Just how fee-laden is your credit card? It may not matter much.
The average credit card has six different fees, according to a new CreditCards.com analysis of 100 major cards. The most fee-laden cards have 12, and just one of the cards assessed had no fees whatsoever. (See chart below for a rundown of the cards with the most and fewest.)
"This points out how different credit card issuers and different cards can be, and drives home the importance of shopping around," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.
The fee landscape for credit cards has gotten friendlier in recent years. "Consumers are so much more protected than they were before the CARD Act" of 2009, said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer-Action.org. That legislation included several provisions aimed at reducing fees, such as requiring set end-of-day payment deadlines to limit late fees. Still, she said, "There are always other fees."
Some are more prevalent than others: 99 percent of the cards charge a late payment fee (typically $35), according to the CreditCards.com analysis, while 77 percent tack on a foreign transaction fee (about 3 percent per purchase). On the rare side, only 5 percent of cards penalize cardholders who exceed their credit limit, and 5 percent charge a fee for expedited payment via phone.