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The credit card industry saw its fair share of doozies in 2011. Banks continued to polarize customers with less-than-savory practices, while a barrage of debit fees gave consumers the wake-up call they needed to pack their wallets and take their business elsewhere.CardRatings.com just released its annual list of the worst credit card deals of the year, based on terms, fees and overall value to customers. And boy, are we glad we didn’t sign up for these cards because if we had, we’d be jumping ship too!
First, there’s First Premier Gold from First Premier Bank, a partially secured card with an APR of 49.9 per cent—yep, 49.9 per cent. The card packs a fistful of fees, from a $95 deposit to a first-year fee of $75, plus the monthly $6.50 fee.
Then there’s what CardRatings.com dubbed the “least ‘premium’ premium card,” the Visa Black Card, which charges $495 annually. The card struck reporter Curtis Arnold as a “weird, cheap knockoff” of American Express’ original Centurion Card, in that it carries less prestige and gaudier features—namely the gold lettering displaying “BLACK CARD” across the front—that are more in line with lower-end cards like Chase Sapphire.
Perhaps the most hilarious—and embarrassing—cards of the bunch were FNBO’s World of Warcraft Visa and Merrick Bank’s Hooters Visa. No one remotely cool would want to be seen using either of these cards, but the rewards they offer are well below average.
The Hooters card offers 5 points for every dollar spent, but 2,421 points for a 3-D mouse pad is a total rip-off, said Arnold. And while the WOW Visa offers a point for every dollar spent to cardholders, redeeming 1,500 points per month for online game time feels like a waste when they could purchase a $10 prepaid card instead.
For the full list of cards, see the site’s post here.