If you have the wrong credit card in your wallet, avoiding pesky fees can be a lot harder than you realize!
Now, a new CreditCards.com analysis of 100 popular general-purpose cards has found the average credit card charges six potential fees — and some have double that!
The 100 surveyed cards levy a total of 591 fees, which is about the same as last year.
Most and least fee-friendly credit cards
Late payment and cash advance fees are nearly universal, according to the study. The the most common late payment fee is up to $37 and the typical cash advance fee is $10 or 5% of the advance, whichever is greater.
Most of the cards analyzed that allow balance transfers also charge a fee, usually $5 or 3% of the transfer.
Some good news is that it’s easier to find a card without foreign transaction fees, with 56 of the 100 cards surveyed tacking on the fee, down from 77 cards in 2015.
Here are the credit cards with the most potential fees:
- First Premier Bank credit card (12)
- BankAmericard Secured card (11)
- Blue Sky from American Express (10)
- Hilton HHonors card from American Express (10)
- Key Bank’s Key2More Rewards (10)
- Meijer MasterCard (10)
- PNC Points Visa (10)
Here are the credit cards with the fewest potential fees:
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union Promise Visa (1)
- Capital One Platinum (2)
- Capital One Secured MasterCard (2)
- Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business (2)
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One (2)
- Sam’s Club MasterCard (2)
- SonyCard Visa from Capital One (2)
- Spark Classic from Capital One (2)
- Spark Miles Select by Capital One (2)
When it comes to choosing a card that’s right for you, read the fine print and understand exactly what you’re getting into, including any fees you should — and should not — expect.
Of course, the best way to avoid surprise credit card fees is to pay your bill on time and in full every month.