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Banking and Cards Research
Digging into the Customer Experience: Banking and Credit Cards
Corporate Insight’s Bank Monitor, Credit Card Monitor and Small Business Card Monitor provide ongoing coverage of the products, websites and overall customer experience offered by the nation’s leading banks and card issuers. Our value-added banking and credit card research digs deeply to evaluate the retail and small business customer experience.
|Credit Card Fees|
In this report, we revisit one of the most discussed aspects of consumer credit cards – fees. Card fees are charged to clients for both executed transactions and account transgressions, and can make up a large portion of the total cost of using a particular card product. For this edition of Credit Card Monitor, we look at the Balance Transfer, Cash Advance, Late Payment and other fees charged for major card issuers, and compile a list of available card products that currently carry an annual fee. This is our first look at fees since the summer of 2009.
This report focuses on the fees associated with credit card use. These include surcharges assessed for particular transactions, along with penalties assessed by firms when a user misses a payment or otherwise violates their card agreement. In particular, as we sorted through the Terms and Conditions and other sources available from each firm, we uncovered information on the following fees:
In general, all firms attach similar fees to their cards, with most issuers charging a number of transaction fees, along with assessing fees for late payments and any returned payments. All issuers now list exactly the same fee for late payments, a poorly-defined “Up to $35,” with all but one assessing the same “Up To $35” fee for Returned Payments. In addition, nine of the 10 major issuers tracked by Credit Card Monitor assess between a 3% and 5% fee for standard Balance Transfer and Cash Advance transactions. While this has risen slightly in recent years, and all firms now feature a minimum fee values (i.e., $5 per transaction), fees as a whole have not risen markedly since the passage of the CARD Act and the elimination of the automatic Over Limit fee.
Our report also found 52 fee-based credit cards currently promoted by major issuers, with 80% of firms we surveyed offering at least one such product. The fees paid for these cards are largely used to underwrite their rewards programs. Cards with lowered fees are generally attached to specialty cards, such as travel cards with low Foreign Transaction fees.
Additional Key Findings in this report include:
Credit Card Monitor March 2011