AUSTIN, Texas, July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Two First Premier Bank credit cards, which each charge a whopping 12 potential fees, are the worst offenders in CreditCards.com's study of the cards with the most and fewest fees. The PenFed Promise Visa Card doesn't charge any fees; it's the only one of the 100 major credit cards that CreditCards.com surveyed to hold that distinction. The average credit card charges six different fees.
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)
- Annual fees are surprisingly rare. Only 25 of the 100 cards charge an annual fee, and 10 of those waive the fee for the first year.
- The most common fee (charged by 99 of the 100 cards) is a late payment fee, which typically runs up to $35.
- All but two cards charge cash advance fees (the most common fee structure is $10 or 5% of each cash advance, whichever is greater).
- 90% of the cards that allow balance transfers charge a fee for doing so (the most common fee structure is $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater).
- 82% penalize cardholders for returned payments (typically up to $35).
- Foreign transaction fees are also common. They are charged by 77 of the 100 cards (typically 3% per transaction).
- Penalties for going over one's credit limit are rare; they are charged by just 5% of the cards.
- Other, less common, fees include paper statement fees, expedited phone payment fees, account re-opening fees and more.
"There are two main categories of fees: penalty fees and transactional fees," according to Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. "Penalty fees are pretty easy to avoid, for example, by paying your bills on time. Transactional fees are more important to comparison shop. If you travel internationally a lot, a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees is a great value."
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CreditCards.com surveyed 100 U.S. credit cards in June 2015. The 100-card survey pool is the same group of cards used to calculate CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report, and is a representative sampling of cards from all major U.S. card issuers. Fee information was gathered from the cards' terms and conditions documents, any publicly available cardholder agreements and phone calls to issuers.
CreditCards.com, named a "Best Site for Managing Your Credit" by MSN Money, is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2014, over 22 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.
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