By Maddy Vitale
If you are a Citigroup cardholder, you may be in for a refund.
Recently, Citigroup Inc. revealed that it failed to lower interest rates for some credit card customers as required by federal law, according to financial advisers.
The bank now plans to issue around $335 million in refunds to affected customers, or about $190 on average per each of those accounts. Citi hasn’t finalized the list of consumers who may be eligible for a refund and said they include current and former cardholders, advisers said.
“This is a good reminder of how important it is to check your credit card statements and bills carefully every month,” said Ocean City Financial Group financial planner Mark Reimet.
He outlined a few tips to keep creditors “honest.”
Read the itemized charges on your bills. Take the time to glance over them because you want to be certain they were, in fact, your purchases.
“If something doesn’t make sense to you, question it,” Reimet said.
Automated payments are a great convenience for people wanting to ensure timely payments with the ease of no mail worries.
However, Reimet cautions, be sure to review your statements. Be certain the payments were debited correctly and there are no unusual purchases on your card.
This may seem like a larger commitment than you wanted to make, however, you should always review your transactions. “You want to make sure you were charged the correct amount on the different types of transactions,” Reimet stated.
This extra time spent will yield dividends for you. Improving your credit score is always a good thing. Remember, one of the many perks of a better report is that you may qualify for a lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR). That is when you should get in touch with your credit card companies and ask for a lower borrowing rate.
You may be pleasantly surprised.
Although it might not seem like a financial possibility for some, this key piece of advice is essential to staying ahead of the credit card game. Try not to carry a balance. The interest fees can make a small balance grow significantly and quickly.
Also, there are credit card rewards and cash-back incentives. Most credit cards come with lucrative advantages if you pay your balance on time.
And remember, if you get a late fee, call the credit card company and ask for it to be waived. If you are not a frequent offender, the company will usually work with you.
“There are all sorts of ways to manage your credit card carefully,” Reimet said. “Credit cards are a great convenience, but they need to be carefully managed and monitored. Use them wisely. Don’t spend more than you can afford and review your statement carefully every month.”
Mark Reimet, who opened Ocean City Financial Group in 1997, and Financial Planner Jodie Booth provide a personalized, warm touch and understanding, as well as expert advice in financial matters. At Ocean City Financial Group, located in the heart of town at the top of the Crown Bank building on 8th Street and Asbury Ave., clients of all personal wealth levels receive the same personalized service.
For more information call Ocean City Financial Group at (609) 814-1100 or visit us at www.OCFG.net or on Facebook.