2003 Credit Card Survey

 

Table of Contents

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Issuers make it tough for cardholders to win a round

By Linda Sherry

Consumer Action’s 2003 Credit Card Survey scrutinized 143 cards from 47 banks. Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • More than one-third of surveyed issuers said they will raise existing cardholders’ rates because of their poor credit record with other creditors—even if the cardholder has made no late payments or other missteps with the card in question.
  • The vast majority of surveyed cards have significantly higher penalty rates that are triggered by one or two late payments in a period of six months to a year.
  • One-fifth of surveyed issuers have shifted to tiered late payments, which Consumer Action interprets as a deceptive way of charging higher-than-average late fees.
  • The number of cards with $35 late fees has more than doubled from last year.
  • More than half the cards surveyed require cardholders to pay only 2% of the monthly balance each month—a disturbing trend that dramatically increases the overall interest paid by cardholders.
  • More than one-third of surveyed institutions will not provide a firm annual percentage rate (APR) until they have screened the applicant’s credit history.

Consumer Action has been conducting an annual review of credit card rates and terms since the mid- 1980s to track trends in the industry and assist consumers in comparing cards. This survey was conducted from Dec. 10, 2002-Feb. 11, 2003 by Linda Sherry, Janice Kohn, Christine Chin, Annie Tran, Vicky Zeng and Sarah Hinds.

“Every year we uncover more anti-consumer practices in the industry," said Sherry, Consumer Action’s editorial director. “So many of these policies seem greedy and short-sighted. If you look at them as a whole—tiny minimum monthly payments, outrageous late fees and significantly higher penalty rates—they seem designed to drive cardholders into bankruptcy."

This year the team collected information on 104 cards without fees (73%) and 39 cards with fees (27%). Rates ranged from 4.25% (Huntington Direct Bank) to 23.99% (Providian). The average APR on all cards was 12.19%—an increase of about a half-percentage point from last year’s overall average of 11.73%. The finding is notable because the prime rate — the index to which most variable rate cards are tied — fell by a half percentage point to 4.25% since Consumer Action’s last survey.

According to the survey, annual fees have dropped on average by 20% in one year. This year’s average annual fee for cards with fees was $35.67, while last year’s survey found a $44.48 average annual fee.

Surveyed cards included 99 cards (or 69%) with variable APRs and 44 cards (or 31%) with fixed APRs. The average interest rate on surveyed variable rate cards was 12.06%. The average interest rate on surveyed fixed rate cards was 12.49%. APRs on fixed rate cards ranged from 5.50% (Pulaski Bank) to 21.90% (Sears National Bank and Generations Bank).

Penalty rates

The credit card industry uses the term “repricing" for its practice of increasing interest rates for cardholders who pay late. Among 143 surveyed cards, 109 (or 76%) have penalty rates that would be triggered by one or two late payments in a period of six months to a year. The penalty rates ranged from 12% (Arkansas National Bank) to 29.99% (Citibank and Direct Merchants Bank).

In the case of the 13 cards in the survey issued by MBNA Bank, surveyors were told that cardholders might be hit with a higher rate for paying late, but that the specifics depend on the cardholder. If the 13 MBNA cards are added to the cards with stated penalty rates, the total of cards with penalty rates rises to 85% of all surveyed cards.

Consumer Action found that 39% of the issuers in its survey said that they will raise cardholders’ rates because of their credit record with other creditors—even if you have no late payments on their card.

Review and repricing

Every credit card issuer performs periodic credit reviews on existing cardholders. Some companies pull credit reports on cardholders every month, some on a quarterly basis and some annually. Many card issuers use the information as a reason to jack up the interest rate.

“People find this grossly unfair," said Sherry. “The general reaction is, ‘What business is it how I handle my other accounts?’ But just as card issuers use your credit report to decide whether or not to give you a card in the first place, they use your credit report to keep tabs on your risk throughout the relationship."

Two banks—Bank of America and Fidelity National Bank—told Consumer Action that they don’t use delinquencies and other black marks with other creditors as a reason to raise rates, but the information is used sometimes as a reason to reduce a cardholder’s credit limit.

Potential for abuse

Consumer Action sees great poten-tial for abuse in these at-will rate hikes because federal credit card and fair credit reporting rules do not require disclosure or explanation when the increases take place.

“If 39% of card issuers are following the practice, it can be argued that this is, or is fast becoming, an industry standard," said Sherry. “When you’re turned down for credit, the law requires that you receive a letter explaining why. But if your card is repriced, you don’t know about it until your next statement arrives."

Consumer Action called on regulators and lawmakers to look closely at the practice to see if it flouts federal notice requirements. “The way it stands now, you have no idea what could trigger a repricing—the boom just falls," said Sherry. “For all we know, if you finance a new car, your credit card APR could skyrocket."

Late payment leniency

Of surveyed banks, 62% said they would charge cardholders a late fee if their payments were not received on the due date. The remaining banks give a little leeway for the payment to reach them—these leniency periods ranged from 2 to 10 days.

