Indigo Card Fees: What You Need to Know

Getting a new credit card can be an exciting experience. The chance to earn rewards, take advantage of introductory offers, and access useful features is enticing. However, credit cards do come with fees, and it’s important to have full transparency on what you may be charged as a cardholder. This ensures no surprises down the line that could negate the value you get from the card.

In this guide, we’ll decode the most common fees charged by Indigo Card, a leading credit card issuer. By understanding these fees, how they are calculated, and when they apply, you can use your Indigo Card strategically to avoid unnecessary charges. You’ll get the maximum value from the card benefits without the financial pitfalls.

Annual Fee

One of the most standard fees with credit cards is the annual fee. This is an annual charge simply for holding the credit card, to cover administrative costs and fund benefits. Cards range from no annual fee up to $500+ per year for premium rewards cards.

For Indigo Card, the annual fee is $0 – $99 per year, depending on your qualifications. What determines your annual fee rate? Here are some of the factors:

  • Credit history – Customers with excellent credit scores and history generally qualify for $0 or low annual fees. Those newer to credit or with fair scores may pay higher fees.
  • Income – Higher incomes often qualify for reduced or waived annual fees. Indigo may request your income verification to determine rates.
  • Credit limit – If you receive a higher initial credit limit, your annual fee may also be higher.

The annual fee is billed each year on your cardholder’s anniversary date. So if you opened the card on June 1st, the annual fee would hit every June 1st thereafter. Some key strategies around annual fees:

  • Downgrade – If the fee is no longer worthwhile, downgrade to a no-annual-fee version of the card if available. You maintain your account history.
  • Request a waiver – Ask Indigo to waive the annual fee, especially if you’re a longtime customer with a solid payment history.
  • Use rewards – Offset the annual fee by redeeming your accrued rewards points or miles.
  • Product change – Apply for a new Indigo card that better fits your needs and has no annual fee.

Being proactive is key since you want to avoid card closure due to non-payment of the annual fee. Reach out to Indigo ahead of your anniversary date to employ one of these annual fee hacks.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Traveling internationally? Be aware of foreign transaction fees on your Indigo Card. This fee applies whenever you use your card outside the U.S. to cover the additional costs of cross-border transactions.

Indigo charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all international purchases, whether you’re travelling abroad or shopping online at foreign merchants. So a $100 restaurant meal in Paris would incur a $3 foreign transaction fee.

Here are some key times when the fee applies:

  • Purchases abroad – Any physical purchase made in a foreign country, whether swiping your card or using the chip. Applies to cards issued in the U.S. only.
  • Foreign websites – Ordering from e-commerce sites based internationally. The billing address determines if fees apply.
  • International services – Digital subscriptions billed from foreign companies are subject to fees.
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To avoid foreign transaction fees:

  • Use a fee-free card – Many travel rewards cards don’t charge foreign fees, like the Indigo Global Explorer card.
  • Pay in local currency – Some cards may charge extra to process USD transactions abroad. Pay in local currency.
  • Withdraw cash – Use an ATM to get cash in local currency instead of charging it directly.
  • Refunds – If you return an international purchase and receive a refund, the foreign fee should be refunded too.
  • Credits – Receiving airline credit for a cancelled international flight shouldn’t incur an additional fee.
  • International airline tickets – When purchased directly with the airline, these charges may code differently and avoid fees.

Cash Advance Fee

Accessing cash from your Indigo Card comes at a price. Cash advances include withdrawing cash from ATMs, bank tellers, casinos, and other means. The cash advance fee is 5% of the transaction or $10 minimum.

Here are key details on how, when, and why cash advance fees happen:

  • ATM withdrawals – Taking out cash from an ATM with your card triggers the fee. There is also interest from the transaction date.
  • Over the counter – Bank tellers can also facilitate credit card cash advances, charging both a fee and interest.
  • Cash equivalents – Things that can be converted to cash like casino chips, money orders, gift cards, and cryptocurrency purchases are considered cash advances.

The fee is calculated as 5% of the withdrawn amount, with a $10 minimum. So even a small $20 withdrawal would incur a $10 fee. And there’s no grace period – interest starts accruing immediately at a high rate.

Why are fees and rates so high? Cash advances are riskier with less fraud protection. Banks want to discourage using credit cards for cash. Some ways to avoid cash advance fees:

  • Use debit instead – Debit card withdrawals don’t incur fees or interest, making them better for cash needs.
  • Transfer balance – Rather than withdraw cash, transfer your credit balance to a checking account.
  • Stay in network – Limit ATM use to your own bank’s ATM network to avoid surcharges.

Balance Transfer Fee

Moving existing credit card balances to your new Indigo Card can help save on interest. But balance transfers aren’t free – there is usually a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum). Here are some key details:

  • New purchases don’t qualify – Only balances from other card issuers count as balance transfers with the fee.
  • Calculated on transfer amount – The fee is 3% of the total balance transferred over to Indigo Card.
  • When it applies – The fee is charged for each balance transfer transaction.

