Looking for a little credit trick or treat? Credit card comparison site CardHub evaluated 1,000 cards to come up with a ranking of "scariest credit cards" for consumers in a variety of categories. We used the site's "credit card advisor" to find the most attractive options.
With Halloween almost upon us, here are the credit card industry's worst (trick) and best (treat) cards for students, those looking for rewards, balance transfers, rebuilding credit and small business owners.
Rewards cards come in a variety of types, providing everything from free flights and hotel stays to cash back. The best cards provide far more in potential rewards than the cost of opening and maintaining the account; the worst have high fees and rewards of limited value.
Trick: Visa Black Card has a whopping $495 annual fee in exchange for 1 point per $1 spent. You do get a 25,000 point initial bonus and access to airport lounges, but you could buy a lot of drinks at nice airport bars with the cost of that annual fee.
Treat: Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and provides one point for each dollar you spend and one point for each dollar you pay off for a total of two rewards points for every transaction. It's worth noting that if you prefer your rewards to be paid in travel, hotel rooms or gasoline discounts, there may be better rewards cards for you. Check out CardHub's Credit Card Advisor tool to personalize your choices.
The best cards in this category give you a long free stretch and don't charge too much to get the card or transfer the balance.
Trick: UBS Preferred Visa Signature has a 9.99 percent introductory balance transfer rate, which jumps up after six months. There's also a 3 percent balance transfer fee and a $495 annual fee. Ouch.
Treat: Chase Slate has no balance transfer fee and no interest for 15 months. If you have a high balance that you may not be able to repay within that time frame, check out Citi Diamond Preferred, which charges a 3 percent balance transfer fee, but there are no interest charges for 18 months.
Because these cards assume you've been bad with credit in the past, they typically require you to put money in an account to secure your charges. If you fail to pay the minimum amount, the bank can tap the savings account to repay the debt for you.
Trick: First Premier Bank Gold Credit Card charges a $95 processing fee prior to opening the account; a $75 annual fee during the first year; $120 in annualized membership fees in each subsequent year; a 25 percent fee for any credit limit increase; and a 36 percent interest rate.
Treat: Capital One Secured Mastercard charges just a $29 annual fee and allows you to borrow a bit more than you have on deposit. Though interest rates for bad risks are high, this card bears a relatively reasonable 23 percent rate.
Students may not need big spending limits, but it's good to have a card for emergencies. The best cards offer low interest rates and no fees.
Trick: U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card doesn't charge an annual fee, but it also doesn't provide any rewards or breaks on the interest rate, which can be as high as 21 percent.
Treat: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One offers a 1 percent reward for all spending and gives a 25 percent bonus reward for paying on time -- a nice incentive to build healthy credit habits. There's no annual fee and the card charges 19.8 percent on revolving balances.
Small Business cards
Trick: All of them. The miserable part about credit cards for small businesses is that they're exempt from the protections afforded by the Credit Card Act of 2009, which means issuers can hike rates on existing balances and the cost of the debt can change with little notice.
Treat: You don't have to get a business card to use a card exclusively for business. Pick one of the top-tier rewards cards instead of one aimed at business owners and you'll get all the protections afforded by the 2009 credit card law as well as valuable perks.
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