Tiered late fees

A large segment of surveyed cards (41, or 29%) were subject to tiered late fees—a new phenomenon since Consumer Action’s last survey. There usually are three tiers based on cardholders’ balances and customers with smaller balances pay lower fees. Nine banks out of 47 surveyed have in the past year switched to tiered late fees on some or all of their cards:

  • Bank of America: $15 for balances less than $100; $29 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more.
  • Bank One: $15 on balances up to $150; $29 up to $1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more.
  • Chase: $15 for balances less than $150; $25 between $150-$1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more.
  • Citibank and Discover: $15 for balances less than $100; $25 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more.
  • Commerce Bank: No late fee for customers with balances of less than $50, but $20 for balances of $50-$100 and $35 for balances greater than $100.
  • First National of Omaha: $29 for balances of less than $500; $35 for $500 or more.
  • Huntington Direct: $15 for balances of $150 or less; $29 for $150-$1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more.
  • Wells Fargo: $20 on balances up to $100; $29 up to $1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more.

(Surveyed issuer US Bank has a $29 late fee, but bumps it up to $38 for cardholders with two late payments in a 12-month period.)

The issuers see the three-tiered system as a way to balance risk—arguing that people with higher balances represent more risk for the banks so they deserve to pay more when they are late. Some see the tiered late fees as a consumer-friendly practice because cardholders with small balances pay a lower late fee.

But Consumer Action sees it differently. “The practice is not so friendly to customers when you consider that most cardholders who carry a balance will be hit with above average late fees under this plan," noted Consumer Action Executive Director Ken McEldowney. “We found the average late fee is just about $27. Most consumers are going to end up paying as much if not more under the tiered system."

‘Highway robbery’

McEldowney asserted that a $15-$20 late fee on a balance of less than $150 is “highway robbery. Wells Fargo’s $20 late fee on balances up to $100 means that if your payment is a day late you are charged the equivalent of an extra 20% interest on top of whatever the monthly finance charge was. On a percentage basis, it penalizes people with smaller balances more than those with greater exposure."

Late fees in the current survey ranged from $10 per late payment (California Bank & Trust and Generations Bank) to as high as the $38 charged by US Bank to cardholders who have made two late payments in 12 months. The average of all late fees this year is $26.85—a slight drop from last year’s $27.82 that probably is due to the shift to tiered late fees by one-fifth of the banks surveyed.

Forty-three cards surveyed (30%) carry $29 late fees and 21 banks (or 16%) charge $35. The number of cards with $35 late fees has more than doubled from last year’s finding of 10 cards. Eighteen (or 12%) of the cards have $25 late fees and six cards have $20 fees. Seven cards charge late fees of $20 or less.

American Express said that it does not charge late fees to some customers where it is prohibited by state law, but charges other customers up to $29. Atlantic Coast Federal Bank, one of the few regional credit card banks in Consumer Action’s survey, charges late fees based on 10% of the minimum payment due.

Minimum payments

More than half the cards (53%) surveyed require cardholders to pay only 2% of the monthly balance each month. Last year’s survey found just 43% asking for only 2%.

“Two percent is the gold standard now and that’s disturbing," noted Sherry, who took the lead on the survey. “Low minimum payments keep consumers in debt forever and hike up interest."

If you pay only the 2% minimum payment on a $5,000 balance on a card with an APR of 11%, it will take you more than 23 years and $3,979 in interest to pay it off. By paying 5% of the balance, the time to pay off $5,000 drops to a little more than eight years and $1,099 in interest. Minimum monthly payments have another drawback—they go down over time as you pay off a balance. If you made the same $250 monthly payment every month until the balance was paid, you’d be free of the debt in 23 months, having paid only $549 in interest.

“Obviously, card issuers wouldn’t mind if you only paid the 2% minimum payment because you’ll be paying them more than seven times the interest," said Sherry.

The average minimum payment on all surveyed cards is 2.38%. Of these, 76 (53%) cards have minimum payments of 2%; 33 have minimum payments between 2%-2.5% and 24 have minimum payments of 3%.

The highest minimum payments found this year are on cards issued by Centura Bank, Helena National Bank and Arkansas National Bank, who ask cardholders for 4% to 5% of the balance each month.

Five cards give you a range because the minimum payment varies by cardholder. US Bank sets the minimum payments on its World Perks card at between 2%-4% of the balance; Washington Mutual Bank (Citibank) and Providian charge between 2.5%-3%.

Risk-based APRs

If you have not been prescreened, nineteen (almost 39%) of the surveyed institutions won’t quote you a firm APR until they’ve checked your credit history. This rule applies to 33 of the cards surveyed this year. The widest range of rates—6.50%-19.25%—is offered by Wells Fargo Bank, although at 23.99% Providian has the highest rate in the survey for risky borrowers.

The practice appears to be growing, as last year’s survey found only 16 issuers using risk-based APRs. Issuers claim they’ve turned to risk-based pricing to protect themselves from unknown applicants. Card issuers screen potential cardholders with the major credit reporting bureaus and send direct-mailed, pre-approved card solicitations only to people with acceptable credit. If you apply on the Internet or by phone or mail, you probably won’t know the APR on your new card until the company runs a credit check. While some issuers turn down applicants with poor credit, other companies issue cards with higher APRs to clientele with damaged credit.

