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Should You Pay An Annual Fee?

Aug 17, 2007
If you have a credit card and pay an annual fee for the privilege, then perhaps you are paying too much for your card. Although there are some cards that give you a lot of benefits and so a fee is worthwhile, for most everyday cards there is no need to pay fees. If you want to know if you should pay a fee or not, then here are some tips about credit card fees.

New card fees

If you are looking for a new card, then there is really no need for you to have to pay an annual fee. Although some cards offer many benefits, there is usually an alternative card that offers no fee. Most card companies have moved away from charging annual fees to new customers because they know that it makes their card unattractive. If you are a new customer then steer clear of cards with an annual fee.

Existing customers

Most people who are paying afee started out on a credit card that charged no fee. However, credit card companies cannot offer you the incredible introductory rates forever, and may end up charging you an annual fee after a while. If this happens you need to think about whether you want to pay the fee and stick with your card or change card issuer to one that doesn't charge you a fee.

No balance leads to fees

Amazingly, the people who end up paying the annual fees on cards are often the people who never use their cards. The card company cannot make money off someone who carries no balance or pays their balance off during the grace period. Therefore, they charge them a fee in order to make some money. If you pay off your balance each month, make sure you don't fall victim to this trap.

Fees for poor credit

Another reason why you might be charged a fee is if you have a poor credit rating. There are some card companies that charge large fees for a credit card if you have poor credit, which can often leave you with virtually no balance left. However, there is no need to pay these fees if you have poor credit. If you shop around then you should be able to find a credit card with no fee at all.

Should I pay?

In general, there is no reason why you should have to pay an annual fee for a normal credit card. The card company makes money from interest and other fees, so there is no need for a fee. Unless you are getting a higher-level gold or platinum card or a card with many extra features, you shouldn't have to pay an annual fee at all. However, you should always way up paying a fee against the cost of interest. If the interest is very low then paying an annual fee might not be as expensive as a high interest card with no fee.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk Please visit us at Bank Charges and Secured Loans
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