If you're looking for a new credit card, it pays to do your research before you even apply. Most of us realize that not all credit cards are created equally. Unless your credit is stellar, those that are the easiest to qualify for often carry undesirable restrictions or fees. Credit card issuers are in the business to make a profit. What may initially sound like a good deal can quickly become your worst nightmare after you read the fine print. High interest rates, annual fees and limitations on rewards are often not easily understood at the time of application. We've compiled a list of 20 credit cards you should always avoid, and the reasons why. This information may help you to avoid falling into a common credit card dilemma.
First Premier Bank Gold Credit Card
This is a credit card that is available for applicants with bad credit scores. It's not a good choice for rebuilding credit. There are no rewards associated with the card and there is no purchase intro APR. It doesn't allow balance transfers. The regular APR is a ridiculous 59.9% with an annual fee of between $75 and $125 just for the privilege of issue. This is just for the first year. The annual fee goes down to a range of $45 to $49 for the duration of the time that you decide to keep it. Cash advance fees carry a 5% charge with a minimum withdrawal of $6. The amount of the processing fee you're charged depends on the credit limit that is approved. For example, if your credit limit is $300, your annual fee is $75. If it is $500, your fee is $125. This is an unsecured credit card, but the credit is very expensive.
BancorpSouth Gold Mastercard Credit Card
There are a few good things about this card. The zero percent purchase and transfer intro APR are good for fifteen months with $0 for the first sixty days transfer fee being a plus. After these times expire, the regular APR is between 14.49 to 25.49 percent. The rewards rate is set at between one and two points or every dollar spent. You need a good credit rating to qualify. Cash advance fees range from $18.15 to 21 percent with a transaction fee of 3%. Although you have the opportunity to earn rewards points, why would you want a card that charges you 3% to access cash? The APR is also a bit steep.
Centennial Gold MasterCard
The Centennial Gold MasterCard is issued by First Premiere Bank. It has the same features associated with it that the Gold MasterCard issued by the lender. The $75 processing fee is high and on top of that it charges a $75 annual from year two forward. The credit limits are low and the APR is 59.9%. This is clearly a setup that preys on the vulnerable who absolutely can't get credit anywhere else. We couldn't find any redeeming qualities about owning this card because it's a bad deal all the way around and it should be avoided at all costs. Speaking of costs, you'll pay a lot in fees for a few dollars of usable credit.
Aventium Gold MasterCard
The Aventium Gold MasterCard is another credit card issued by First Premier Bank. It's also high on the list of credit cards you should avoid applying for. Although it is unsecured, the price that you pay for the small amount of credit you'll get is simply too high by anyone's standards. The credit limits issues for this bad credit card are between $300 to $500 on average. The APR is 59.9%. The processing fee for setting up the card is $75 and beginning with month 13, you're required to pay an annual fee of $75 just for the privilege of having the card. There is no way around the fact that this is a bum deal for anyone at any credit rating. You should not even consider applying for this card unless you want to give your money away for nothing in return.
Educational Employees Credit Union Student Credit Card
This card is aimed at students who could use a little help making ends meet from time to time. The card offers no rewards program. The purchase intro APR is zero percent for the first 6 months, but jumps to as much as 23.49 percent when the intro period expires. Don't think about transferring because the introductory rate is 10.99 for the first 6 months, and it rises to the regular APR after this. It's available to those with a limited credit history, but the card does not feature smart chip technology. It's not the ideal card because there are others that offer rewards programs for making charges for books, supplies, eating out at restaurants and for other activities associated with student life.
New Millennium Mastercard
This credit card is issued by New Millennium Bank. This is one that we strongly avoid applying for because it's a bad deal all the way around. For starters, You're required to pay an account activation fee of $99.95. If you need the card quickly, as many people who need credit do, you have the option of paying an additional $10 for what they call a "rush" processing fee. This isn't all though. On top of all this, there is an annual fee of $59.00 and the interest rate is 19.5 percent. If this was an unsecured credit card, the interest rate may be more understandable, but it isn't. This is a secured credit card. The fees are astronomical for the privilege of having your name on their card that uses money you already have sitting in your account? We find it hard to believe that anyone would want to give their hard earned money away for a card like this. The New Millennium MasterCard is even worse than First Premiere Bank's versions
Prepaid Visa RushCard
The Rushcard is another credit card that you should strictly avoid. To begin with, it's a prepaid card that isn't going to help you build your credit. Sure, they give you a choice of two different basic plans, but neither are good options. The plan called Pay as you Go, charges an activation fee of $19.95. Every pin or signature transaction will cost you one dollar each. If you make an ATM withdrawal, you will pay $1.95 for each transaction. If this isn't your option of choice, the company also offers a monthly membership agreement, but it's going to cost you. The monthly maintenance fee for the account is $9.95. You must pay a $3.00 card activation fee and a $2.00 enrollment fee that is for online BillPay. You are charged $1.00 fore each bill payment and for each paper statement that you receive. Is it worth the cost for using your own money in the first place? This card is a credit card without the credit.