Surveyed issuers that use risk-based pricing include American Express, Bank of America, BB&T, Citibank, Commerce Bank, Direct Merchants Bank, First Tennessee, Five Star Bank, Fleet, Generations Bank, HSBC/Household Bank, National City Bank, People’s Bank, Providian, Retailers National Bank, Sears National Bank, US Bank, USAA Federal Savings Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

Minimum APR policies

The survey found that 12 banks—one quarter—have minimum APRs, or “floors," that keep variable rates from dropping despite changes in the prime rate or other underlying index. These banks are Columbus Bank & Trust, Commerce Bank, Eufora, EverBank, First National of Omaha, First Tennessee, Fleet, HSBC-Household Bank, Providian, State Farm Bank, USAA Federal Savings Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

Survey at a glance
Issuers: 47
Cards: 143
Average Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 12.19%
Variable Cards: 99
Average Variable APR: 12.06%
Variable Interest Rate Range: 4.25% (Huntington Direct Bank) to 23.99% (Providian)
Fixed Rate Cards: 44
Average Fixed APR: 12.49%
Fixed Interest Rate Range: 5.50% (Pulaski Bank) to 21.90% (Sears National and Generations banks)

Low rate credit cards

Cards with annual fees Cards with no annual fees
APR Fee Bank APR Bank
Fixed Rates Variable Rates
5.50% $35 Pulaski Bank & Trust (Standard Card) 5.90% Chase (Prime Plus Platinum Card)
7.92% $50 Arkansas National Bankt
6.00%* USAA Federal Savings Bank
8.95% $35 Simmons First National and Metropolitan National Bank 6.15%* American Express (Optima/Blue Cards)
9.90% $19/$29 Capital One (MilesOne Platinum Card)/
BB&T (Gold/Platinum Card Option 4)
6.50%* Wells Fargo Bank
11.9% $39 California Bank and Trust 8.24% Citibank (Associated Bank Platinum Card)
Variable Rates Fixed Rates
4.25% $75 Huntington Direct Bank (Platinum Card) 8.90% Bank One (Webster Bank Platinum)
4.25% $85 Chase Manhattan Bank (Prime Card) 8.90% Capital One (Platinum No Hassle Card)
7.25% $37/$45 Amalgamated Bank of Chicago
(Standard Plus/Gold Plus Cards)
9.00% Atlantic Coast Federal Bank (Platinum Card)
8.15% $29 BB&T (Card Option 1) 9.90%* Bank of America, Retailers National Bank
(Target Smart Card) and Generations Bank
8.24%* $40** U.S. Bank (Elan Platinum Card) 9.99% Bank One (First USA Bank Cash Rewards
Platinum and United Mileage Plus Cards)
and American Express (Blue*)
*This is the issuer’s lowest rate and is available only to applicants with excellent credit.
**Fee waived with one annual purchase.

Introductory rates at time of survey

Key to chart

  • # - Rate lasts 9 months-1year.
  • ** - Rate lasts 2- 4 months.
  • * - Rate in effect until transfer is paid off.
  • + - Rate lasts 5 - 6 months.
  • @ - Must transfer a balance.
Credit Card Promotional Rate Rate for Transfers
American Express (AMEX) -Blue Zero% + 9.99% *
AmEx - Delta SkyMiles   9.99% *@
AmEx - Optima 7.90% + 7.90% +
AmEx - Optima Platinum Zero% + 8.90% *
Bank of America 8.90% + 8.90% *
Bank One - First USA Platinum Zero% +  
Bank One - Southwest Airlines 4.90% +  
Bank One - First USA Value Miles Zero% + Zero% +
Bank One - GE Select Platinum 2.90% + 2.90% +
Bank One Platinum Visa Zero% # Zero% #
Bank One - Webster Bank Platinum Zero% +  
BB&T 4.90% + 4.90% +
Centura Bank - No Fee Classic 4.90% + 4.90% +
Chase - Classic 2.99% +
Chase - Continental Classic 7.90% +
Chase - iCard 2.99%[email protected]
Chase - Stockback 2.99% + 2.99% +
Citibank - Associated Bank Zero% + 3.99% +
Citibank - AT&T Universal Card Zero% #@ Zero% #@
Citibank - Citi Diamond Preferred Zero% #@
Citibank - Citi Platinum Select Zero% #@
Citibank - Mellon Bank Zero% + 9.99% +
Citibank - Quicken Card Zero% + 1.99% +
Columbus Bank & Trust (CB&T) 3.90% + 3.90% +
CB&T - Juniper Bank 1.90% **@
Commerce Bank 3.90% [email protected] 3.90% [email protected]
Direct Merchants - Banco Popular 2.90% +  
Discover Card Zero% # Zero% #
Eufora Card 1.90% + 1.90% +
Fidelity National Bank 5.90% + 5.90% +
First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) 3.90% +  
FNBO - Emigrant Platinum 5.90% +  
FNBO - Platinum 1.90% +  
FNBO - Smart One Platinum 1.90% +  
First Tennessee - Classic 3.90% +  
Fleet Bank - Cash Dividend Platinum   Zero% [email protected]
Fleet Bank - Classic Visa Zero%# Zero%#
Fleet Bank - MilesEdge Platinum   Zero% [email protected]
Fleet Bank - Platinum Zero% + Zero% +
Fleet Bank - Savings Bond Platinum   Zero% [email protected]
Fleet Bank - Titanium Zero%#  
Fleet Bank - Working Assets 1.90% + 1.90% +
HSBC Bank USA - Platinum 3.90% +
Huntington Direct Bank   1.99% #@
M&I Bank - Classic 7.90% +
M&I Bank - Platinum 5.90% +
MBNA   1.70% + @
National City Bank Zero% +
People’s Bank - Long Island Sound 4.90% + 4.90% +
People’s Bank - People’s Platinum 1.90% + 1.90% +
People’s Bank - US Ski Team 2.90% + 2.90% +
Providian 1.90% **
Sears National Bank 2.90% +  
Sovereign Bank - Platinum Zero% +  
Union State Bank 7.90% #  
US Bank 5.90% +
US Bank - Elan Card 5.90% +
Wells Fargo Bank Zero% +  

