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5 Credit Cards to Avoid at All Costs

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Free Soda for Credit CardIt’s true: There are some ways that credit cards can help you. With proper planning, you can get a credit card that provides you with free merchandise, travel discounts and cash back. The right rewards card, when used responsibly and paid down, can be a boon to your finances. Additionally, the responsible use of credit can help you build a financial reputation that can save you money when you get home loans and auto loans.

But, not all credit cards are created equal. Here are 5 credit cards to avoid at all costs:

1. Aspire Visa

The Aspire Visa is considered the worst credit card ever by Tim Beyers of Fool.com. This credit card comes with a hefty annual fee, as well as a fee to open the account. On top of that, you have to pay a monthly fee. These are just the regular fees. You still have to pay your interest charges — and that interest charge can be quite large, when you consider that it is probably going to be north of 19%. It starts accruing immediately on your fees.

2. First Premier Card

If you are looking for a credit card with an awe-inspiring rate, the First Premier Card is for you. This card has a rate of 59.9% (the issuer did test it out at a 79.9% rate at one point). On top of that, there is an annual fee of $45 (the first year it’s “only” $30), and you have to pay a processing fee to open your account. You are also subject to a monthly fee. And if you are paying 59.9% interest, you can imagine how much this can start to cost you.

3. Total Visa

Watch out for all the fees when you sign up for this credit card. You will have to pay a monthly fee, and then you will have a set-up fee, a program fee, and an annual fee. All of these fees are charged up front. This means that when your credit card arrives at your mailbox, almost all of your $250 credit limit will be gone. The rest of it, of course, will be devoured as you carry a balance subject to an interest rate of more than 19%.

4. New Millennium MasterCard

Many of the credit cards on this list have credit limits of $250 or $300. The New Millennium card, though, has a limit of $500 — buy only because this is a secured credit card. You will have to pay your up front deposit, and then you will be charged an annual fee and a processing fee. And, of course, the interest starts accruing immediately. If you don’t get ahead quickly, you will never, in fact, be able to pay down this credit card.

5. Anacott Financial Credit Card

Don’t be fooled by this credit card! It seems like a great deal. You get an unsecured limit of more than $1,000, and an intro rate of 6.9%. Not bad at all — especially if you are trying to rebuild credit. Only problem? The “credit” you receive is only good for Anacott services. Plus, you have to pay a $99 application fee to get this card. What a scam!

It’s true that most of these cards are marketed those with questionable credit. If you are trying to rebuild your credit, you might not have much choice. But there are some credit cards that, though not great, still offer better terms. Be discerning as you look for your next credit card, and try to avoid those on this list.

(Photo: menetekel)

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10 Responses to “5 Credit Cards to Avoid at All Costs”

  1. Great post. I am a mint user (it’s free). It’s software automatically pointed out that one of my credit cards was not exactly ideal. Funny – I don’t remember seeing those annual fees when I signed up for it. But anyway, I took the suggestion, canceled the card and got a different one with no fees.

  2. IPA says:

    I have a credit card with BofA that I have had for a couple of years. Yesterday, I received a notice from BofA that beginning April 2011 they are going to start charging me a $59 annual fee. If I don’t want to pay this fee I have the option to opt out, basically cancel the card. Today I applied for and received a Discover visa card with 0% interest on the balance transfer from the BofA card for 18 months and no annual fee. When I spoke with the gentleman at Discover he said they are getting a lot of applicants from Chase but he had not heard of BofA now charging an annual fee. Once the BofA balance is paid through the transfer I will cancel that card.

  3. Wilma says:

    I got an app in the mail for a card from Bluefish Visa. It looks like a cartoon shark at the top of the page. It’s from Bank of America. I can’t wrap my head around applying for a card that has an evil looking cartoon shark for marketing even though they offered me 0 percent interest for 9 months on balance transfers and purchases along with no annual fee and world points. Why the evil looking shark?

  4. zapeta says:

    I can’t believe how terrible these cards are. I guess if you have awful credit you take what you can to try to rebuild it.

  5. AML says:

    So far, the best credit card for me is my HSBC master card. I never had any problems with them since I started on 2004.
    I just can’t imagine how bad these credit cards are.

  6. Strebkr says:

    I think I saw an article on Yahoo yesterday about one of these cards and how bad it was. I think the company was shutting it down because of bad publicity.

  7. HedgeHoncho says:

    I typically go with cards that have Frequent Flier Miles rewards programs.

    So far, the worst cards that I have come across are essentially any store card.

    They make it very difficult to pay the card by have a mediocre website that can sometimes take some digging to get to the payment screen.

    Unethical? possibly.

    • Shirley says:

      That’s when you head straight for your bank/CU Bill-pay and have them send a paper check. All online for you, no hassle.

  8. eric says:

    And that is why none of these cards are mainstream. Pity the holders of these cards :(

  9. FTC says:

    I’d also add to the list American Octane. They are the same company as Anacott Financial, reincarnated. Same management and staff. They’ll probably change their name again soon. Worth monitoring.


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