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Consumers pay high price for credit

Posted: March 15, 2011 12:07 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Credit card companies have long found their bread and butter in penalty fees and high interest rates paid by consumers.

Recently, federal laws limit how much companies can charge risky customers. Now frugal-minded consumers are charging less on their balances and steering clear of penalty fees. It has the industry scrambling to find new ways to make money.

Many issuers have homed in on this good behavior.

I am truly blessed to pay my balance in full each month and was surprised to get a letter from the nation’s largest card issuer, notifying me that my annual fee would be $30.

The letter stated that the fee had been waived the previous year and would allow me to receive 3 percent back on gas and grocery purchases. If I did not pay the fee, I would have to settle for few perks.

Good credit is not what it used to be!

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