The hidden cost of overseas credit card transactions

By Linda Sherry

Credit cards are handy for travelers abroad not only for convenience, but because you generally receive an optimum exchange rate on foreign currency conversions. If, for instance, you buy a sweater or a five-course meal in Paris and pay for it with your U.S. credit or debit card, the charge in European currency is converted to dollars before it’s posted to your statement.

On all credit card currency conversions, the MasterCard and Visa networks take a 1% commission. These commissions on purchases or cash advances abroad are hidden in the total amount converted into U.S. dollars. Cardholders usually don’t realize they are paying a commission on currency conversions because the fee is not broken out separately in their credit card or bank statements.

In recent years, a number of card issuers have begun to add their own currency conversion fee on top of the MasterCard/Visa commission. In this year’s Credit Card Survey, Consumer Action found that the average issuer fee among surveyed banks that charge the optional fee is 1.86%. (See chart with this story.)

Currency conversion fees are men-tioned in the fine print of cardholder agreements that accompany new cards, but are little known among consumers. Some banks, such as Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, now list their currency conversion fee separately on credit card and bank statements. But many issuers continue to follow MasterCard and Visa and roll their fee into the overall amount of the converted purchase or withdrawal.

The lack of disclosure of MasterCard and Visa currency conversion fees has prompted lawsuits around the country. In mid February it was reported in the national media that there had been a tentative ruling in a California suit, Adam A. Schwartz vs. Visa International. The Wall St. Journal and other newspapers reported that the ruling, still sealed when Consumer Action News went to press, upheld the plaintiff’s charge of deceptive practices under California law and ruled that Visa should have required that its member banks openly disclose currency conversion fees. It was reported that under the ruling, Visa—and MasterCard by precedent—may be forced to pay back $500 million in fees collected from people who used their cards abroad.

Currency conversion fees
This chart lists optional issuer currency conversion fees charged by banks and does not include the usual 1% commission taken by MasterCard or Visa when charges and cash advances are converted to the cardholder’s homeland currency. (*American Express, not affiliated with MasterCard/Visa, has a 2% conversion fee.)
American Express* 2%
Bank of America 2%
Bank One / First USA Bank 2%
Chase 2%
Citibank 2%
Columbus Bank & Trust 2%
First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) 2%
FNBO/Emigrant Savings Bank 1% - 2%
First Tennessee Bank 1%
HSBC Bank USA/Household Bank 1%
Huntington Direct Bank 2%
People’s Bank 2%
Providian 1% - 3%
Simmons First National Bank 3%
Sovereign Bank 2%
US Bank 2%
Wells Fargo Bank 2%

Zero percent offers give you a good chance to get rid of credit card debt

Maybe you’ve noticed zero percent introductory offers on credit cards. Are they free money or funny business? Consumer Action’s Credit Card Survey found eight banks that are offering introductory rates of zero per cent on purchases and balance transfers—some for as long as a year.

“We think they are a pretty good deal if you’re careful," said Linda Sherry of Consumer Action. “Number one, always pay before the due date because the zero interest deal will disappear if you don’t."

Zero percent offers are available from American Express, Bank One, Citibank, Discover, Fleet Bank, National City Bank, Sovereign Bank and Wells Fargo.

Balance transfers, too

A few of the banks also offered zero per cent on balances transferred from other credit cards. Most of the offers last for six months, however Bank One (Platinum), Citibank (AT&T Universal Card), Discover Card and Fleet (Platinum) offered zero per cent on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

“This gives you a good chance to pay off a balance," said Sherry. “Pay a good chunk of the balance every month and you could whittle down your debt without accruing any new finance charges."

However, Sherry warned that it can be difficult to transfer very large balances of $5,000-$10,000 or more unless you have excellent credit. “Sometimes the new card issuer will accept only part of a balance you’d like to transfer, which leaves you with money still owing on the old card. Ask in advance what size line of credit you’ll be eligible for."

Balance transfer fees

Before transferring a balance, read the fine print to see if there’s going to be a fee. Some companies will waive the fee for new cardholders if they transfer the balance immediately when applying for the card.

Sixteen (or 34%) of surveyed banks—including seven of the top ten credit card issuers—charge a fee to transfer a balance. Five of the 16 cap the fees at $10-$50 per transfer.

Consumer Action 2003 Credit Card Survey

Note: You are prohibited from using Consumer Action's name or any reference to its surveys in advertising or for any other commercial purpose.

Key:
APR - Annual Percentage Rate
(V) - Variable interest rate
(F) - Fixed interest rate
* (Asterisk) - See note in
Additional Information column.

Definitions:
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The finance charge expressed in terms of an annual figure, a percentage of the amount owed. APRs listed are for purchases—cash advances often carry a higher APR..

