Today’s news:

Inside ‘penalty pricing’

Do you know what penalty pricing is? Well, read the fine print on your credit card agreement and you may find out that because you were just a few days late making a monthly payment you were not only charged a late payment fee, but the lower rate you signed up for is now as high as 29.99%.

That’s called penalty pricing, and it can really blow your budget out of the water. If you have ever made a late payment, take a closer look at your credit card bill because you may get a nasty surprise.

Or how about that nice bank that offered you the opportunity to transfer an existing credit card balance over to their credit card with an offer of “0”% interest on the amount you transfer? Again, read the fine print.

Many banks charge a 3% minimum fee for balance transfers on the amount you are moving over to their credit card. Though some banks cap the fee at $75 — still a hefty amount, others have no maximum cap. What that means to you is that if you transfer a $10,000 balance at a “0”% rate, you may still be charged as much as $300 for the privilege of giving that bank your business.

An MCU VISA card comes with so many advantages you can’t afford to use anything else in this economic environment. The regular, every day non−promotional rate on all MCU VISA Cards — Classic, Gold and Platinum, is currently one of the lowest available (for rates, go to their website, www.nymcu.org ).

However, the advantages don’t stop there because the credit union will not bump up your interest rate if you exceed your credit limit, or your payment is a few days late, and they also won’t charge you a fee for a balance transfer. Many banks do.

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