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.
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)

The US Is Running Short on More Than 200 Drugs

Pharmaceutical Drugs
© Srdjan Zivulovic / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The U.S. is officially running short on 202 drugs, including some medical staples like epinephrine, morphine and saline solution. “The medications most vulnerable to running short have a few things in common: They are generic, high-volume, and low-margin for their makers—not the cutting-edge specialty drugs that pad pharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines,” Fortune’s Erika Fry reports. “Companies have little incentive to make the workhorse drugs we use most.” And much of the problem — “The situation is an emer­gency waiting to be a disaster,” one pharmacist says — can be tied to one company: Pfizer. Read the full story here.

Chart of the Day: Could You Handle a Sudden $400 Expense?

iStockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

More Americans say they are living comfortably or at least “doing okay” financially, according to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017. At the same time, four in 10 adults say that, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, they would not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. That represents an improvement from 2013, when half of all adults said they would have trouble handling such an expense, but suggests that many Americans are still close to the edge when it comes to their personal finances.

Kevin Brady Introduces Welfare Reform Bill

File photo of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady questioning witness at Joint Economic Committee hearing in Washington
GARY CAMERON
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Tax Policy Center’s Daily Deduction reports that Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday introduced The Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act (H.R. 5861). “The bill would rename the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and target benefits to the lowest-income households. Although the House GOP leadership promised to include an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit as part of an upcoming welfare reform bill, this measure does not appear to include any EITC provisions.” The committee will mark up the bill on Wednesday

Who Will Pay the AMT in 2018?

The Alternative Minimum Tax, designed to make sure the wealthy pay income tax, will hit nearly 29 million people unless Congress acts before the end of this year
Nick Bhardwaj/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The GOP tax cuts expanded an exemption for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and changed tax breaks that often triggered the tax. As a result, The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Saunders reports, “This year’s AMT is a shadow of its former self. It is expected to raise about $5 billion for 2018, down from an estimated $39 billion under prior law, according to the Tax Policy Center.” The AMT will likely hit some 200,000 tax filers for 2018, down from roughly 5 million who would have had to pay if the tax cuts hadn’t been passed. And the number of people making $500,000 or less who owe the AMT will fall to about 120,000 this year from 4 million last year, a Tax Policy Center economist tells the Journal.