credit cards

5 surprising stats about credit

Annual fees have not become more prevalent
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Defying some analysts' predictions, annual fees on credit card accounts have not surfaced in greater numbers since the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or Credit CARD Act, took effect. The share of credit card offers with annual fees was just 25 percent in the second quarter of 2010, down from 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Synovate Mail Monitor.

"Issuers are hesitant to send an offer carrying unattractive terms such as an annual fee, as consumers will likely opt for an offer of similar caliber with no annual fee," Anuj Shahani, director of competitive tracking services at Synovate, said in an e-mail statement. "It's all about gaining new customers."

The average annual fee has dropped as well, from $84 at the close of 2009 to $78 in the second quarter of 2010.

Tip: Compare rewards credit cards that charge an annual fee against no-fee options. How quickly would you earn the fee back in rebates or rewards?




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