No Annual Fee Credit Cards to Outnumber Those with an Annual Fee: 2019 Credit Card Fee Study

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
Updated: August 28th, 2019
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Using credit cards, we constantly have to encounter different kinds of fees. So, during the 2019 U.S. News Consumer Credit Card Fee Study, hundreds of credit cards were examined in order to investigate annual fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, late and returned payment fees, and balance transfer fees more closely.

The main finding is that Americans are more prone to choosing no annual fee credit cards. Only less than a third, namely 32%, of credit cards issued in the U.S. come with an annual fee. Furthermore, 13% of such cards waive it the first year. Both the probability of the fee presence and its amount depend on a credit card type. For example, every single student credit card comes with a $0 annual fee and only 14% of cash back credit cards charge this kind of fee which is $80.46 on average. At the same time, travel credit cards will most likely (in 66% of cases) turn out to come with a rather significant $139.16 average fee taken each year.

Another fee you can face with on any credit card in case you decide to withdraw some cash from an ATM is a cash advance fee. Taking into account the fact that only 4% of U.S. credit cards can boast a lack of this fee, the idea surely doesn’t look like the best one. Anyway, in case of emergency, you’d better be aware of the sum of money you will be taken for the operation. Thus, 50% of credit cards add 2% to 4% to the withdrawn amount, 39% charge extra 5%, and 3% of credit cards – 8%.

As for foreign transaction fees, unfortunately, not most but 39% of credit cards in general and nearly 50% of travel cards charge no fees for transactions in a foreign currency or accomplished abroad. 49% of cards offer a 3% foreign transaction fee and the other 12% charge from 0.8% to 2.7%.

Compared to other types of fees, late and returned payment fees apply to the greatest number of credit cards with the exception of literally a dozen cards automatically waving them. The average maximum size of late fees on different types of credit cards ranges from 34.39% to 37.83%, of returned payment fees – from $31.70 to $34.65. The smallest fees are charged on secured cards, the largest – on student and travel credit cards.

One more credit card fee analyzed is a balance transfer fee. It considers only credit cards that give their cardholders an opportunity to transfer current balances from other credit accounts. It must be noticed that credit cards having no such a fee are a rare option. In 96% of cases, you must pay some amount for these transfers. 72% of balance transfer credit cards charge their holders a 3% fee, the rest take 4% or 5%.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

Latest Credit Card Fees News

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Do you own a credit card with a variable APR? If so, in case you attentively read your monthly statements, you probably noticed slight changes in interest rates last time. But in case you noticed no difference yet but have already managed to get upset after reading the previous sentence, take it easy! The changes play into your hands since the rates have dropped!

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Recently Discover shared results of their new online survey. The survey was conducted from February 12 to 17 by research company Dynata on behalf of Discover Financial Services.

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

There are four major credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. These 4 networks differ basically in two things: how and where the person owning the card can use it and the benefits the network offers.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

More and more people are figuring out that the best way to avoid credit card fees and unnecessary bank charges is to use a prepaid card—otherwise known as a general-purpose reloadable prepaid card. These cards are increasingly popular among all demographics, including Millennials, small business owners, and people who are self-employed.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Good news for entrepreneurs and small business owners: there’s a new rewards credit card that gives unlimited cash back and has no annual fee.

Best Credit Offer
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 5 / 5
Horizon Card Services Horizon Gold Credit Card
Copyright © 2001-2019 All Rights Reserved.

*See the credit card's terms and conditions on the online application page. Note that this website may be compensated by credit card issuers when the visitor applies for a card through the links on this website. We do our best to maintain all information accurate and up to date. However, we do not warrant the credit card information won't change. Click the "Apply Online" button and review the current info on the secure credit card terms page.

Information in these articles is brought to you by Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

Disclosure: Not an access card.

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Thank you for providing this information! We will make sure our letters are useful for You.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.