payment led to $156 in late fees, overlimit fees, returned payment fees, and a fee charged, as far as I can tell, for being charged fees.
Since 1994, credit card late and overlimit fees have more than doubled. We’re no economist, but that doesn’t seem to keep pace with inflation.