Grace Period:The number of days after the close of the last billing cycle in which you can pay off new bills without being charged interest—if there is no prior balance. Unless otherwise noted, cards have a 25-day grace period.
Notes:
• Survey conducted 12/10/02 through 2/11/03.
• Survey does not include introductory or promotional (teaser) rates. (See the chart "Introductory rates" for introductory rates at the time of the survey.)
• For variable rates, the APR may not reflect recent changes in the index, such as the Prime Rate, Federal Discount rates or London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR). (The Prime Rate was 4.25% during this survey. Bankrate.com lists all current index rates.)

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (800) 723-0303 • www.aboc.com


Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2.50%/$2.50 min./$30 max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $20. APR is Prime + 4.50%.

Gold Plus Card

  • Annual Fee : $45
  • APR : 7.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 2.50%. Other terms same as above.

Standard Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.75%
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 6.00%. Other terms same as above.

Standard Plus Card

  • Annual Fee : $37
  • APR : 7.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 2.75%. Other terms same as above.

American Express (800) 223-2670 • http://americanexpress.com


Blue (800) 600-BLUE (2583)

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99%-14.99%* (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: Zero-$30 (according to state law). Over limit fee: Zero-$29 (according to state law). *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Delta SkyMiles Card

  • Annual Fee : $50
  • APR : 14.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.99%. Other terms same as above. Cardholders receive credit toward Delta Airlines tickets.

Optima

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.24%-17.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 7.99%-12.99%. Other terms same as Blue.

Optima Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.24%-17.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 7.99%-12.99%. Other terms same as Blue.

American Pacific Bankwww.apbank.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : $18
  • APR : 16.92% (F)
  • Additional Information : Available in IN, OR, ID & WA. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25.

Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.92% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

Arkansas National Bank (888) 226-5262 • www.arknatl.com

  • Annual Fee : $50
  • APR : 7.92% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$5 min./$25 max. Late fee: $25. No over limit fee. Must have checking account with bank to apply for card.

Atlantic Coast Federal Bank (800) 342-2824 • www.acfederal.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : $8
  • APR : 17.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: $5. Late fee: 10% of payment due/$20 maximum. Over limit fee: $30.

Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : $8
  • APR : 11.95% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.00%
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

Bank of America (800) 529-4895 • www.bankofamerica.com


Fixed Rate Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.90%-12.90%* (F)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 20 days. Cash advance fee: 4%-5%/$5-$25 min./no max. Late fee: $15 for balances less than $100; $29 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. Over limit fee: $29. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Variable Rate Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.74%-17.74%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 7.99%-12.99%. Other terms same as above.

Bank One/First USA Bank (800) UCHOOSE • www.bankone.com


Platinum Visa Card (888) 221-9067

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min/$50 max for balance transfers only. Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min/no max. Late fee: $15 on balances up to $150; $29 up to $1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 4.90%.

AOL Platinum Card (888) 211-9095

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Late fee: $29. Other terms same as above.

Free Cash Rewards Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

United Mileage Plus Card

  • Annual Fee : $60
  • APR : 14.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $29. No over limit fee. APR is Prime + 9.90%.

GE Select Titanium Cardwww.ge.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$10-$15 min./$35 max. on balance transfers only. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 6.99%. Other terms same as above.

Southwest Airlines Rapid; Rewards Classic Card • (800) SWA-VISA

  • Annual Fee : $39
  • APR : 12.90% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $15 on balances up to $150; $29 up to $1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 8.65%.

Value Miles Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : $29
  • APR : 9.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $29. No over limit fee.

Webster Bank Platinum (800) 347-7887 • www.websterbank.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 8.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$50 max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29.

BB&T 800-476-4228 • www.bbandt.com/creditcards


Gold/Platinum Option 4

  • Annual Fee : $39
  • APR : 11.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$29 max. Late fee: $25 (charged when payment is 10 days overdue). Over limit fee: $25.

Gold/Platinum Options 1, 2, 3

  • Annual Fee : None-$29*
  • APR : 8.15%-12.15%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$29 max. Late fee: $25 (charged when payment is 10 days overdue). Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 3.90%-7.90%. *Rates and annual fees are based on which option the applicant chooses.

California Bank and Trust (888) 758-5349 • www.calbanktrust.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : $18
  • APR : 16.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$3 min./no max. Late fee: $10. Over limit fee: $10.

Gold

  • Annual Fee : $25*
  • APR : 12.00% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above. *Annual fee is waived for first year.

Capital One (800) 235-4499 • www.capitalone.com


MilesOne Platinum

  • Annual Fee : $19
  • APR : 9.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29.

Platinum No Hassle Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 8.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

Centura Bank (800) 236-8872 • www.centura.com


No Fee Classic/Gold

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.74% or 11.74%*(V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3.5%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. *APR is Prime + 7.49% (classic) or 6.49% (gold).

Low Rate Classic/Gold

  • Annual Fee : $18
  • APR : 9.74% or 10.74%* (V)
  • Additional Information : *APR is Prime + 6.49% (classic) or 5.49% (gold). Other terms same as above.

Chase (800) 245-9850 • www.chase.com


Continental Visa Classic

  • Annual Fee : $45
  • APR : 13.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 22 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $15 for balances less than $150; $25 between $150-$1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.40%.

iCard

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.49%. Other terms same as above.

iCard Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.74%-11.74%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 6.49%-7.49%. Other terms same as above. *Higher rate is for balances under $2,500. The interest rate on higher balances is 8.74%-9.74%.

