Credit Card APR - Costs Hiding in the Details

by : Ericjilson

Credit card are notorious for having a wide variety of hidden fees, making it vital to fully read through the terms and conditions of the card in question before committing to it. No matter if you've heard rave reviews about a card from others who claimed the fees were minimal, you could very well be using the card differently from them, meaning your experiences and fees could vary as well. Knowing how you plan to use the card, and what fees will be associated with that usage is important in choosing a card that is right for you.

We'll take a look at few of the different cards on the market now, and some of the common Terms and Conditions that come with many cards. These cards are specifically for consumers with poor credit, so if your credit is in good standing you'll likely be better off finding cards with terms more suitable to your history.

One of the favorite cards of those with poor credit is the Centennia Gold Mastercard, offering low purchase APR, 24 hour support and updated reporting with credit bureaus monthly, meaning you could quickly repair some of your damaged credit by properly making payments on this card. The card's standard APR is a respectable 9.9%, one of the best you'll find for those with poor credit.

So everything sounds rosy on the surface, but digging a little deeper reveals a somewhat murky center. The credit line is just $250, which is certainly not a whole lot, but if your primary concern is to repair your credit this may be a moot point. You may also qualify for greater limits down the line.

The fees are where this card really starts to nosedive. We have a $48 annual charge, a $95 "program fee", whatever that is, a $20 card charge and $29 in setup account fees. Right there you're paying nearly $200 in fees just for the privilege to use a card that has a credit limit barely higher than what you just spent to activate it. Kind of makes you question the point of it all doesn't it? You're all but paying interest on your own money.

The interest itself also has some hidden fees, with it clearly stated (in fine print) that certain purchases will charge a 19.9% APR, double the rate you may think you're getting on all purchases. Even using the card over the internet, which rarely incurs fees of any amount will run you $3 per product bought.

Any card that should be passed on is where you're hit with a wide range of setup and annual fees to that point that it doesn't even make sense for the small amount of credit you're receiving. Yes, the idea may be to simply repair your credit more than anything, in which case concessions may have to be made, but there are better ways to go about it than by paying through your nose with annual percentages on purchases.

People with good credit aren't in quite the difficult boat as those without, but they may also be sucked in by hidden fees. While they have the benefit of low APR, no annual fees and rewards, it's often when the credit holder falls behind in their payments that some of these fees kick in. So don't assume that even high-end cards are without their little tricks.