August 6, 2009

Expert: Credit cards are sneaking in fees

U.S. credit card companies are trying a stealth approach to raising fees -- raising those least likely to attract attention, an industry researcher said.

Banks are hoping to slip in fees where they're least likely to be noticed, Adam Jusko, founder of told USA Today Thursday.

Banks have raised a variety of fees in recent months in anticipation of the credit card reform law passed in May that prohibits raising established rates on some accounts and includes other restrictions.

Among the fees raised recently, Fifth Third Bank initiated a $19 fee for borrowers who show they have not used their credit accounts in 12 months -- an inactivity fee.

Discover has begun charging 2 percent for purchases made outside the United States.

Citigroup has begun a new fee for reinstating card holders into their benefits plan and set the fee at hard-to-complain-about $0.

A bank spokesman, Samuel Wang said, we currently have no plans to raise it.