How to reduce credit-card costs

DEAR HARRY: Last week, I attended a "seminar" given by a friend of my son's. He did a clever thing by offering to help us to reduce our credit-card costs, including all kinds of fees. But his real pitch was for getting us to use him as a stockbroker. I accepted his offer to speak to us one-on-one, but he told me lots of stuff I did not want to hear instead of what he promised. Another person who attended the original meeting told me that he got the same impression. The only thing we learned was that it was easy to find a no-fee card that also gave generous "rewards." Are there other ways to save money on credit cards?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: In addition to no-fee cards, get your annual credit reports free. You can claim a free report annually from the major issuers (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) by going to on your computer. Set your calendar so that you get a report every four months. Do not go to That address will get you the report, but attached to a lot of costly stuff you don't need - like credit monitoring. A fraud alert on your account will get you a report once every 90 days. Don't pay a fee for your FICO score. FICO will give you scores used by some of its customers, including Barclays and Discover. Hope that helps!


Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.