Low Rate Classic/Gold

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$50 max. on balance transfers only. APR is Prime + 9.49%. Other terms same as above.

Prime Card

  • Annual Fee : $85
  • APR : 4.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime Rate. Other terms same as above.

Prime Plus Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 5.90% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 22 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 1.65%.

Stockback

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.74%-11.74%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Late fee: $15-$35, depending on balance. APR is Prime + 7.49%. *Higher rate is for balances under $2,500. The interest rate on higher balances is 9.74%.

Citibank (888) 766-2484 • citibank.com


American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : $50
  • APR : 14.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $15 for balances less than $100; $25 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.90%.

Associated Bank Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 8.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.90%. Other terms same as above.

Associated Bank Standard

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.90%. Other terms same as above.

Associated Bank Travel Miles

  • Annual Fee : $39
  • APR : 14.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.90%. Other terms same as above.

Washington Mutual Bank Visa (800) 649-4090 • www.wamu.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.24%-15.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $15 for balances less than $100; $25 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 4.49%-10.49%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

AT&T Universal Card (800) 423-4343

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.24%-14.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 4.99%-9.99%. Other terms same as above. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Citi Diamond Preferred (800) 456-4277

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 4.99%. Other terms same as above.

Citi Platinum Select

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 4.90%. Other terms same as above.

Conoco Card - Classic (866) 692-6662

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 18.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Late fee: $29. APR is Prime + 13.99%. Other terms same as above.

Conoco Card - Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Late fee: $29. APR is Prime + 7.99%. Other terms same as above.

Mellon Bank - Platinum (800) 774-2173

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : Late fee: $15 for balances less than $100; $25 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. APR is Prime + 9.99%. Other terms same as above.

Mellon Bank Standard

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.99%. Other terms same as above.

Quicken Card - Gold (800) 442-4939

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.99%. Other terms same as above.

Quicken Card - Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.99%. Other terms same as above.

Columbus Bank & Trust (CB&T) (800) 543-8227 • www.columbusbankandtrust.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 7.90%.

GoldCard

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.90%. Other terms same as above.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 8.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.90%. Other terms same as above.

Juniper Bank (888) 232-0780 • www.juniper.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.24%.

Juniper Bank - Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Platinum Card has higher credit limits. Other terms same as above.

Commerce Bank (800) 543-4845 • www.commercebank.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 16.50% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$3 min./no max. Late fee: None for balances of $50 or less; $20 for less than $100; $35 for $100 or more. Over limit fee: $29.

Gold & Platinum Cards

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 8.90%-15.90%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.9%-10.9%. Other terms same as above. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Royals Classic Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.90% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.90% - 10.90%. Other terms same as above.

Royals Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.90% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.9%. Other terms same as above.

Direct Merchants Bank (888) 276-0444 • www.bancopopular.com


Banco Popular #1

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 4%/$15 min./no max. Late fee: $35. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 8.99%.

Banco Popular #2

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 18.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 13.99%. Other terms same as above.

Banco Popular #3

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 23.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 18.99%. Other terms same as above.

Discover Bank (800) 347-2683 • www.discovercard.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $15 for balances of $100 or less; $25 for $100-$1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.24%.

Discover Platinum*

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 9.24%. Other terms same as above. *Platinum card has higher credit limit than standard card above, although they have the same interest rate.

Discover Titanium

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.24%. Other terms same as above.

Eufora Card (866) 866-6279 • www.eufora.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3.5%./$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) + 7.49%.

EverBank - Platinum Card (888) 882-3837 • www.everbank.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : >8.40%(V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2.5% or $2.50 max/no min.. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $20. APR is Prime + 1.90%.

Fidelity National Bank (800) 753-2900 • www.fidelitynational.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 23 days. Cash advance fee: 4%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 8.90%.

Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 6.90%. Other terms same as above.

First Internet Bank (888) 873-3424 • www.firstib.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.00% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/no min./$10 max. Late fee: $16. Over limit fee: $20 (if limit is exceeded by $100).

Connect Select

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.00% (F)
  • Additional Information : No grace period. Other terms same as above.

First National Bank of Omaha - Gold Card (800) 688-7070 • www.firstnational.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99%(V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $29-$35. Over limit fee: $35. APR is London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) + 12.00%.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 10.00%. Other terms same as above.

Smart One Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 10.00%. Other terms same as above.

Emigrant Savings Gold Card (888) 467-2217 • www.emigrant.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 15.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 14.00%. Other terms same as above

Emigrant Savings Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : >APR is LIBOR + 10.00%. Other terms same as above

First Tennessee Bank (800) 234-2840 • www.firsttennessee.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 6.15%-14.15%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$2 min./$20 max. Late fee: $35. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 1.90%-9.90%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Five (5) Star Bank (800) 776-2265

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.40%-
    17.40%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$2 min./$50 max. Late fee: $20. Over limit fee: $15. APR is Prime + 2.90%-8.90%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Fleet Bank (800) 225-5353 • www.fleet.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.99%-16.99%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 4%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $35. Over limit fee: $15-$35, depending on balance. APR is London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) + 9.16%-15.16%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Cash Dividend Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 13.16%. Other terms same as above.

E-Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 8.16%. Other terms same as above.

MilesEdge Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : $27
  • APR : 12.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 11.16%. Other terms same as above.

