Growing proliferation of credit card annual fees

Bank of America reported in mid-October that it plans to impose annual fees on some of its credit cards.  In the short term , this will probably create some bad press for the bank.  However, all of the leading card issuers are overhauling their pricing models to address new card legislation as well as huge increases in charge offs and provisions for credit losses.  So, we should expect greater proliferation of annual fees, as well as lower incidence of introductory offers and higher APRs.  Some examples below of cards from leading issuers that feature annual fees (this list does not include secured cards, many of which come with annual fees):

  • Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards: $39 annual fee
  • Fifth Third Platinum Prime MasterCard: $89 annual fee (although note that the APR on this card is Prime + 0%
  • PNC points Visa Signature: $75 annual fee (waived with $20,000 in annual spending on the card)
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa: $49 annual fee (waived first year, and waived any year when at least $24,000 is charged to the card)
  • Escape by Discover: $60 annual fee

And of course, American Express has increased marketing of its charge cards, all of which have annual fees.

Ironically, Wells Fargo appears to have dropped the $19 annual fee that came with its credit card rewards program.  Rather than market an optional rewards program to cardholders, it simply promotes rewards and non-rewards credit cards.  Wells Fargo still imposes an annual fee (of $12) for an optional rewards program with its check card, and does allow customers to pool rewards earned on check and credit card spending.