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.
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.


  • 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)


  • 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: A Buying Binge Driven by Tax Cuts

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Wall Street Journal reports that the tax cuts and economic environment are prompting U.S. companies to go on a buying binge: “Mergers and acquisitions announced by U.S. acquirers so far in 2018 are running at the highest dollar volume since the first two months of 2000, according to Dealogic. Thomson Reuters, which publishes slightly different numbers, puts it at the highest since the start of 2007.”

Number of the Day: 5.5 Percent

The debate over national health care aside, more Americans today say they get "excellent health care" than did in the early 2000s, according to <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/150806/rate-own-healthcare-quality-coverage-excellent.aspx" target="_blank"
Getty Images
By Yuval Rosenberg

Health care spending in the U.S. will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent from 2017 through 2026, according to new estimates published in Health Affairs by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The projections mean that health care spending would rise as a share of the economy from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent in 2026.

Part of the Shutdown-Ending Deal: $31 Billion More in Tax Cuts

The U.S. Capitol building is lit at dusk ahead of planned votes on tax reform in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files
Joshua Roberts
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Margot Sanger-Katz and Jim Tankersley in The New York Times: “The deal struck by Democrats and Republicans on Monday to end a brief government shutdown contains $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay in implementing three health care-related taxes.”

“Those delays, which enjoy varying degrees of bipartisan support, are not offset by any spending cuts or tax increases, and thus will add to a federal budget deficit that is already projected to increase rapidly as last year’s mammoth new tax law takes effect.”

IRS Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts

The IRS provides second chances to get your tax return right with Form 1040X.
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Congress passed a law in 2015 requiring the IRS to use private debt collection agencies to pursue “inactive tax receivables,” but the financial results are not encouraging so far, according to a new taxpayer advocate report out Wednesday.

In fiscal year 2017, the IRS received $6.7 million from taxpayers whose debts were assigned to private collection agencies, but the agencies were paid $20 million – “three times the amount collected,” the report helpfully points out.

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