Every swipe comes with a fee

With more retail companies accepting debit and credit cards for common everyday purchases, cash is being used far less frequently. But Investopedia says consumers may want to reaquaint themselves with dollar bills, as fees can mount every time a credit card is swiped.

The official term is 'interchange fee,' and as the source states, credit card companies charge the retailer approximately 1 to 3 percent of whatever it is the customer has purchased, or what amounts to be approximately 44 cents per transaction.

While it's the retailer that pays the fee, Investopedia says the consumer ultimately winds up paying in the end by increasing the cost of goods sold.

To keep fees low, regulators passed a bill that established maximum interchange fees and also allowed merchants to establish a minimum amount of money that needs to be spent before consumers can pay for something with credit.

While the Congress keeps a watchful eye on lenders and their practices, consumers should monitor their own credit histories. Those who don't may be blindsided when they discover they have bad credit, which may have been unfairly or inaccurately reported to credit bureaus by credit card companies and other creditors. This may require affected consumers to seek out a credit repair company to help fix such problems.