What is Credit Card Charge? How To Spot And Report Fraudulent Charges

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Although credit cards are great assets, they are usually burdened with various fees that are called credit card charges. The ability to accept a credit card is non-negotiable for your business to thrive. But that means that you will have to deal with credit card charges.

In this article, you will learn about the meaning of credit card charges, how to avoid excess charges, and also how to spot and report a fraudulent card charge.

What Is A Credit Card?

A credit card is a payment card that is issued to a user to help them pay a trader or dealer for goods and services depending on the user’s accumulated debt. The user could also be known as a cardholder. The card is usually issued by the bank or credit union who generates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder. The cardholder, in return, can borrow money for payment of goods and services to a merchant or dealer and a cash loan. 

Cardholders agree to pay back the money loaned with interest, based on the terms and conditions of the institution. A credit card can either be a business credit card or a consumer credit card. 

READ ALSO: What Is A Cash Advance On A Credit Card?

What Is A Credit Card Charge?

In every business transaction that involves credit cards, a processing fee is required for the transaction to be complete — the processing fee is known as the credit card fee. The credit card charge is never more than 20% of each purchase made. Businesses can minimize this cost by shopping around different payment processors.

As a result, they can receive reasonable rates that will enable them to save some amount of money as time progresses. But for this to happen without any issues, you should be knowledgeable in the topic at hand, that is, credit cards. This will help you in setting a good credit card payment for your business. 

READ ALSO: What is the Difference Between a Charge Card And A Credit Card?

How To Avoid Excess Credit Card Charges

If you miss any credit card payment, spend more than your limit, or take other actions that are not within the normal purchases, you can incur many charges to yourself. When you apply for a credit card, certain terms and conditions are part of the application. When you get the approval, you will receive a very long document in the mail, specifying your agreement. The fees that may be charged you for using the credit card will be defined in the document.

Frankly speaking, you can never run away from these charges, but you can avoid them to a certain level. Here are some of the charges and ways you can avoid them:

1. Annual charges

Annual charges are yearly charges you pay for using the credit card. They usually range between $95 and $500. Most cards charge the same fee every year, while some may waive it for the first year. However, to avoid the charge, you can opt for a no-annual-charge card. But if you already have the annual-fee card, you can transfer to a lower or no-annual-charge option.

2. Interest charge

If you do not pay off your balance as required in each billing year, your credit card may attract an interest charge. This charge may be listed on your cardholder agreement as your Annual Percentage Rate (APR). you can go through your most recent bill to see what APR you are charged each billing year. to avoid interest charges, ensure to pay your bill in full each year. besides, you can reduce your spending or consider a zero percent APR card that does not charge interest for up to 21 months.

SEE ALSO: How To Use A Credit Card To Build A Credit In 2022

3. Late payment charge

If you are someone who is in the habit of paying your credit card bill late, you may incur a charge ranging between $29 for the first time to $40 for consequent infringements that took place within six months. You can open a credit card that does not have a late payment charge option to avoid this charge. Nevertheless, you should make at least the minimum payment when the date is due.

4. Foreign transaction charge

This charge arises when you make purchases outside your country. Well, the charge is just around 3%. However, no money is small. To avoid the charges, consider applying for a credit card that has no foreign transaction charge.

5. Over the Limit charge

If you exceed your credit limit, you may receive some charges regarding that. But the fee will never exceed the amount you spend over your limit. Typically, your creditor will reject your transaction when you attempt to spend more than your credit limit. However, for a fee of up to $35, you can receive an option for such transactions to get approved. But then, if you think there is no need for the charges, you can refuse to opt-in for the over-the-limit charges. Moreover, avoiding spending up to your credit limit is a better way to transact. Better still, you can set an alarm when you get close to your credit limit.

How To Spot and Report Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

Credit card fraud is a kind of theft in which criminals make purchases or obtain cash advances using your credit card account. They could do this through one of your current accounts or by stealing your physical credit card or your account details. Moreover, the criminal can open accounts in your name without your knowledge.

Additionally, this situation is not new to credit card issuers and so, they try as much as they can to develop new methods to impede illegal usage of cards.

