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5 Signs You Hold the World's Worst Credit Card

Welcome to the Daily 5, our lighthearted look at the business news that amuses us.

Like you, we've been subject to outrageous credit card fees from time to time. It's a common problem: Seventeen of the 22 credit-card issuers surveyed by the non-profit group Consumer Action say they can change terms or raise interest rates anytime they choose, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Congress is considering legislation that would limit some fees and eliminate others. That's nice, but many of America's universities are in deals with card pushers to promote plastic to their students and alumni. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) were among those named in a recent BusinessWeek investigation of the practice.

And today? We're a nation of credit junkies who use plastic to buy about-to-be-worthless trash from the local mall. Here are five semi-serious signs that you're holding the world's worst credit card. Drum roll, please:

5. The card company's CEO uses your convenience cheques to pay for his kid's braces.

4. Interest rates are so high that the neighborhood loan shark agrees to bail you out.

3. Your other credit cards refuse to accept balance transfers from it.

2. Three words: Nine-cycle billing.

And the No. 1 sign that you might hold the world's worst credit card: The logo actually reads, "World's Worst Credit Card."

At least the FTC is in the ballpark ...
When the Feds accused Stock Advisor selection CompuCredit (Nasdaq: CCRT  ) of deceptive marketing, Foolish colleague Rich Duprey cried foul. He's got a point. Even if you find the practice of lending to the credit-poor on rich terms abhorrent, it isn't illegal.

Still, to us, rooting for CompuCredit feels like rooting for the crook to steal the old lady's purse. That's how bad the Aspire Visa was, thankfully defunct after years of marketing by CompuCredit.

See anything we missed? Have a different take? Post your thoughts in the comments box below. And then, when you're done, get your clicks with related Foolishness:

CompuCredit is a Stock Advisor selection. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are Income Investor recommendations. Try either of these market-beating services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Neither Tim Beyers nor Dayana Yochim owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Tim seeks the best of the tech industry as a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers team. The Fool's disclosure policy is the world's best disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2008, at 4:32 PM, alwaysconfused wrote:

    I'm confused, as usual. So much good press about the "micro lenders" in asia, etc lending money to people at rates of about 20%, yet in the USA companies that do something similar (and legal) get slammed. I agree that companies should not illegally gain from consumers, but should they not also be compansated for the risk they take extending credit to people who can not get it anywhere else? I remember a time when CCRT had charge-off rates in the mid-high teens. If subprime consumers can not get credit at all, which is where we are headed, what is their alternative? No system is perfect, but the FTC will likely put CCRT and others out of business if this suit goes through.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2008, at 8:12 PM, NoIdontdance wrote:

    I have the world's best credit card.

    None.

    I have the world's best wife also.

  • Report this Comment On August 03, 2008, at 10:35 PM, kamuirei wrote:

    The problem with not having a credit card is that you don't have any credit. My sister is in this exact situation. After wrecking her 4th car (no joke) my parents are done... (she is 26 after all). She has 9k.... all graduation money, she's always broke. She wants a 20k car and is willing to put it all down. The rate? 20%.

    I personally use the Chase Freedom card. I started with a $300 limit and a 24% rate. My first card. However, I use the card every month and pay it off every month. Every 6 months Chase has raised my limit and lowered my rate. If I forget to pay, it automatically pays the balance from my checking. They also allow you to choose your due date, which is nice since I'm paid monthly. This of course requires money in my checking, but I have a stable job and it's not that much trouble to check my checking and subtract my card balance. In the meantime I get rewards that beat almost every card out there.

    Credit cards are not evil. Simply read the fine print and pay them off every month. If you don't trust yourself to do this, then take Noldon's advice.

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Tim Beyers
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Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At Fool.com, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at timbeyers.me or send email to tbeyers@fool.com. For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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