Dear Liz: We pay off our credit card accounts every month and all of our accounts are free, many with some form of rebate. I would not use a credit card that charges me a fee, so what do I do if one is imposed on my account? In previous columns you warned about potential credit score damage, but what is the alternative if you don’t want to pay the fee?
Answer: This question may become even more relevant in coming months, as card issuers threaten to impose more fees to compensate for income they’ll lose under the credit card reform law.
You don’t have to put up with an annual fee if you have plenty of other credit card accounts, since closing one or two in that situation shouldn’t wreak havoc on your score.
If you have only one or two accounts, though, you may want to open another before closing anything. You also should try to keep open your oldest and highest-limit accounts.