While the Federal Reserve has slashed its benchmark rate to 1 percent, many consumers are still getting hit with higher rates and fees on their credit cards, according to the Wall Street Journal. Though average credit card rates have fallen slightly as the Fed has cut interest rates, banks and retailers are trying to offset rising losses in their credit card operations by raising rates and fees across a broader spectrum of their existing customers.
Chase is raising its rates on credit card cash advances and overdraft protection, as well as its default rate, which is triggered when cardholders exceed their credit limit or are late on their payments. The bank will also start charging a new $10 monthly service fee to some cardholders who have been carrying large balances for at least two years, while raising their monthly minimum payments to 5 percent of their outstanding balance, from 2 percent.
Citibank and American Express have been notifying groups of cardholders that they will be raising their regular interest rates by two to three percentage points. In addition, American Express is raising its rates on cash advances, late payments and defaults, increasing its foreign-exchange fees to 2.7 percent from 2 percent on its consumer and small-business cards and eliminating ways to earn rewards on one of its popular cards.