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  • Credit card debt in the US

  • hit $870 billion at the end of 2018.

  • That's a record high.

  • In fact, over half of Americans who own credit cards

  • have debt on them.

  • And part of what gets us into these debt holes

  • are the tempting offers from credit card companies.

  • Hidden fees and reward programs can trick customers

  • into spending more than they otherwise might.

  • Clip: Wow, look at all the signs.

  • Narrator: And if that balance isn't paid off in full,

  • those rewards points aren't going to be worth it in the end.

  • Let's start with the reward programs.

  • They offer a variety of benefits, including airline miles,

  • cash back, and points you can put towards shopping.

  • This can be great for customers.

  • I mean, who doesn't like free stuff?

  • And credit card companies can boost the rewards

  • when you first sign up for the cards as an extra incentive.

  • For example, the American Express Platinum card

  • currently offers 60,000 reward points

  • if you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

  • Now, if you're about to make a big purchase,

  • those points are a nice bonus.

  • But if you end up spending more than you otherwise would

  • just to hit that $5,000 mark, consider this.

  • One point is typically worth only between $0.01 and $0.02,

  • making those 60,000 points worth

  • somewhere between $600 and $1,200.

  • So, let's do the math.

  • Say you usually spend $500 on your credit card per month,

  • and you increase that to $1,666 for three months

  • to get those 60,000 points.

  • You've now spent $3,500 more than you otherwise would.

  • And, yes, you may get $1,200 back in points.

  • But that leaves a difference of $2,300.

  • That's $2,300 more that you spent overall

  • and that you're never getting back.

  • But $1,200 back is the max you'll likely get.

  • It might be less.

  • And figuring out exactly how much you're getting

  • for every dollar spent can be tricky.

  • In the AmEx Platinum's rates and fees section,

  • it says, "The value of Membership Rewards points

  • varies according to how you choose to use them."

  • So it's hard to be sure

  • how much value you're actually getting.

  • And the eagerness to spend for points

  • can get you into trouble.

  • Sarah Silbert: Obviously, it's very attractive

  • to get points or miles from your credit card,

  • but if you're not paying off your balance in full,

  • the points or miles that you're earning are not worth it.

  • Narrator: Because you're going to get hit

  • with that interest charge.

  • A credit card's interest rate

  • is also called the APR, or annual percentage rate.

  • The APR determines how much you'll be charged

  • if you don't pay your balance in full by the due date.

  • On average, the APR for new credit card offers is about 19%.

  • But store credit cards from places

  • like Banana Republic, The Home Depot, and Target

  • have some of the highest rates in the business.

  • And if you're not paying attention,

  • those charges can add up.

  • The average household with credit card debt

  • pays $1,292 in interest each year.

  • Now, some credit cards will waive interest fees

  • for the first few months to a year.

  • And you might think,

  • well, this is only a problem for people with bad spending

  • habits who don't pay off their card in full each time.

  • Clip: But there's a lot more to it than that.

  • Narrator: Even if you're responsible with your payments,

  • there's still other ways credit cards can cost you.

  • Silbert: There are lots of credit card hidden fees

  • that you could be surprised by if you're not aware of them.

  • These fees are hidden in the sense

  • that they're buried in the fine print.

  • They're definitely documented,

  • and you can find them if you look for them.

  • But they're not super apparent if you're just

  • glancing at the credit card application online.

  • Narrator: Some cards have fees you can't avoid

  • by diligently paying your card on time.

  • Like a foreign transaction fee.

  • These are fees placed on purchases you make abroad.

  • But they can also be charged

  • on any transaction processed abroad,

  • even if you yourself are not traveling.

  • So, if you're making a hotel reservation in Bali

  • or buying a cool pair of pants from a Japanese website,

  • you might want to make sure the card provider

  • isn't charging you a fee to make that purchase.

  • Foreign transaction fees typically run around 3%,

  • so for a hotel room that costs $150 a night,

  • you're paying an additional $4.50.

  • Just think, you could have bought yourself

  • an iced coffee with that money.

  • Other fees to look out for are balance transfer fees,

  • authorized user fees, late payment fees, and an annual fee.

  • You could get charged an annual fee once a year

  • just for having the card.

  • On some cards, it can be quite high,

  • like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card,

  • which has an annual fee of $450.

  • Ouch.

  • But the Sapphire Reserve also offers a $300 travel credit

  • and a hefty sign-up bonus,

  • so if you're using it for travel

  • and are a big spender anyway, it might be worth it.

  • So, with all these sneaky fees and incentives,

  • how do you avoid a credit card bill at the end of the month

  • that's higher than you expected?

  • Silbert: The best way to use credit cards

  • is to treat them like debit cards.

  • So that means don't spend anything more than you can afford,

  • you need to pay your balance off in full,

  • and that way, any rewards that you're earning

  • are really rewards in something extra.

Credit card debt in the US

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信用卡讓你花更多錢的狡猾方法 (Sneaky Ways Credit Cards Get You To Spend More Money)

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    Mackenzie 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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