Platinum Edge Smart Card

  • Annual Fee : $19
  • APR : 9.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 8.16%. Other terms same as above.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99%-16.99%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 8.16%-15.16%. Other terms same as above. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Savings Bond Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : >$37
  • APR : 12.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 11.16%. Other terms same as above.

Titanium Smart Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.99%-11.99%* (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 9.16%-10.16%. Other terms same as above. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Working Assets Card (800) 753-0388 ext. 101 • www.workingassets.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : >14.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is LIBOR + 13.16%. Other terms same as above.

Generations Bank (877) 788-3520 • www.generations.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.90%-21.90%* (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: $2/no min./no max. Late fee: $10. Over limit fee: $10. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Helena National Bank (888) 338-6451 • www.hnb.com

  • Annual Fee : $15
  • APR : 9.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$3 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 5.00%.

Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : $25
  • APR : 9.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$3 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 5.00%. *Gold card has a higher line of credit than classic card.

HSBC Bank USA (800) 975-4722 • http://us.hsbc.com


Regular card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$3 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 9.90%.

HSBC Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.65% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 6.90%. The interest rate will be reduced by one percentage point if you have $15,000 or more in HSBC bank accounts.

Household Bank Classic/Classic Plus Cards (800) 477-6000 • www.household.com

  • Annual Fee : $49-$79
  • APR : 18.90% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$4 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.90% (minimum 18.90%).

GM Rewards* Card (800) 846-2273

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99%-15.49%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$15 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 4.99%-9.99%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Huntington Direct Bank (800) 480-2265 • www.huntington.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: At least 22 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$30-$50 max on balance transfers only. Late fee: $15 for balances of $150 or less; $29 for $150-$1,200; $35 for $1,200 or more. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 9.49%.

Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 7.49%. Other terms same as above.

Prime Rate Platinum*

  • Annual Fee : $75
  • APR : 4.25%* (V)
  • Additional Information : *APR is Prime Rate. Other terms same as above.

M&I Bank (800) 642-2657 • www.mibank.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Available only in AR, FL, MN, WI. Cash advance fee: 2%/$2.50 min./$10 max. Late fee: $18. Over the credit limit fee: $15. APR is Prime + 7.90%.

Platinum

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 10.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.90%. Other terms same as above.

MBNA America (MBNA uses codes to distinguish the various cards it issues.)


AmTrust Bank Platinum Plus Rewards (T4R6) • (888) 268-7878 • www.amtrust.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$50 max (checks and balance transfers only). Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29.

Astoria Federal Savings Platinum (A36P) (800) 278-6742 • www.astoriafederal.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Central Carolina Bank (EUWX) (800) 422-2226 • www.ccbonline.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Comerica Bank (EXUT) (800) 292-1300 • www.comerica.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

LL Bean Card (WJ9G) (800) 932-2775 • www.llbean.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.99%
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Nature Conservancy (NHC4) (800) 932-2775 • http://nature.org

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Ohio Savings Bank Classic Variable (T4S3) (800) 987-6446 • www.ohiosavings.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

MBNA Platinum Plus (QRFK) (800) 932-2775 • www.mbna.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

PNC Bank (PPV3) (800) 545-7899 • www.pncbank.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Roslyn Savings Bank (A8J5) (800) 545-7899 • www.roslyn.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

SunTrust Bank (SM6J) (800) 545-7899 • www.suntrust.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

SunTrust Miles (SM6J)

  • Annual Fee : $35
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information :

Union Planters Bank (VYCJ) (800) 545-7899 • www.unionplanters.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.99% (F)
  • Additional Information :

Wachovia Platinum Plus Card (NS2K) • (877) 309-4921 • www.wachovia.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 12.24% (F)
  • Additional Information : Other terms same as above.

Metropolitan Bank & Trust (888) 263-8762 • www.metrobankandtrust.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $20. Over limit fee: $20.

Metropolitan National Bank (800) 883-2511 • www.metbank.com

  • Annual Fee : $25/$35*
  • APR : 8.95% (F)
  • Additional Information : No cash advance fee. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. *$25 annual fee is for Arkansas residents.

National City Bank (800) 558-8472 • www.nationalcity.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.24%-13.24%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$10 max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. APR is Prime + 6.99%-8.99%. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.24% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 4.99%. Other terms same as above.

People’s Bank - Long Island Sound Card (877) 525-9248 • www.peoples.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 16.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/no min./no max. Late fee: $35. Over limit fee: $35.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99%-19.80%* (F)
  • Additional Information : *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history. Other terms same as above.

US Ski Team Card

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 14.99% (F)
  • Additional Information : Terms same as above.

Providian Smart Visa Premier (800) 647-8641 • www.providiansmart.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 23.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $35 if balance exceeds $200. Over limit fee: $35 if more than 2% over limit. APR is Prime + 19.24% (23.99% minimum APR).

Smart Visa Premium

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.24% (9.99% minimum APR). Other terms same as above.

Smart Visa Prestige

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 16.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 12.24% (16.99% minimum APR). Other terms same as above.

Pulaski Bank & Trust (800) 980-2265 • www.pulaskibank.com

  • Annual Fee : $35
  • APR : 5.50% (F)
  • Additional Information : No cash advance fee. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29.

Retailers National Bank - Target Smart Card (888) 755-5852 • www.target.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 9.90%-18.90%* (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./$40 max. on balance transfers only. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. *Rate based on applicant’s credit history.

