American money

American Express adds automatic surcharge but customers have an easy step to avoid it

AMERICAN Express has a fee that customers need to be aware of – but it can be easily avoided.

For payments that are late, credit card companies are allowed to slap you with a surcharge.

American Express like other major credit card companies charges late fees for past-due paymentsCredit: Getty

And American Express is no different.

According to the financial services giant, late fees cannot be greater than the minimum payment.

They could also be between $29 to $40 for those who made their second tardy payment in six months – whichever amount is the lowest.

But either way, late fees can add up – so you’ll want to avoid them.

If you are forgetful, make sure to set up alarms, calendar appointments, or task reminders.

Another thing that might make sense is setting up automatic payments for a specific date.


But late payments aren’t the only thing you should keep in mind if you’re an American Express card holder.

The same exact same policy for late fees with American Express will apply if your payment is returned by your bank.

A reason why that might be is because you have an inadequate amount of cash in your account.

Here is a list of other surcharges that you can be hit with, according to American Express.

  • Credit limit increase
  • Express delivery for a replacement card
  • Duplicate documents requests including statements
  • Reward claiming
  • Setting up an account and maintenance
  • Balance transfer
  • Credit card withdrawals
  • Foreign transitions

Keep in mind that these fees can vary – so it’s worth checking with your credit company to see how much you will be on the hook for.

And also note that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 has protected consumers from excess charges.

Penalties imposed by credit card firms must be “reasonable and proportional,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Aside from credit card companies, you need to be aware of other daily necessities that could lead to surcharges.

For example, a tax on food items sold at grocery stores in Illinois is set to return in July.

Shoppers can expect to see an extra one percent fee on their grocery purchases.

Also, both Walmart and Target might charge fees due to bag-bans laws.

One of the latest states to take action was Washington.

Its state law allows businesses to charge eight cents for paper or reusable plastic carryout bags.

Other states where the plastic bans have taken effect include California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Colorado, New York, and Oregon.

The easy way to avoid the extra charge is by bringing your own reusable bags.

Costco charges nonmembers a 5% delivery surcharge.

If you are a regular shopper, you can avoid it by signing up for one of its memberships, which ranges from $60 to $120 depending on the perks you want.

Best Buy charges a restocking fee on select returns.

This can be 15% of the original cost of the item or $45, depending on what you purchased.

The restocking fee won’t apply in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

For more related stories, Ticketmaster and other companies have reportedly agreed to end so-called junk fees.

And Costco has issued a major update on membership fees.

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