When It Comes to Fees, These Credit Cards Are the Worst
Swipe Gripe

When It Comes to Fees, These Credit Cards Are the Worst

Discover the pros and cons of credit cards that help you build credit.
istockphoto
By Beth Braverman

Two credit cards from First Premier Bank have the most fees of 100 cards researched for a CreditCards.com report released today.

The average number of fees per credit card analyzed was six, but the First Premier Bank Credit Card and the First Premier Bank Secured MasterCard carry 12 potential fees each. The PenFed Promise Visa Card was the only one in the survey that levied no fees at all.

A quarter of the cards surveyed charged an annual fee, although 10 percent waived that fee for a consumers’ first year. All cards except for the PenFed Promise Visa Card charged a late payment fee, which can run up to $25.

Related: What to Know Before Your Teen Gets a Credit Card

Penalty fees tend to be easier for consumers to avoid (don’t make late payments), and it’s worth shopping around for cards that don’t have fees for the transactions you need.

Most cards carry a cash advance fee, typically the greater of either $10 or 5 percent of each cash advance.  Among cards that allow balance transfers, 90 percent charge a fee for doing so, typically $5 or 3 percent of the transfer.

Another common fee was the foreign transaction fee, typically about 3 percent per transaction, charged by 77 percent of cards. “If you travel internationally a lot, a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees is a great value,” CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz said in a statement. 

If you’re hit with an unexpected, one-time fee, try calling your issuer and asking them for a refund. Often customer service reps are authorized to do so on a case-by-case basis.

MOST POTENTIAL FEES

  • First Premier Bank Credit Card (12)
  • First Premier Bank Secured MasterCard (12)
  • Credit One Visa Platinum (9)
  • Fifth Third Bank Platinum MasterCard (9)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum (9)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards (9)
  • Regions Visa Platinum Rewards (9)

FEWEST POTENTIAL FEES

  • PenFed Promise Visa Card (0)
  • ExxonMobil SmartCard from Citi (3)
  • Spark Classic from Capital One (3)
  • Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business (3)
  • Spark Miles Select by Capital One (3)

Chart of the Day: Trump's Huge Proposed Cuts to Public Investment

Trump budget arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Ben Ritz of the Progressive Policy Institute slams President Trump’s new budget:

“It would dismantle public investments that lay the foundation for economic growth, resulting in less innovation. It would shred the social safety net, resulting in more poverty. It would rip away access to affordable health care, resulting in more disease. It would cut taxes for the rich, resulting in more income inequality. It would bloat the defense budget, resulting in more wasteful spending. And all this would add up to a higher national debt than the policies in President Obama’s final budget proposal.”

Here’s Ritz’s breakdown of Trump’s proposed spending cuts to public investment in areas such as infrastructure, education and scientific research:

Chart of the Day: The Decline in Corporate Taxes

By The Fiscal Times Staff

Since roughly the end of World War Two, individual income taxes in the U.S. have equaled about 8 percent of GDP. By contrast, the Tax Policy Center says, “corporate income tax revenues declined from 6% of GDP in 1950s to under 2% in the 1980s through the Great Recession, and have averaged 1.4% of GDP since then.”

Tax Refunds Rebound

Flickr / Chris Potter
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Smaller refunds in the first few weeks of the current tax season were shaping up to be a political problem for Republicans, but new data from the IRS shows that the value of refund checks has snapped back and is now running 1.3 percent higher than last year. The average refund through February 23 last year was $3,103, while the average refund through February 22 of 2019 was $3,143 – a difference of $40. The chart below from J.P. Morgan shows how refunds performed over the last 3 years. 

Number of the Day: $22 Trillion

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The total national debt surpassed $22 trillion on Monday. Total public debt outstanding reached $22,012,840,891,685.32, to be exact. That figure is up by more than $1.3 trillion over the past 12 months and by more than $2 trillion since President Trump took office.