Sears National Bank (800) 347-8480 • www.searscard.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.90%-21.90%* (F)
  • Additional Information : No grace period. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. *Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Simmons First National (800) 272-2102 • www.simmonsfirst.com

  • Annual Fee : $25/$35*
  • APR : 8.95% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/no min./no max. Late fee: $29. Over limit fee: $29. *$25 annual fee is for Arkansas residents.

Sovereign Bank (877) 768-2265 • www.sovereignbank.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 13.99% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$10 min./no max. Late fee: $29 for balances of $500 or less; $35 for higher balances. Over limit fee: $35. APR is London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) + 10%.

State Farm Bank (877) 734-2265 • www.statefarm.com/bank.htm

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 11.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $25. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 6.90%.

Tompkins Trust Company (607) 273-3210 • www.tompkinstrust.com

  • Annual Fee : >$20*
  • APR : 14.90% (F)
  • Additional Information : Cash advance fee: 2%/$2 min./$10 max. Late fee: $20. Over limit fee: $20. *Annual fee is waived if applicant has an account with the bank.

Gold Card

  • Annual Fee : $40*
  • APR : 9.25% (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 5.00%. Other terms same as above.

Union State Bank (800) 887-8775 • www.unionstate.com

  • Annual Fee : $12
  • APR : 11.15% (V)
  • Additional Information : Available in NY, NJ and CT. Cash advance fee: 2%/$2 min./$10 max. Late fee: $20. Over limit fee: $25. APR is Prime + 6.90%. Applicants with good credit are eligible for a gold card with no annual fee.

US Bank (800) 872-2657 • www.usbank.com

  • Annual Fee : $20*
  • APR : 9.99%-14.99%** (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20-25 days. Cash advance fee: 4%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29-$38. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 5.99%-9.99%. *Fee waived with one annual purchase. **Rate based on applicant’s credit history.

Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : $40*
  • APR : 8.74%-14.74%** (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.99%-9.99%. Other terms same as above.

Elan Classic Card (800) 558-3424 • www.elancard.com

  • Annual Fee : $20*
  • APR : 10.24%-14.24%** (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20-25 days. Cash advance fee: 4%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29-$38. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 5.99%-9.99%. *Fee waived with one annual purchase. **Rate is based on applicant’s credit history.

Elan Platinum Card

  • Annual Fee : $40*
  • APR : 8.24%-14.24%** (V)
  • Additional Information : APR is Prime + 3.99%-9.99%. Other terms same as above.

SkyPass Platinum Card (866) 759-7277

  • Annual Fee : $55-$85*
  • APR : 14.74% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29-$38. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 9.99%. *Classic Card ($55), Platinum Card ($85). Platinum card allows you to earn more miles per year than the classic card.

World Perks (Northwest Airlines) (800) NWA-VISA

  • Annual Fee : $55-$90*
  • APR : 14.50% (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20 days. Cash advance fee: 3%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $29-$38. Over limit fee: $35. APR is Prime + 9.99%. *Classic Card ($55), Gold Card ($90). Gold card allows you to earn more miles per year than the classic card.

USAA Federal Savings Bank (800) 922-9092 • www.usaa.com (Cardholder access only)

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 6.00%-18.00%* (V)
  • Additional Information : No cash advance fee. Late fee: $20. No over limit fee. APR is Prime + 1.00%-9.90%. *Rate based on applicant’s credit history.

Wells Fargo Bank (800) 642-4720 • www.wellsfargo.com

  • Annual Fee : None
  • APR : 6.50%-19.25%* (V)
  • Additional Information : Grace period: 20-25 days. Cash advance fee: 4%/$5 min./no max. Late fee: $20 on balances up to $100; $29 up to $1,000; $35 for $1,000 or more. Over limit fee: $32. APR is Prime + 2.90%-4.50%. *Rate based on applicant’s credit history.

Note: You are prohibited from using Consumer Action's name or any reference to its surveys in advertising or for any other commercial purpose.

Feds tighten credit card rules

Federal banking regulators issued guidelines in January meant to keep banks from engaging in risky practices that affect their safety and soundness. By default if not by design, these guidelines should benefit consumers as well.

Regulators at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve and the Office of Thrift Supervision, targeted several questionable banking industry practices:

  • Issuing credit cards to people whose credit is already overextended.
  • Relaxing minimum payment requirements to the point where they don’t cover all finance charges and fees so that the balance continues to grow. In the industry this is known as “negative amortization"—the guidelines don’t outright ban this practice but require that it not be allowed to continue indefinitely.
  • Allowing people with weak credit histories to exceed the credit line on their cards. The guidelines don’t restrict the practice but recommend that lenders strictly control it.

The standards give guidance to bank examiners who are assigned to regularly scrutinize each institution’s records, and apply to all banks under the regulators’ authority.

Key-chain credit cards—puleeze!

Skip the new key chain credit cards, advises Consumer Action. Gimmicks, like the kidney-shaped Discover card or Bank of America’s new dangling rectangle, should play no role in choosing a card. “The important criteria are interest rates and fees," said Consumer Action’s Linda Sherry. “Colors, pictures or shapes shouldn’t blind applicants to the bottom line."

The companies claim key chain cards are easier to find and use. “Is instant gratification really a good thing in a credit card?" asked Sherry.

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