Worst Credit Cards on the Market – May 2011

worst credit cardsCard Hub released its annual list of the worst credit cards on the market in order to help consumers avoid the pitfalls of these cards. Over 800 credit cards were evaluated in this report and were analyzed based on the features they offer their customers, including rewards, interest rates, and fees.

There are so many different credit card offers currently in the marketplace,  that it’s often difficult for the 69% of Americans who use a credit card for the majority of their purchases to keep them straight*.  It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that 41% of consumers gave their personal finance knowledge a grade of C or worse.

Consumers simply need a little personal finance guidance, and this list is just that.  The products listed below range from having some of the highest annual fees or APRs to being just plain mediocre across the board, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  However, they do have one similarity:  They are poor choices for consumers and should be avoided.

  • The Visa Black Card – This product has a $495 annual fee and a 14.99% APR, and the only benefits it provides are 1% cash back on all purchases, airport lounge access, and the vague promise of “luxury gifts.”  Needless to say it doesn’t even compare to the famous American Express “black card.”
  • The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card – This is one of the worst business credit cards on the market.  Not only does it come from a nontransparent business credit card issuer, but it also does not offer CARD Act protections against arbitrary interest rate increases or a 0% Intro APR on purchases or balance transfers (just a regular rate between 9.24% and 18.24%). In terms of rewards, this card has none to offer unless you pay a $50 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
  • The First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card – This partially-secured credit card requires that you place a $95 security deposit to get a $300 credit line, and has a 49.9% APR, a $75 first-year annual fee, and $120 in membership fees each year thereafter.
  • The Barclaycard Financing Visa Card – This card is simply mediocre across the board.  While it doesn’t have an annual fee, it also doesn’t offer any rewards or a traditional indroductory interest rate.  Instead, it has a 22.99% regular APR and a curious deferred-interest feature, which gives you a chance to get no interest for 6-12 months on your first Apple purchase.  If you miss a payment or fail to pay down your balance in full before the introductory period concludes, however, interest is retroactively applied from the time of purchase.

The above evaluation reflects individual credit card offers, and is not an evaluation of the credit card company as a whole.

*According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2011 Financial Literacy Survey.

UPDATE 5/24/11: The USAA Military Affiliate Cards have been removed from this list. It was mistakenly selected as we did not realize that it included rewards. In light of this additional information, the card that was next in line to be identified for truly mediocre features across the board is the Barclaycard Financing Visa Card.

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