Sneaky credit card charges add up

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Sneaky charges hiding inside your credit card statements could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year, according to a new study. Alison Kosik has the details from New York.

They’re called “grey charges” — misleading, unwanted, unintentional fees hiding in your credit statement, and bleeding you out of an average of $215-dollars a year, according to a new analysis from consulting firm Aite.

(AP)

Aite says about 35-percent of cardholders were hit with at least one grey charge last year.

In all, grey charges cost cardholders $14.3 billion dollars.

The most common grey charge happens when you sign up for a free trial of a product, but after an intitial grace period, get charged automatically for it. these so-called “free-to-paid” charges accounted for almost half of all grey charges — $6.1 billion dollars.

Phantom fees are also rampant — adding up to about $2.5 billion dollars. phantom fees are fees charged for an extra, unwanted product or service, such as “credit monitoring services” bundled with a free credit report.

Other popular charges include service and luxury fees, unintended subscription fees, and unwanted renewal fees

Believe it or not, credit card companies hate these charges almost as much as consumers.

Aite says card issuers spend more than $550-million dollars a year fieldng millions of calls from frustrated customers.

They may be annoying and expensive, but they’re not illegal.

Customers are typically told the fees are coming, though the notice may be buried in the fine print. This new report shows just how much it pays to pay attention.

(Copyright 2013 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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