Walletpop round-up: Worst credit cards


Break out the rotten tomatoes. This is Walletpop's roundup of the priciest, sneakiest and just plain lousiest credit-card deals out there. Trust us, there are a lot of cards floating around the bottom of the barrel, so it took a lot of effort to find the ones you probably want to avoid at all costs.

Interest rate: If your credit isn't stellar, you can be looking at paying 20% or more for the privilege of whipping out the plastic. (Even if you have great credit, some cards will be oh-so-happy to sock you with a rate of 15% or so.) For real sticker shock, we checked out co-branded store cards, which typically have higher rates. Case in point: The Gap Visa card has rates that start at 18.24%. That could tack quite a bit onto the price of that pair of khakis. We also looked into the Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard, issued by HSBC, but they won't even give users information about interest rates until they actually apply! Thanks, HSBC; you've forced us to leave it to our imagination, and what we're imagining is pretty scary.

Annual fee: To be fair, several American Express cards made our best list, but we've got a worstie here, too. With a whopping $5,000 initiation fee plus a $2,500 annual fee, the American Express Centurion Card wins this one, hands down. Luckily, this card is issued by invitation only, so you'll probably never be faced with the agonizing decision of whether or not to drop the price of a cheap used car every single year for the privilege of using this card. For that reason, we're nominating a second worstie in this category: the Visa Black Card issued by Barclays. It's got an annual fee of "only" $495 and an APR of 13.24% -- a higher rate by several percentage points than our best pick.