Is the credit card really free?
Many banks claim that their credit card is free, but you should first check the fine print before ordering one. Sometimes there might be no yearly credit card fee, but instead the bank will charge fees for cash withdrawals or for using the card abroad or when paying in foreign currencies.
In general, these are the potential fees you should compare and look out for (the German terms in parentheses):
- Yearly credit card fee (Jahresgebühr)
- Fees for usage in other countries (Auslandsgebühr)
- Fees for foreign currencies (Fremdwährungsgebühr)
- Fee for cash withdrawals (in or outside Germany) (Bargeldabhebungsgebühr)
- Fee for a second card or a replacement when you lost your card (Ersatzkarte / Zweitkarte)
- Interest rate for not paying your bill on time (effektiver Sollzins)
Additionally, many banks offer extra services especially for your credit card, such as travel insurance (Reiseversicherung) accident insurance (Unfallversicherung), luggage insurance (Gepäckversicherung), or payment protection insurance (Ratenschutzversicherung / Restkreditversicherung). Often these insurances are more expensive than if you got them separately, so please compare prices before booking any extra insurance options. Generally, a payment protection insurance is not commendable.