Balance transfers offer benefits like 0% intro APRs. But consider the fee in your cost-benefit analysis:

  • Weigh savings – Will you save more on interest than you’ll pay in fees? Run the numbers.
  • Impact of debt payoff – Factor your total debt repayment term. The longer it takes, the more fees add up.
  • Alternative options – Would a lower-rate personal loan or consolidation make more sense?
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Strategically maximize balance transfer savings:

  • Focus on 0% deals – Cards like Indigo Platinum offer 12 months of 0% APR on transfers (then 17.49% variable).
  • Do them in batches – One large transfer incurs a single fee vs. multiple smaller transfers.
  • Don’t finance the fee – Opt to pay the fee upfront so it doesn’t accrue interest too.

Late Payment Fee

One of the quickest ways to get into trouble with your Indigo Card is missing payments. If you don’t pay at least the minimum payment due by the payment deadline, you’ll face a steep late payment penalty.

The late fee for the Indigo Card is a flat $40 each time you’re late. Here’s how it works:

  • After the due date – The fee applies if you miss paying any portion of your minimum payment, even by one day.
  • No grace period – Indigo charges late fees the day after the due date, with no grace period.
  • Flat fee – The $40 is the same no matter how much your payment amount is.
  • Can be charged multiple times – You may incur late fees each billing cycle if you don’t pay on time.

To avoid headaches from late fees and credit score dings:

  • Set payment reminders – Use your calendar or account alerts to remember when your bill is due.
  • Enrol in autopay – Set up automatic payments from your checking account to pay bills on time.
  • Pay early – Submit payment a few days before the due date in case of processing delays. Don’t wait until the last minute.

If you do slip up, contact Indigo immediately and politely ask if they can waive the late fee. They may offer a one-time courtesy waiver, especially if you historically pay on time. Avoid further late charges as soon as possible.

Overlimit Fee

Exceeding your approved Indigo Card spending limit triggers over-limit fees – an expensive mistake. The over-limit fee is $40 per occurrence any time your balance surpasses your maximum credit limit.

Here are some scenarios where over-limit fees happen:

  • Large purchase – A single big ticket item causes you to go over your limit.
  • Multiple smaller purchases – Lots of little charges add up over the limit.
  • Authorizations – Pending charges temporarily put you over the limit.
  • Fees or interest – Assessed fees like the overlimit fee itself, or accumulated interest from previous cycles.

Going over your limit is costly beyond fees – it can seriously damage your credit standing with the issuer. To avoid:

  • Track your limit – Know how much credit you have available in real-time.
  • Set alerts – Receive notifications as you approach your limit.
  • Request limit increase – If warranted, ask for a higher limit for breathing room.
  • Don’t overspend – Only use the card for charges you can fully pay off monthly.
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Remember, over-limit fees compound the problem – now you’re even further over the limit! Have fees waived when possible and make paying down your balance under the limit an urgent priority.

Returned Payment Fee

Not having enough funds in your linked checking account to cover an Indigo Card payment will result in returned payment fees. If your payment bounces, Indigo charges $40 for payments returned due to insufficient funds.

Here are some common reasons for returned payments:

  • Not enough funds – Your account balance was too low when payment was processed.
  • Account frozen or closed – The bank account you used for payments ran into issues.
  • Stale or missing account – You input the wrong account number or it’s no longer valid.
  • Bank rejection – Your bank declined the transaction for suspicion of fraud.

Avoid returned payment fees by:

  • Tracking balances – Monitor your checking balance to ensure enough funds for upcoming payments.
  • Overdraft protection – Link savings accounts to cover overages if the balance runs low.
  • Call your bank – If low on funds, call the bank ahead of time to arrange coverage of payments.

If you do incur a returned payment fee, call Indigo right away to make alternate payment arrangements. You want to get the minimum payment to them ASAP to avoid additional late fees. Provide updated banking information if needed to prevent further issues.

Expedited Payment Fee

In an urgent bind and need to make a credit card payment fast? Indigo offers expedited payment services for a $15 fee. This includes:

  • Assisted agent payments – Speaking to a live agent via phone to make a payment.
  • Third-party services – Using Western Union, MoneyGram, or similar to transfer funds.

While convenient in a pinch, expedited payment fees can add up and often aren’t necessary. Some ways to avoid them:

  • Pay online – The quickest and most affordable option. Online payments pose no fee and are processed quickly.
  • Mail a check – If you can float the payment processing time, good old checks work with no fees.
  • Pay at a branch – Walk into your nearest Indigo branch and make an in-person payment. Also fee-free.
  • Schedule online – For urgent payments, schedule a one-time payment online in the future (rather than same-day) to avoid fees.

So in summary, while the Indigo Card brings nice perks like rewards points and purchase protection, it does come with an assortment of fees to be aware of. By understanding how these fees work, carefully reading the cardholder agreement, and tactically using the card, you can avoid unnecessary charges. Pay attention to spending limits, payment due dates, account balances, and transactions in foreign currencies. With smart and responsible usage, an Indigo Card can be a valuable addition to your financial portfolio without hidden financial pitfalls.

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