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When searching for a credit card, keeping the fees low is a top priority. Credit cards vary, and if you’re not careful, you can agree to a variety of different costs. These costs can include an annual fee, a set up fee or a maintenance fee. No two credit cards are alike, and while it may appear that a lot of credit card companies are charging an annual fee, it is possible to find a credit card with no annual fee.
Contact your personal bank.
If applying for a new credit card, it pays to start with your personal bank. Because you have a relationship with the institute, you may be privy to credit card offers not available to the general public. You can visit a branch in-person, go online or contact the customer service number. Let the person know that you’re looking for a credit card and be specific. Tell them that you want a credit card with no annual fee. The rep will likely rundown a list of options. Rather than make an on-the-spot decision, review these options one by one.
Be wary of a higher interest rate.
Whether you locate a credit card with no annual fee through your bank or online, understand that these credit cards typically have higher interest rates. This is how the credit card company compensates for charging no annual fee. While a higher interest rate isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, you don’t want to pay an unreasonably high rate. When comparing different credit card options, pay close attention to the APR. The interest-rate affects your minimum payment, as well as long-term credit card costs. Ideally, you want a credit card that offers no annual fee, plus 0% interest for the first 12 or 15 months.
Read the fine print.
Even if the credit card company offers a credit card with no annual fee, zero fees may be subject to timely payments and an overall good credit history. Read the terms of your credit card agreement very closely. Somewhere in the fine print, your credit card company may reveal a stipulation that can trigger an annual fee in the future. It’s normal for creditors to periodically check an account holder’s credit report. If your credit report reveals problems, such as a judgment, collection accounts, late payments or high debts, the creditor may revoke your zero annual fee privilege.
Credit Cards Options
Several credit cards feature no annual fee. But qualifying for these cards typically requires an excellent credit history. One option is the Citi Simplicity credit card which features no annual fee and 0% interest for the first 18 months. If you’re in the market for a rewards credit card, there’s the option of the Citi ThankYou Preferred rewards credit card. You’ll also enjoy 0% interest for the first 12 months. In addition, you receive 10,000 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first three months, plus one point for every dollar you spend on purchases.