Credit cards: Stretch your income by avoiding all those gray charges | Personal Finance Views

Friday, January 13, 2017

Credit cards: Stretch your income by avoiding all those gray charges

Do you use credit cards and don’t know about gray charges? If yes, then it is very likely that your credit card issuer may have taken you for a ride. This is because gray charges are those that you pay to your creditor but don’t know for what. Those are actually unwarranted, sneaky charges that creep up on your credit cards. Here’s what gray charges mean to the credit card industry.

Gray charges and the business they bring for the creditors

Gray charges are illegitimate mode of spinning money employed by the credit card companies. These charges represent huge business for them. However, the best part is that most of the consumers like you are undiscerning ones and so, they usually remain in the dark about such rampant business malpractices till it becomes unbearable for them to cover all the payments. These things are pretty tough for any regular person like you to identify.

According to the latest estimates, one in every three Americans are found to be a victim of credit card charges for items that they don’t recognize or haven’t asked for. Even though these pesky charges are considerably negligible, yet they can add up to a yearly sum of about $215 for an individual.

How do you prevent yourself from being a victim of ‘gray charges’?

Here are some of the ways to avoid paying those gray charges and make your money work the most for you:

1) Stay current with all the offers - It is very good to maintain a note to remind yourself of canceling any trial credit card service before it actually becomes a paid one. The fact is whatever information like your credit/debit card details you provide for all the services that you want, it is very likely that those services won’t remain complimentary after a certain period.

Credit cards

This will hold true unless you remember to get those cards/services terminated before the deadline expires. So, put them on your calendar.

2) Minimize app attacks - Amidst all the various gray charges, a new kind of shady fees levied by the creditors have surfaced and that is on the so-called free downloadable applications or apps. However, these so-called free apps come with strings attached.

Basically, by downloading them you agree to the paid subscription to their games, newsletters and magazines. So, it is best to read the fine print before downloading any app.

3) Watch Out for spooky charges - According to the financial websites, spooky credit card charges are those that get deducted from your account once you terminate the service and your request is being processed.

4) Track all the prices in the statement - You must track all the price hikes on your credit cards. This is referred to as cost creep that implies a gradual increase of prices on your bills and that too right under your nose.

To avoid this particular menace you’ll have to go through your credit card statements and compare them with the previous ones to find out any sort of sudden, uncalled-for price hikes or recurring charges.

Finally, you must dispute any kind of suspicious charges with the concerned creditor, if you find them in your credit card statements. As per the law, your creditor is bound to respond to your queries and give you straightforward answers to all of them.

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