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Three Credit Cards to Avoid

While it may give you a temporary headache, reading the fine print on credit card offers does pay off. Consumer Reports composed research to narrow down the best credit cards available, and in the process it found a few so bad it had to warn us to stay away in its October issue. Here are the three cards they say are the pits; if you come across other cards with similar terms, steer clear.

  • First Premier Bank Card: Its 9.9 fixed APR is fine, but the card comes with first-year fees up to $276! There's a $29 account-setup fee, a $95 program fee, $48 annual fee, a $7 monthly servicing fee, and sometimes a $20 additional annual fee.
  • American Dream Card from HSBC: Each time you charge something you're entered into a lottery for prizes up to $25,000 and you'll be prompted to fill out surveys for chances to win additional prizes. The card comes with a 15 to 22 percent APR.
  • New Millennium Visa or MasterCard: There's a $59 annual fee, $100 processing fee, a 19.5 percent APR, and no grace period before your balance begins incurring interest.

Source

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Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 7 years
Good to know! I'd also say buyer beware before getting a Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic card...I had one from a couple years ago that I just closed yesterday, and it was somehow (without my knowledge) updated with a newer-but-still-old address and linked to another card I have. I called them with the intention of closing the account and that just confirmed my need to do so!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I think it's easy to deride these companies, but some people have to get cards like this because they have bad credit and need to rebuild it. By offering lines of credit to such individuals, the card companies are taking a bigger risk and have every right to impose higher fees.
CoMMember13627830035102 CoMMember13627830035102 7 years
Ouch. I'm so glad I never ran across any of those card offerers when I had credit problems. When I did, I acquired a secured card from a company which didn't charge me a outlandish interest rate (just the normal ridiculous one), an insane annual fee and they paid me interest on the money I paid to secure the card. When I had rebuilt my credit, I requested back the deposit I had paid to secure the card, the repaid the funds (again with the accrued interest) and now I still have the card and the best part, I still get cash back at the end of the year (alright, we do pay off the balance each month, just because) unlike most of the cards these days that give your points that you have to use towards making other purchases.
mrsjeter mrsjeter 7 years
I had a First Premier card years ago. I paid it off every month and all was well. Then they sent me an letter to increase my credit. (From $300 to $100,000). I called and told them no thank you and tried to cancel my card. I made the last payment by money order. I called to make sure they got it to close my card and they had told me that they had. Then I got a collections letter from them saying I still had to pay my card off. They were good to give me a card while I tried to establish credit. But in the end- it was just not worth it at all.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 7 years
those cards should be ashamed of themselves!
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
phew - i don't have any of those cards - so i'm ok. i think that aside from ALWAYS tearing up the applications when they come in the mail, i always remember to read the print on the back cause you get roped into fees that are just insane and unnecessary. the only card w/ a fee that i'm willing to pay is my Amex but that's also cause i get great benefits with the card, so i'm ok with it.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
phew - i don't have any of those cards - so i'm ok. i think that aside from ALWAYS tearing up the applications when they come in the mail, i always remember to read the print on the back cause you get roped into fees that are just insane and unnecessary. the only card w/ a fee that i'm willing to pay is my Amex but that's also cause i get great benefits with the card, so i'm ok with it.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Thanks for the heads-up. This seems ridiculous. These cards seem like cards that would target individuals with no credit or poor credit and luring them with the incentive of they help your credit score.
chancleta chancleta 7 years
omg :O crazy talk thanks for the heads up
chancleta chancleta 7 years
omg:Ocrazy talkthanks for the heads up
cubadog cubadog 7 years
I also have a First Premier Card but after I went through bankruptcy which was horrible they were one of the only ones that would give me card to help rebuild my credit. I just make sure I pay it off every month.
OHmeetsBK OHmeetsBK 7 years
I have to admit that I have a card from First Premier Bank. I got it while in college and needed to build credit desperately. It was a few years ago and the fees were a good bit lower - but still they are high and it is annoying having to pay a $6 monthly fee. However, I was unable to get any other cards at the time and they accepted me. The card did the trick and I now have great credit. I am thankful for it but definitely wish I could get rid of it now.
Melo-D Melo-D 7 years
Wow those cards are absolutely ridiculous. So many fees. Yeah, First Premier is always sending me offers. I'm glad the offers have slowed recently. At some points, they are relentless from everyone.
emsmiley emsmiley 7 years
Can you suggest cards that could help someone trying to repair her credit? My score has doubled in the past two years but is still not stellar (imagine how low it was!). I have one open card, but it's a store card. i keep it open because Suze Orman says it's better to have a store card to build your credit than no card at all. I buy clothes and gifts with it and make sure to keep the balnce below 50% of the $400 limit. Any suggestions?
tiffanyfuchsia tiffanyfuchsia 7 years
I can't possibly understand why anyone would sign up for a card with any kinds of ridiculous fees like that.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
holy moly! mine is definatly not that bad!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
holy moly!mine is definatly not that bad!
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