MONEY: SAVE PAPER ON YOUR PLASTIC

Americans blew more than $24 billion on credit-card fees last year, an 18 percent jump from 2003, says CardTrak.com. It's more than we spent on milk and eggs. Here's how to save:

^ To beat late fees, set up monthly minimum payments from your checking account. You can do this through online banking, or by asking your credit-card issuer to set up withdrawals from your bank account.

^ Say no to annual fees. If your card issuer won't drop the fee, switch. There's probably a no-fee offer in your mailbox right now.

^ Save cash-advance fees (most issuers charge between 2 and 3 percent of the amount) by not drawing on your credit card. Charge your transaction and then pay for it at the end of the month.

MONEY: SAVE PAPER ON YOUR PLASTIC | News