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10 Common Credit Card Complaints

By Jason Steele

NEW YORK ( cards are not terribly complex products, but they can be terribly misunderstood. Although many cardholders are satisfied with their cards, some customers report endless frustration.

Here are ten of the most common credit card complaints we hear from readers, and some simple suggestions to avoid these issues.

1. I have to pay an annual fee.

There may have been a time when most credit cards did not charge an annual fee, but that hasn't been the case recently. Nevertheless, some cardholders who still expect to use a card without an annual fee are are upset when they are charged one.

Solution: There are still plenty of ways to avoid annual fees or you can find a card without one.

2. My bank added foreign transaction fees when I was abroad.

Few things are as frustrating as paying your bank a foreign transaction fee, when your rewards card should be paying you.

Solution: First, try calling your bank and asking for the fee to be waived. That might work once or twice, but in the long term, you should find a card without these fees.

3. My interest rate is too high.

Credit card purchases represent unsecured debt, and they have higher interest rates than car loans or home mortgages. In fact, most credit cards have interest rates between 10% and 20% APR, which accumulates very quickly.

Solution: For those with good credit, there are plenty of low-interest rate cards available. Otherwise, there are still many ways to have your bank cut your interest rate.

4. My application was rejected.

It is always hard to take rejection, especially when a bank unexpectedly denies your credit card application.

Solution: Few people realize that the bank's first decision is not final, and they can ask to be reconsidered.

5. I can't redeem my rewards.

Figuring out some credit card reward programs can be nearly as confusing as deciphering the federal tax code. Worse, many programs have been devalued in the past year.

Solution: There are two ways to go here. One is to spend some time learning about your credit card programs in order to earn the most valuable rewards. The other is to give up on complicated loyalty programs and switch to a simple cash back card.

6. It's hard to get through to customer service.

There are several reasons why cardholders would need to contact their bank, but few things are more aggravating than being put on hold forever.