Credit cards can be very useful financial tools. They can provide a financial safety net between paychecks, quick funds in the case of an emergency, or simply a way to earn cash back or rewards for your regular spending.
However, the major thing to always consider when applying for a credit card, or using one, is the fees and charges associated with them. Some fees are charged even without you using the card, such as the annual fee.
When considering a credit card, should you get a card that has great perks and incentives but a lot of fees attached? This article answers this question and more so read on.
Fees or No Fees?
When choosing between high fee, low fee, or no fee cards, you must first consider your unique spending habits.
For example, if you want the luxury perks and incentives that come with a platinum or elite card, you will typically incur higher fees than someone with a regular credit card.
When deciding between high fees or low/no fees, there are a number of things to consider. Most importantly, the fee should be worth it. The following sections will help you determine if the card is worth the high fees.
It’s the Only Card You Can Get Approved For
If you have a poor credit score and are trying to build it, you may be stuck only considering cards that have high fees. This is because someone with a poor credit score is seen as a financial risk to credit card issuers.
Poor credit is also an indicator of a failure to pay back the loaned money on time. By being trusted with a credit card when you have poor credit, companies render harsh punishments in the form of high fees for misuse.
Sign-Up Bonuses Outweigh Lots of Fees
Today, credit cards are on the hunt for your business. As such, they go all out to convince you as to why you should sign up with them. One of the luring programs they use is the sign-up bonus.
The bonuses they give range from thousands of miles or points or features like statement credits. So, when deciding if a new credit card is right for you, weigh the sign-up bonus against the applicable fees. For example, if the annual fee is between $100 to $150 and the bonus you get is around $100, it is not a financially sound idea.
But, if the same card offers bonuses that are worth around $500 or more, then that is worth considering.
Are Travel Perks Worth More Than the Fees?
If you are a frequent traveller, check out the travel perks that are offered by the card. Some travel cards offer flight credits, companion passes, and free checked baggage as part of their perks.
Some cards are also partnered with certain hotel brands which offer free night stays through their rewards program. This perk can make a high annual fee worth it.
You Earn Cashback
If you earn cashback on every purchase you make, then a card with high fees may be the right card for you. Especially if the cashback you earn over the course of the year is worth more than the annual fees.
When looking for a credit card, you have to weigh your options carefully. Going with cards with no fees vs the one with lots of fees should be a conscious decision based on what you get in return. If the fee doesn’t match the rewards, then it’s best to avoid the card. However, if it outweighs the rewards, you should have a second look at it.
Disclaimer: All credit products carry risk. Be aware of these risks by reading the associated terms and conditions.