Like little money monsters hiding under your bed…you’ve got to make sure you check the fine print when choosing a credit card.

There are hidden credit card fees lurking behind every corner…whether you’re travelling, adding an extra card, or withdrawing cash, you could be charged a fee you didn’t even know existed.

Here’s what fees to be on the lookout for, and the best credit cards that let you avoid them entirely.

Foreign transaction fees

When swiping your card outside of Canada, or even when you process a transaction in a foreign currency while buying online, there can be a fee associated with that purchase – usually around 2.5% of the total.

This seemingly small percentage can really add up, especially during a long trip overseas.

Luckily there are a few cards that don’t charge this fee.

Take the , for example. For an annual fee of $120, you’ll get no foreign transaction fees on top of super flexible rewards.

Check out more details here:

Prefer not to pay for an annual fee? The boasts no foreign transaction fees on top of a simple 1% cashback on everything you buy. No limits on a no fee card? Not bad.

Related: How Foreign Currency Exchange Works When Returning Your Purchases

Plus up to $300 travel bonus.
Ends October 25th.

Extra card fees

Adding an extra card can be necessary (and beneficial) for some, but it can come at a cost.

Whether you have a joint account with your partner to earn extra rewards, giving an extra to your child as an emergency card, or a business that needs multi-card access – extra card fees can really rack up your bill.

American Express can be a great option when an extra card or two is necessary, as most of their cards don’t include a charge for adding at least one additional card.

Here’s one to keep in mind:

The has the highest earn rate on both groceries and restaurants of any card in Canada, making it the ultimate card when staying in or eating out.

You’ve got options, though. There’s also the .

You earn two points per dollar spent on anything. No categories, no caps, no tiers. Simple.

Cash advance fees and interest rates

Withdrawing cash from a credit card can often come with cash advance fees that will be either a flat rate or percentage of the transaction. The money you take out will typically have higher interest rates than if you were to make a normal transaction as well.

You also start paying interest on your withdrawn cash right away. There’s no grace period for cash withdrawals.

If you’re going to be withdrawing cash from your card often, it might be worth looking into applying for a low cash advance fee card, like the .

This card has a cash advance interest rate of 12.99% and a flat cash advance fee of $5 – making it perfect for cash withdrawals.

Balance transfer fees and interest rates

Transferring debt from one card to another can come at a hefty price, typically at a 22.99% interest rate.

If you’re looking to transfer an existing balance to another card, try the .

When you sign up, you get a promotional rate of 0% for 10 months.

Once the promotion period is up, there’s a permanently low interest rate of 12.99% if you haven’t finished paying off your balance.

The balance transfer fee is 3% of the total amount being transferred, with a minimum charge of $7.50. If you live in Quebec, there’s no balance transfer fee for this card.

For a lower balance transfer fee, the has a balance transfer promotional offer of 1.99% for 9 months, but with a lower transfer fee of 1%.

Related: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards In Canada For 2019

Overlimit fee

Going over your card limit is a mistake anyone can make. Avoid as much damage as possible to your score and protect yourself with a card that’s got your back.

We recommend the , which doesn’t charge you for the common mistake of going over your limit.

You’ll also be able to earn 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on gas, groceries, drugstores, and aircanada.com purchases.

Late payment fee

If you’re late on a payment, banks can take advantage of you by hiding a late payment interest rate in the fine print. Make sure you’re getting the best rate possible and you don’t get put in the penalty box.

A great card with no late payment fee is the .

You also get 80,000 welcome points towards your first First Class Travel adventure and a welcome bonus of 20,000 TD Points when you make your first purchase!

Dishonoured payment fee

If a payment isn’t processed because a bank returns a cheque or refuses a pre-authorized debit, a fee will be charged to your account. Depending on the issuer, it can range from $25 to $48. Here are a few examples:

  • RBC: $45
  • BMO: $48
  • Scotiabank: $48
  • Tangerine: $25
  • American Express: $25

Points reinstatement fee

If you fail to use your points within a given period, it’s going to cost you. Many credit card specific programs will forfeit your points if you fail to keep your card in good standing as well.

For example, Aeroplan currently states “You may buy back expired miles at a cost of 1¢ per mile, a $30 administration fee, and applicable taxes.”

American Express currently reinstates them for a $35 administrative fee and you can only redeem them within 24 months of forfeiting the points.

Statement reprint

If you need a statement reprinted, you need to be aware of the associated fee. This fee is something a lot of banks are doing away with since most statements are available via online banking as a PDF.

Most banks set this cost at $5 like CIBC or Scotiabank, but often the best solution is printing the PDF online.

Installment fees

If your bank allows you to pay your balance in installments, they will charge you a fee. This is relative to the length of time you’ve decided to pay it in, and the amount you owe.

For example, American Express charges 2% per 3 months, 3% per 6 months and 5% per 12 months.

Travel change fee

If an unexpected event comes up and you have to change your travel booking, make sure it’s worth the fee. Air Miles currently charges $10 – $50/person plus applicable taxes. There are no cancellations or refunds permitted on tickets once booked.

Aeroplan recently changed its policy in regard to travel changes. If cancelling within 24 hours of booking, you’re able to get a full refund. You can also now get a full refund of your flight rewards – if you cancel up to 2 hours prior to departure.

Related: Aeroplan News: Changes To Flight Reward Refunds, Changes, And More

We want to hear from you

So the next time you’re signing up for a new card, look underneath the bed…or just read the fine print for the hidden credit card fee monsters.

They answer to foreign transactions, extra cards, cash advances, balance transfer, and more.

Have you ever been travelling and racked up a transaction fee that scared you?

Been hit with a cash advance fee that made you want to hide under the covers?

Let us know in the comments below.