Fraudulent card charges can happen at any time and this could be at a time you least expect it. You need to form the habit of checking your credit card account to enable you easily identify if anything went amiss. When you identify it, of course, the next plan of action is to report it to your card issuer. To detect such fraudulent acts, here’s what to do:

The best way to spot credit card fraud is to regularly review your statement against any unlawful transactions. In addition, you can set up a credit card alert for every card in your wallet, using your mobile app or card issuer’s website. This, you do by opting for notification by text or email for your transactions in form of:

  • Card, not present” transactions, e.g. online transactions.
  • Transactions above a selected amount.
  • All transactions

With such alerts, you can easily detect any suspicious activity on your account and reduce the risk of getting defrauded on your credit card.

However, in some situations, the problem could be a simple error on your credit card and not necessarily a fraud. So, once you spot any unlawful transaction, you need to determine if it is a fraud or simply an error.

For instance, you might receive debits twice by the same store. This is not fraud but a mere mistake. You will need to look for ways to rectify the issue to avoid a future occurrence. You can take it up with the merchant first but if you do not recognize the charge, you can browse for the name of the merchant on your credit card statement and find out where it does business under a different name. if you share the account with another cardholder, you can ask them if they made any transaction.

To report any illegal transaction, the first step you need to follow is to call your card issuer and report the fraud. This could be resolved within a few minutes.

Ensure to document the conversation in writing because it may further absolve you of any liability. Inform your credit card issuer of your written document. It is a way to prove that you played your role in reporting the unlawful charges. In everything, never forget to keep your copy of any document mailed to the issuer.

Moreover, you must send the letter to reach your credit card issuer within 60 days from when the billing with the fraudulent charges was mailed to you. In return, your credit card issuer will confirm that they received the letter. And this must be put in writing within 30 days of receiving it.

Related Post: 9 Simple Ways To Use Credit Card Wisely

How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

The growing number of credit card charges is becoming alarming by the day. There is no assured way to avoid falling victim but you can do the following to help the situation:

1. Guard your wallet or purse properly when you are outside and try not to leave credit cards unattended.

2. Any credit card you do not use should be kept in a safe place at home. Avoid carrying it about.

3. Make sure your online shopping is done on a secure website. To know a secure website, lookout for a website that has HTTPS:// at the beginning of the site address.

4. Before giving out your credit card number to anyone over the phone, make sure you have verified the identity of the person and that they are from a reliable organization. Better still, get to ask some questions because your card issuer already has your information.

Is There Any Difference Between Credit Cards and Charge Cards?

Charge cards have the same resemblance as credit cards and perform the same duty if you make purchases. They have the same features like rewards and benefits. They do not have zero interest promotion and may not be an option for balance transfers.

The difference between a credit card and a charge card is your ability to roll the debt over from one month to another. for a traditional charge card, your credit cannot receive an extension. That is to say, you must pay the full balance every month. However, for credit cards, you can pay off your purchases over time. But if you do not pay the whole balance at once, you will receive interest charges. 

Read Up: What is the Difference Between a Charge Card And A Credit Card?

Credit Cards Versus Debit Cards

Credit cards and debits cards are almost the same as they share the same 16-digit cards numbers, expiration dates, magnetic strips, and EMV chips. They make your purchases in stores or online very easy and convenient. Nevertheless, they have one important difference. While debit cards allow you to spend money by drawing on funds that you have deposited in your bank account already, credit cards allow you to borrow money from the card issuer up to a particular limit order. They both exist for you to purchase items or withdraw cash. Better still, you should have one debit card and one card in your wallet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a credit card?

Several different kinds of credit cards exist. Hence, it can be difficult to know what to choose. However, you must first consider what you need a credit card for.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow using your credit card largely depends on your credit limit. Your card will decide the limit, depending on certain factors including your credit score, how much available income you have, whether you have other types of credit card, and so on.

Will I be charged if I withdrew cash from my credit card?

Yes, you will be charged. An annual fee of 2.5% or 3% of the amount you withdraw is charged you. It is called a cash advance fee.

Is a prepaid card the same as a credit card?

No, they are not. prepaid cards allow you to load a set amount of money onto a card that can be used as a credit card.

What happens if I cannot pay my bills?

For the fact that a credit card lends money, you may not have to pay off the whole balance at once. However, you need to keep a balance on your card, which means that you are being charged interest and that adds up quickly.

Conclusion 

Credit card charges are applied to your balance in case you miss a payment, withdraw cash or make a transfer. Try not to go over your credit limit when making transactions. This can be detrimental to your future funds. What is more important is your ability to make informed decisions. We hope this article helped you to have much insight regarding credit cards and ways to spot fraudulent cards. We are waiting for you in the comment section. 

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