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.