Credit card fees and how to (mostly) avoid them
In terms of fees, most of your day-to-day use of your credit card probably won’t cost you any more than your annual card fee. Here’s the low-down on other fees that could apply, and ways to avoid them.
This one’s pretty difficult to avoid. Depending on the type of credit card you have, it could be as low as about $30 (for a low fee card) and up to $300 a year (for a premium card ). Usually, the more features a card has – like rewards points and complimentary insurances – the higher its annual fee.
If your card has features that you’re not using, it might be a good time to change your credit card to something with a lower annual fee. Read about the important questions when choosing the right card for you.
If you are a NAB shareholder or you have a home loan package, you could be able to get a credit card with no annual fee (although you will pay an annual package fee). Make sure you check; this could save you plenty!
Cash advance fee
Put simply, cash advances are expensive, so save them for emergencies only. Our cash advance fee is a percentage of the amount you advance, meaning the larger your cash advance, the higher your fee. It’s a one-off fee for each cash advance, but interest charged is also from the day you access the funds until it’s paid off in full.
So make sure you know what counts as a cash advance – withdrawing cash is not the only way. Get the details in our post avoiding credit card interest (Part 1).
Late payment fee
This fee explains itself: if you’re late with your monthly credit card payment, you’ll see this fee on your next statement.
To avoid this fee you need to at least make your minimum payment by the date shown on your statement. (When you read about avoiding credit card interest you’ll see that making the minimum payment is not enough to avoid interest.)
We’ve reduced this fee to $5, which is less than a lot of other banks, but you’d still probably prefer to avoid being charged at all, right?
Setting up a regular payment could help you to ensure you are never late on your payments. You can read more about this in avoiding credit card interest (Part 2).
International transaction fees
Depending on the type of credit card you use (Visa®, MasterCard®, or American Express®) and the exact type of transaction, this fee can vary. But it’s always a percentage of the total you spend.
You don’t have to be overseas for this fee to apply. If you’re an online shopper, remember that any purchase you make with an international store or in any international currency (like USD or GBP) will attract an international transaction fee.
Repeat statement fee
This is much less common than the other fees we’ve just gone through, but it’s important to cover every possible fee.
If you ask us to post you a copy of an old credit card statement, we’ll charge you a fee. The easiest way to avoid this is to set up Smart Statements online through NAB Internet Banking. You can download statements for an open account going back as far as seven years. See How to set up Internet Banking.
Fees for non-NAB ATMs
These technically aren’t “credit card fees”, since they apply no matter what sort of NAB card you put in the machine. You’ll probably have to pay a fee if you use an ATM other than a NAB ATM or rediATM to check your balance or get money out.
These fees are “direct charged” by the bank or company that owns the ATM. You’ll see the amount onscreen and have the option to cancel your selection rather than pay the fee and continue.
Download the NAB app for your smartphone and use it to locate NAB or rediATMs near to you when you’re out and about; it could save you a lot in fees.
Things we don’t charge fees for
Unlike some banks, we don’t charge fees for:
- going over your credit limit (but we do have the right to decline the purchase)
- replacing lost or stolen cards
- producing transaction evidence (which is part of the process if you dispute a transaction)
Credit card surcharges
This isn’t a fee from your credit card provider. Some businesses both locally and overseas will charge you a ‘surcharge’ for using a credit card. It’s usually a percentage of the purchase you’re making and these fees can add up, so it pays to be aware of this when you’re shopping.
Interest is another story, though, so it’s a good idea to read about avoiding credit card interest.
Did you find this article helpful?
If you have some useful tips on avoiding fees to share, or if there’s anything else you’d like to know, leave us a comment below.
For more information:
American Express is a registered trademark of American Express Company.
MasterCard® and the MasterCard® Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard® International Incorporated.
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