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

Discover the pros and cons of credit cards that help you build credit.
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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)

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