Photo: Flickr Jenn Lowther
While there are some credit card offers you should jump on as soon as possible—such as those with attractive one-time rewards bonuses—there are also those that you should avoid at all costs.Some of the worst credit cards on the market have annual fees that rival the cost of a new flat-screen LED TV and don’t give much in return.
Others have APRs so high they could qualify for AARP benefits. Still others are unattractive across the board, with simply no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Needless to say, you don’t want to find one of these cards in your wallet, and if one already is, you don’t want it to be there long.
With each bad offer comes an opportunity for users to make an improvement, though, to find credit cards that help rather than hurt their bank accounts and credit scores. Let’s take a look at the worst credit cards on the market and how they can be replaced.
The Visa (V) Black Card
No, this isn’t the “Black Card” that has become a status symbol among the rich and famous, perhaps most notably in the hip-hop community. You may be confusing it with the American Express (AXP) version, officially named the Centurion Card.
The Visa Black Card is a far cry from that selective, prestigious spending vehicle, and you need look no further than its annual fee to realise it. Each year, cardholders are required to pay a whopping $495 simply for the right to use this card, and what does it get them? A 14.99% APR, 1% cash back on all purchases, 0% on balance transfers for six months, airport lounge access, and the promise of “luxury gifts,” whatever that means.
Each of these attributes can be easily replaced and bested by any of the other credit cards for which you’ll qualify with the excellent credit needed to get the Visa Black Card. Take the Chase Freedom Visa (JPM), for example. Not only does it provide 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months and a $100 cash-back bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months; it also has 0% on purchases for six months, 5% cash back on rotating spending categories and 1% cash back on everything else—all without an annual fee. Blacklist the Black Card.
The Wells Fargo (WFC) Business Platinum Credit Card
This is the worst business credit card you can get. Most business credit cards provide some sort of rewards. The Wells Fargo Business Platinum has none. Many business credit cards have 0% APR introductory periods on purchases and/or balance transfers. The Wells Fargo Business Platinum has neither, just a regular rate of 9.24% to 18.24%.
Bank of America (BAC) business credit cards protect consumers against interest rates being applied to existing balances unless account holders are 60 or more days delinquent. Surprise, surprise, the Wells Fargo Business Platinum does not. As if this wasn’t enough, Wells Fargo is also one of the least transparent major issuers, according to a Card Hub small-business credit card study.
Replace this card with the Cash Rewards for Business Visa, which has a 0% APR on purchases for nine months; 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations, office supply stores and for computer network services; 1% cash back on everything else; and the business credit card debt stability only Bank of America currently provides.
The First Premier Secured Credit Card
This is a partially secured credit card, meaning you are required to place a $95 refundable security deposit to get a $300 credit line. The explanation for why it’s one of the worst credit cards on the market is simple: It has an astounding 49.9% APR, an annual fee of $75 the first year and $123 in membership fees for each subsequent year. If you want a partially secured card, why not apply for the Capital One Secured MasterCard, which has a $29 annual fee and a 22.9% APR? All of Capital One’s (COF) credit cards can also be used abroad at no extra cost while the First Premier card has 3% foreign transaction fees.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.