“Is a no annual fee credit card the best choice for me?”

It wasn’t always the case, but today many credit card companies offer no annual fee credit cards. (Discover offered the first no annual fee card in 1986.) Now consumers can find no annual fee credit cards that reward you with exclusive benefits and services—or cash back, points, travel credit, merchandise and more.

Here are some basics about fee vs. no annual fee credit cards.

Balance the annual fee with the benefits

Should you always go with a no annual fee card? Not necessarily. Compare the benefits you derive from all the cards you’re considering.

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The fewer fees the better!

When looking at fee vs. no annual fee credit cards, check out any additional fees they may charge. What does the card charge for late fees? Are there fees for making purchases when you travel abroad (foreign currency transaction fees)? Do you have fees for making payments by phone or for redeeming rewards? Are there any overlimit fees?

Since any fees you pay can reduce the credit card’s overall value to you, check the card terms and conditions before you apply for a card.

What’s the APR?

You’ve compared card annual fees, other fees and benefits—now what’s the APR? The APR is another way you can get the best deal from a credit card. Many credit cards offer a 0% or low APR for an introductory time period.

Ideally you will want to find a low intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers—plus a low standard APR after the intro offer ends (also called the “go to rate”).

Will they waive?

Finally, some credit cards will waive their annual fee for the first year as a special introductory offer.

Discover card believes that consumers should be armed with the information they need to help them make informed credit decisions.

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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