Horizon Gold Card
The advertisements to lure people into applying for this card make it seem better than it really is. They heavily advertise for people with low credit scores, no credit or bad credit and offer $500 in an unsecured plan. In reality, after you read all the fine print, this is little more than an advertising blitz to bring people in. Don't be fooled by the Horizon Gold card that is only usable at one online store. It's a card for the Horizon Outlet online mall. What is worse about this card is that the company levies a series of fees on members and the membership fees can rise to nearly $300 annually. Don't fall for this card that preys on the vulnerable because it won't do you any good. Even if you use it to shop online, it's credit that is far too expensive to be practical.
Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
Credit One Bank offers a variety of credit card plans and they are often confused with Capital One, but there is no relationship. They offer a variety of credit cards that are advertised for rebuilding credit. The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is a credit card for people with bad or no credit. It's difficult to establish just what your annual fee will be because of the wording that they use in their agreements. The rules are written in complicated language and you could end up paying anywhere from zero to $75 in fees for the first year and thereafter, the annual fee could range from zero to $99. The site is vague and confusing so you may or may not have a rewards program, your payments may or may not automatically post to your account so it's likely that your credit line will not be refreshed with any consistency. We strongly recommend that you avoid this site or even applying for this card because of its vagueness and inconsistency.
The Surge Card and the Matrix card are two other credit cards to avoid. The first year of ownership requires you to pay a fee of $125 on a $500 line of credit. Right off the bat, you're losing twenty-five percent of the limit in exorbitant annual fees. While this is the legal maximum, it doesn't make it a good deal. On year two, they cut you a break and drop the annual fee to $96, but it isn't the good deal it seems. You also must pay a monthly maintenance fee of $10 which adds another $120 a year onto the annual amount you will pay for a total of $216 per year. Next, consider the 30.49 percent APR they charge. We fail to see any redemptive qualities that suggest this card would be a good deal for anyone. It's far too expensive and you don't get much of a credit line. If you do max it out, you're going to be paying several times over what the small credit line is really worth. Nearly half the credit line is already eaten up in fees.
The Total Visa credit card is similar to the First Premiere Bank card. Before you even open your account, you need to know that all you need for approval is to apply. You will not be issued a card until you pay a processing fee of $89. You're letting go of the cash before you even receive the card. For the first year, you'll be charged an additional fee of $75. This will drop to $48 for the second year forward, but you still have to pay this annually. You are also charged a monthly processing fee to the tune of $6.25 so for the first year, you have to pay $164 in fees alone. Starting with year two, you pay $123 annually. The APR on the card is 29.99 percent. The Total Visa is an expensive line off credit that really isn't worth it.
Milestone Gold Mastercard
Genesis Bankcard Services is the issuing corporation for the Milestone Gold Master card. They also offer the Indigo Platinum. Similarly, the fees that are charged for this card depend upon your credit worthiness. The first year annual fee ranges from $35 to $79. This fee rises to $99 for every year afterwards beginning with year two. In some cases, the applicant is required to pay half of thee fee prior to the activation of the account. In other cases, it is billed after the account goes live. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to this anomaly. The company stays within the rule that states they may not charge more than 25% and depending on the credit limit issued, this may be why some clients are billed differently for the card. What this tells you is that the credit offered is high and you're going to be paying too much for it. The APR for this card is also set at 23.90%. It's not the worst card on the market, but it certainly is not the best option out there.
