Financial Tips | Debt Management

Cashspeak! Financial Tips | Debt Management
Custom Search

1/29/09

How to Find "No Fee" Credit Cards

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when obtaining a credit card is to obtain one with unnecessary fees. The most common "unnecessary fee" that people pay is an annual fee. An annual fee is a fee that a credit card company charges cardholders once per year merely because they own the card. Regardless of whether you actually use the credit card, you are charged this yearly fee.

The biggest problem that I have with annual fees is that they are nonsense fees. Paying the fee does not get you a better interest rate. It does not help you get better service or discounts on merchandise. As such, you pay this fee for no other reason but for the fact that you own the card. That is like paying an extra $50 per year on your cellular phone bill merely because you own a cellular phone. With so many other credit card options available, paying unnecessary fees (like an annual fee) is not a smart proposition. As such, where can you find no fee credit cards?

The best place to start is at your local bank. Banks usually have great credit cards with no annual fee. To further refine your search for the best "no fee" credit card, start at banks with which you already have an established relationship (i.e., already have a checking account, savings account, etc.) because you may find better deals and credit card offers that are not advertised to the general public.

Another great place to find a "no fee" credit card is on the Internet. However, you have to be cautious where you look. Randomly searching Internet websites is not only dangerous (because you will have to divulge private, financial information in order to apply for the credit card), it is also inefficient. The best place to start searching on the Internet is on the major credit card websites (e.g., Visa.com, MasterCard.com, DiscoverCard.com, AmericanExpress.com, etc.) because they offer many different products that can be easily compared. Additionally, these major credit card websites have many security precautions and thus, you can rest assured that should you apply for one of their cards, your information will be safe.

When applying for a "no fee" card, make sure that the card is truly "no fee." One thing that some banks like to do is state that their credit card has no annual fee when in fact it does have such a fee. For example, during your search you may come across a credit card offer that states that there is no annual fee "as long as you make at least one purchase per year using that card." And, in the event you do not make a purchase, there is a fee of X amount of dollars. This kind of "no fee" card does in fact contain a fee. Forcing you to make a purchase is the same as charging an annual fee. Do not fall into this trap and avoid these cards.

Remember, you have several options. Therefore, do not take the first credit card offer you receive. Look around, do some comparative shopping, and find the best no fee, low interest credit card for your needs.

ss_blog_claim=d4b8d84b7cd435a046138bf77aefb499