In general, there aren’t too many differences between the credit cards issued by major banks to consumers with good credit.  Therefore, finding the worst credit card involves taking a look at subprime credit cards, many of which are issued by little known banks.  When I set out to identify the worst credit card, I realized that the task was a bit larger than one article would permit.  Consequently, I’ve decided to right a series of articles on the worst credit cards.  I’ll begin with subprime cards, as those are the most obvious offenders.  Eventually, I’ll make my way to the worst credit cards for prime consumers.  However, my early research indicates that it would be difficult to label any major banks credit card as a the worst credit card.  After my first review, you’ll see why.

Candidate #1 for worst credit card is the Continental Finance Gold MasterCard.  Targeted to subprime users, the credit card advertises rates as low as 9.75% and the “prestige” of carrying a gold card.  However, as I reviewed the terms and conditions, I quickly learned that “prestige” has a price.

The Continental Finance Gold card does offer a competitive APR-9.75% is better than many rates offered by the major credit card companies.  And at $50, the annual fee isn’t so bad.  However, the $50 annual fee is a drop in the bucket compared to the other fees that make this card a strong candidate for worst credit card.  First off, there is a one time account processing fee which, I assume, must be paid immediately.  This fee is $175.  Seriously.  ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS!  Apparently, processing accounts is expensive.

Of course, the $175 account processing fee is a one time thing.  The $180 account maintenance fee stays with you as long as you hold the credit card.  To make things easier, they do break this fee up to $15 a month, every month, as long as you have the card.

Could this be the worst credit card?  So far, we’ve got first year fees of $405 and ongoing yearly fees of $355.  This seems like a lot of money to pay just to get a credit card.  Heck, you can get an American Express Gold Card (which is actually a prestigious gold card) that allows you to earn American Express rewards and only pay an annual fee of around $100. 

Clearly, the Tribute Gold card is not the best credit card.  And, so far, it is a strong candidate to win the first ever Smart Balance Transfers worst credit card competition.

If you have experience with this card or another you feel deserves a shot at winning worst credit card, post a response below.