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Fees

According to the old saying, “There is no free lunch.” I do not know if this necessarily implies that breakfast and dinner are up for grabs, but there certainly are no free credit cards. Increased fees on credit cards now account for 35 percent of the income of credit card companies as compared with about 18 percent ten years ago. Some of the common fees are detailed in the following paragraphs.

Annual Fee

An annual fee is a yearly charge for the privilege of doing business with the credit card company. The amounts can vary considerably from card to card. Fortunately, according to cardweb.com, only about 20 percent of bank credit cards come with an annual fee. And many of those that do charge an annual fee will waive your fee if you are a good customer. The amount of green that you have to pay for the annual fee for your card is often dependent upon the color of your card, with gold cards more costly than regular cards and platinum cards more costly than gold cards. The gold standard has sunk considerably in recent years, and it is important to see just what you are getting for the extra money—other than a colorful card—because there are many gold cards that are only offering you phony prestige without significant benefits tied to the card's color.


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