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The Three Worst Credit Cards of 2013

October 3, 2013
Credit Cards
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Picking the right credit card – or, if looked at from a different angle, avoidingthe wrong credit card – has the potential to save you thousands of dollars every year, plus a lot of hassle. Choosing a credit card that meets your needs is somewhat complex, because the type of rewards program that’s most appealing is subjective. However, the awfulness of a few credit cards out there is much more objective, so no matter which card you decide on, be sure to avoid these three.

Applied Bank Credit Card

Applied Bankissues four different credit cards, two business and two personal.  The two personal cards, the Secured Visa Gold card and the Platinum Zero Secured card, are both, as their names imply, secured credit cards and carry the fees typical of this type of plastic. However, both cards also boast a host of other unique, negative qualities. For example, the Secured Visa Gold card starts charging interest on your purchases as soon as you make them rather than offering the standard 25-day grace period to pay off your charges. And the Platinum Zero Secured card charges customers a monthly fee of $9.95, regardless of how fast purchases are paid off. To make matters even more outrageous, Applied Bank also includes in its cardholder agreement a clause which prevents its customers from joining class action lawsuits against it, so once you find out you’ve been duped, you can’t fight it. The only solution, of course, is to not get duped in the first place – avoid credit cards issued by Applied Bank at all costs!

The Matrix Credit Card

The Matrix credit card, issued by the Continental Finance Company, is one of the many sketchy cards on the market that appears welcoming to people who have poor credit but that’s actually a scheme to bilk those desperate for a credit card out of hundreds of dollars in bogus fees. What types of fees? Here are just a few:

  • $75 annual fee
  • $12 monthly fee
  • $30 fee per additional authorized user (this is a one-time fee)
  • $4.95 monthly fee for paper statements

All of the fees listed above don’t exist for most other major credit cards, so don’t let the Matrix card fool you into paying fees you don’t need to. Even with bad credit there are plenty of cards out there that won’t take you to the cleaners, so shop around for more affordable plastic.

First Premier Credit Cards

The First Premier Aventium and Centennial are essentially terrible facsimiles of one another. Both cards have truly unbelievable interest rates – nearly 50 percent. As if that weren’t bad enough, they both carry fees that far outstrip other cards in their class, including a $75 annual fee, a $35 processing fee, and a $6 monthly fee. Between the fees and the interest rate, these cards are two of the most expensive out there. It’s also worth noting that the Aventium and the Centennial have very low initial credit limits – only $300. This makes it easy to approach or exceed your credit limit, which can negatively impact your credit score. So in a weird twist, the cards offered by First Premier, which target those with bad credit, may actually be doing more harm than good to their customers; your best bet is to just take a pass on both. When it comes to credit cards, there are a lot of stinkers out there, so beware of the three plastic pieces listed above. Facing down a lot of options might be confusing at times, but at least it means you don’t have to get stuck with a shoddy card.