There are many credit card offers available, yet users still sometimes end up choosing a card with sub-standard benefits, fees, and interest rates. Not everyone has the time and energy to go through all that manual to figure out what’s a good deal and what’s a nightmare waiting to happen. But we do.
Our team experts have done some research and put together a list of the worst credit cards to have ever existed. Avoid these sub-par credit cards at all costs!
Worst Credit Cards
Worst Card of All Time: Continental Finance Mastercard®
There are many abominable credit cards out there vying for space in your wallet. However, judged by our experts here’s what made this card so great at being so bad:
- Up-front “finance fee” of $200
- $50 annual fee
- $12 per month account fee
- $25 credit line increase fee
The fees linked with this card would be downright amusing if they weren’t so egregious. Luckily this card is no longer available for new applicants, but Continental Finance still offers other cards, so beware.
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™
While this card might summon images of the legendary American Express Black Card, the Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ is not nearly as reputable. In fact, when it comes to travel rewards cards, this is actually one of the worst credit cards.
- $495 annual fee
- Additional cardholder fee is $195 annually
- 1 point per dollar spent
- Reward points are not transferable
The biggest issue is the $495 annual fee. Sure, you get access to airport lounges, but there are many other cards offering that for far less money — and with better rewards programs.
Note: The Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ was previously called The Visa Black Card.
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Gold Card™
Issued by Barclay Card, this is the successor to the Visa Black Card, which was actually an even worse option. The Luxury Card™ Mastercard® is available in Platinum, Black, and Gold versions, and the Gold card made our list because of the following high costs to the user:
- $995 annual fee
- Additional cardholder fee is $295 annually
- Non-transferable points
- 14.99% APR
The Luxury Card Gold Mastercard® isn’t doing anyone any favors with its charges, you’d have to do a whole lot of spending and flying to make this card worthwhile.
Also, unlike many other travel cards, the Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Gold Card™ has no travel rewards offer.
When using credit cards for business purchases, small and medium business owners often expect big rewards from their cards. Unfortunately, the Cortrust Bank Visa Business Card doesn’t offer that. Here’s why:
- No rewards program
- 19.49% cash advance rate
- 1% foreign transaction fee
With no rewards program, no low introductory interest rates, and an annual fee of up to $19 per card, this is one business credit card to not apply for.
BP Credit Card
This is one of those gas station credit cards that seem like a really good deal until you actually start using the card. The reward limitations make this card a bad choice to have. Here are some of its faults below:
- All rewards earned can only be used for a single fill-up
- Rebate rewards only apply to the first 20 gallons of gas
- 27.24% APR on purchases
- 29.99% APR on cash advances
The BP credit card isn’t actually issued by Chase Bank anymore, but rather by Synchrony Financial.
What to Look for in a Credit Card
There is no such thing as a perfect credit card, but there are many good ones and some not-so-nice ones. You’ll need to look at a card’s basic features and fees before applying.
Other areas to consider would be what you’re using the card for, what incentives benefit you, what flaws can you avoid, and, most importantly, what you can honestly afford every month.
With that in mind, here are some factors to consider before signing up for any of the credit cards you see online.
The first two things you should consider when applying for a credit card are how you’re going to use the card and how you’re going to pay for it.
Some people use a credit card for all their spendings — nearly all their expenses go on the card. If you have the ability to pay it off every month, that is a great way to keep track of your budget. A card with a great rewards program would go a long way.
The best cards will offer you a credit limit that suits your credit history and financial resources. It should be high enough to allow you to make purchases that belong in your financial ability, but low enough that you don’t make a mistake that drowns you in debt.
The rule of thumb is that if you use your card responsibly for six months or longer by spending less than 30% of your limit and making on-time payments, most card issuers will increase your credit limit automatically.
Interest Rate and APR
A credit card’s interest rate is also called its annual percentage rate (APR). Your APR is based on your credit score and history. A good credit score and long credit history attract a lower interest rate. Conversely, a low credit score and no credit history (or a short one) equals a higher interest rate.
Some credit cards may come with an annual fee that you must pay just for being a cardholder. This fee is not the same as the card’s APR and other charges. An annual fee, much like a membership fee, applies regardless of whether you use the card or not.
It is mostly between the ranges of $15–55. Most cards overlook the annual fee for customers with good or excellent credit scores.
Glance through other fees that apply to your card. That means reading the manual in the contract that will identify if you will be charged for things like late payments, foreign transactions, balance transfers, and over-the-credit-limit fees. These fees can add a large amount to your monthly bill. If possible, avoid all of them.
There are so many credit card issuers in the market to consider that it’s almost overwhelming, and that’s great news in a lot of ways. More competition is always a good thing, right?
Still, the variety available means there will be some to stay away from on the list, and the cards we mention here are the ones you should stay away from no matter what.
If you’re going to get a credit card, make sure it has something that benefits you, whether that’s a great rewards program, a low-interest rate, or amazing cardholder perks attached to it.