|Credit Card||Worst For:||Year on Worst List|
|First PREMIER® Bank Mastercard Credit Card||Rebuilding Credit||12th*|
|Mastercard® Gold Card||Rewards||7th|
|Hope Credit Union Platinum Visa||Financing New Purchases||4th|
|First Hawaiian Bank Priority Destinations World Elite Mastercard||Balance Transfers||1st|
|Goodyear Credit Card||Store Card||6th|
|Educational Employees Credit Union Student Credit Card||Student Spending||6th|
|CorTrust Bank Visa Business Credit Card||Small Business||9th|
6 Tips for Avoiding a Bad Credit Card
Halloween comes but once per year, yet scary credit cards are always lurking. So, here are some tips that will help you determine whether a given offer is a trick or a treat
- Evaluate Your Needs: There is no one-size-fits-all credit card. From the credit standing needed for approval to the fee structure and associated perks, there are myriad ways in which one credit card offer may differ from another. And since cards that excel in one particular area – rewards, for example – are likely to be deficient in others, it’s very important that you determine exactly what you need before looking into specific offers.
If you don’t know how good (or bad) your credit is, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub. You can also check out WalletHub’s guide on choosing a credit card for tips on which type to get.
- Try CardAdvisor: WalletHub has a new tool that helps you pick the right credit card for your needs. All you have to do is answer a few anonymous questions based on your credit standing and financial obligations, and CardAdvisor will automatically compare more than 1,500 offers to make a personalized recommendation.
- Use the Island Approach: The Island Approach is a credit card strategy that involves isolating different types of transactions on different accounts in order to garner the best possible collection of terms. For example, this might entail getting a rewards card for everyday expenses that you pay off completely by the end of the month and a 0% balance transfer credit card to lower the cost of existing debt.
- Compare Terms, Not Branding: Consumers too often get hung up on which bank issues their credit card or what cards they’ve seen advertised on TV. Those things don’t matter. Dollars and cents are what counts, so make sure to compare relevant offers across issuers in order to identify the card that will save you the most money.
- Read the Fine Print: While credit card disclosures have improved in recent years, they still aren’t perfect. And even though fine print can lead to headaches, it can also contain crucial information that impacts how much you pay for card use as well as the overall benefit you derive from your card.
- Track Your Progress: Keep tabs on your spending and payment habits by reviewing your monthly account statements. Sign up for free 24/7 credit monitoring so you’ll find out about important credit report changes right away. And check your personalized credit analysis on WalletHub for advice on improving your credit score. Using a credit card calculator to plan a debt payoff strategy before transferring a balance or making a big-ticket purchase will also help you minimize interest payments.
To make their selections for the worst credit cards, WalletHub’s editors compare more than 1,500 credit card offers based on their fees, interest rates, rewards, credit score requirements, other approval requirements, and any unique features that could have a big impact on a cardholder. Most importantly, we rank the cards based on expected two-year cost. This enables us to easily identify the worst credit cards to use for various purposes and situations, including the worst credit cards for rewards, financing new purchases, balance transfers, business, building credit and more.
Given that any credit card could prove to be a poor choice when misused or employed for the wrong type of transaction, we only consider credit card offers with relevant terms to be candidates for the worst credit card in a particular category. For example, if a card does not offer a reduced introductory balance transfer APR, or does not even allow balance transfers to begin with, we do not consider it for the worst balance transfer credit card category. Similarly, we do not consider credit cards that require good or excellent credit for approval as possibilities for the distinction of worst credit card for rebuilding credit. And we do not consider co-branded credit cards for any categories except for the worst store credit cards.
How Two-Year Cost Is Calculated
Two-year cost is used to approximate the monetary value of cards for better comparison and is calculated by combining annual and monthly membership fees over two years, adding any one-time fees or other fees (like balance transfer fees), adding any interest costs, and subtracting rewards. Negative amounts indicate savings. When fees or other terms are presented as a range, we use the midpoint for scoring purposes.
Rewards bonuses and credits have been taken into account for two-year cost calculations. However, bonuses applicable to only a very small portion of cardholders are not considered. For example, credits and bonuses awarded for spending or redeeming rewards through a company portal with non-co-branded cards have not been taken into account. Similarly, bonuses and credits related to spending with specific merchants using a non-co-branded card have not been taken into account (for example, if Card A offers credits with DoorDash, this feature would not be factored into calculations because it is hard to assess how many cardholders would use the benefit or exactly how much value they'd get from it).
Cardholder Spending Profiles
Given that different users have different goals and are likely to use their credit cards differently, we identified spending profiles that are representative of different users’ financial priorities and behaviors. For each cardholder type, we have assumed a specific amount of monthly spending by purchase type (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.), as well as an average balance, balance transfer amount, amount spent on large purchases and average monthly payment. Spending assumptions are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for consumers and PEX data for businesses.
Credit Card Landscape Analysis
Credit card offers change regularly, so WalletHub’s editors monitor the market and update their worst credit card selections whenever it’s warranted. To help consumers make the right choices for their wallets, our editors also include the best credit cards to consider as alternatives in each category. The best cards are selected in a similar fashion, just focusing on terms that stand out in a good way. For points of reference, WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report has updated averages for the most important credit card features, from fees and interest rates to rewards.
Good Alternative to Consider
With no annual fee, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can be free to use as long as you pay your bill in full every month. It also gives you 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (for the first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter) as well as 1% on everything else. Plus, Discover will double your first-year rewards earnings.