There is no doubt that nowadays most of the credit card providers are increasing the annual fees on their cards. However, there are still many cards where no annual fee is needed. Therefore, if you sign up for a new card with an annual fee, make sure the benefits are worth the cost.
After the enactment of the new Credit Card Act and new Federal Reserve Board regulations that restrict the types of fees that credit card issuers can impose, credit card providers are now raising the annual fees and adding other costs to generate more revenues. But whenever you consider a card with an annual fee, see what does the card offer against that fee. Is the card offering travel insurance? Is it offering reward points? Or, do you get discounts from airlines, hotels or stores through it?
Below are five issues to consider to know if it’s beneficial to pay annual fee on your new card:
1) See if the benefits are really extraordinary. If the card offers many enticing offers, a lower interest rate or better payment options, it can be worthy. If there are highly desirable rewards like extended warranty coverage, loss protection services for canceled trips or lost luggage, concierge services or membership rewards, then it might be worthy getting it even for an annual fee.
2) Next, you need to make sure that you’ll be using that rewards or benefits offered. If you’re not using the rewards you are getting, then paying an annual fee for your card is just a waste of money. A survey reveals that a majority of credit card holders doesn’t use the rewards that they receive. Lots of them even don’t know that they are entitled to some rewards. So if you are sure that you’ll be using the rewards, only then get a card with an annual fee.
3) Check out if the rewards are easy to claim and use. If there are many hurdles in between you and the rewards, then they are obviously of no use. Make sure it’s easy to find the reward website from the card provider’s website. Once you are on the rewards page, it should be clear to you exactly what point you have and what you can get for those points.
4) Check for hidden fees. Often credit card providers offer a lot of rewards, but somehow they grab that amount from the consumers by engaging many hidden fees. Similar case happens with some airline miles card, where the airline might charge you $150 to redeem your miles. Therefore, it’s far better to go and purchase a plane ticket than paying annual fee on your card and again to redeem your miles.
5) If you are determined to get a new card and pay an annual fee for it, you should diligently compare different reward cards. If you are having any doubt regarding any clause, don’t hesitate to ask the customer care before availing that card. Nowadays, many credit card issuers don’t offer specific information on the cards and about redeeming rewards. So make sure you know in details what you are getting before you avail a new card.