Vast Platinum Card
The Vast Platinum Card is an offer that may appeal to travelers who have poor or bad credit scores. Most often, travelers are offered a credit limit of $1,000. There is no credit check necessary to qualify, and card holders qualify for roadside assistance in addition to legal services at no costs. The free legal help is only applicable to purchases that are made from the direct website of the issuing company. You cannot gain access to the store website until you open an account with them to gain the Vast Platinum card. There are several fees associated with the process. First, you must pay $29.95 for the application fee. Net, you are charged a monthly fee of $19.95 for each month that your account remains open. This is one of the worst deals that we've ever heard of, that is still legal.
Mastercard Gold Luxury card
The Mastercard Gold Luxury card sounds like a good deal until you closely examine the fine print. The company sends out luxury gifts on occasion, but they don't come close to totaling the fees that you pay for the privilege of holding the card. It is advertised as being an exclusive rewards card, so expectations are high for a decent rewards program. What you actually get is a two percent return on each dollar spent, along with access to the Priority Pass airport lounge network. This isn't bad until you find out what it costs you. The annual fee for this exclusive card is $995 and each authorized user is charged an additional $295. This is one exclusive deal that most of us could afford to avoid.
Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card
This card is widely advertised to those interested in a good frequent flyers program. While there are some great plans out there, this isn't one of them. The card is issued by American Express and it gives card holders a mere one mile for every dollar spent with double miles for Delta and restaurant purchases. The issue with this card is that there are no waivers offered for checked baggage fees, no priority boarding or any other benefits offered by others. The worst part of this card is that reward redemption is tied in to Delta, which is known for its high prices for award flights. In fact, the rates are so high that they don't even publish them anymore.
The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card
The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card may seem like a great deal if you make frequent trips to Starbucks, but it isn't really the best deal you can find out there. With this credit card, you earn "Stars" which are the Starbucks Rewards. You can redeem them at any Starbucks for food or beverage items. If you plan to use the rewards outside of Starbucks, you will get a total of 8 "Barista Picks" rewards annually. This limits how you can use the rewards. Next, you'll need to consider if this small system of a star for every four dollars you spend is worth the high fees that are charged for the card. You are required to pay an annual membership fee of $49 to join the Starbuck's elite circle. The APR is between 17.24 to 24.24 percent. This is a high price to pay for minimal rewards that have strict limits on how and where they can be used. There are much better options out there.
Applied Bank Gold Visa Card
The Applied Bank Gold Visa Card is a secured credit card that may possibly be the worst option out there. It's very expensive and you don't get much of a return on your investment. The first negative is that you won't get more than a $500 credit limit because this is the maximum that they offer. It could be even less. The annual fee is a whopping $125 and it is the first charge that is placed on your card immediately after the account is approved and opened. The finance charge of 30 percent begins to accrue from the first day that the account is activated, but you won't receive a bill until several weeks afterwards. You must pay a high interest rate on the annual fee and what's fair about that? This is what you pay for the first year. Starting with year two, the annual fee goes away and in its place, the company inserts a $15 monthly maintenance fee. This comes to an annual charge of $180 which is even higher than the first year's fees. You can also expect Applied Bank to charge a credit limit increase of $100. You're not gaining anything by signing up for this card and it's definitely one to avoid.
Indigo Platinum Mastercard
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard charges annual fees in accordance with your credit worthiness.The first year, the annual fee can range anywhere from zero to $75. Beginning with year two, the annual fee is a flat $99. If you have bad credit, the fee will probably be the maximum. This is a secured credit card, so the fees are high for what you get out of the deal The APR is 23.90 if you're credit is in bad shape. While there are cards out there that offer much worse deals, you could also do much better. This is not a credit card that we would recommend to anyone.
CorTrust Bank Visa Business Credit Card
The CorTrust Bank Visa Business credit card requires an excellent credit score rating to qualify. The purchase intro APR rates are zero for the first twelve months. Afterwards, the regular APR jumps to 14.49 to as high as 20.49 percent. This card does not offer a rewards program. In addition, this card charges an annual fee of $9. If you have excellent credit and you're looking for a good credit card, you can do a lot better than this by seeking a card that offers a rewards program that pays you to use it.
Goodyear Credit Card
The Goodyear credit card is issued by Citibank. There are no rewards associated with this card. Although the purchase intro APR is 0% for the first 6 months, the regular APR is 29.99% after the six month intro period. It doesn't charge an annual fee, but balance transfers are not allowed. You'll pay 5% on all cash advances but it's not really worth the high interest rates. The only real rewards are saving up to On another interesting note, this card does not provide smart chip technology so it may not be as safe as some others that do.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker