Run away from these credit cards

Thinking about opening a new credit card? Stay away from these nine, which have been deemed the “Credit cards from hell” by CNNMoney.

Among them? The Hooters MasterCard, with an APR of 25.45 percent and an annual fee of up to $48 for the first year, plus $4 per month after that.

But it’s not the worst on the list. Not by a long shot.

More from the story:

That makes this card among the worst in terms of restaurant-branded credit cards, according to John Ulzheimer, personal finance expert at

“Even if you have excellent credit, it looks like you’ll get a rate of more than 16%,” he said. “You can definitely find a better card than that with excellent credit — and if you’re credit isn’t so good, you’re certainly going to get hit with that 25.4%.”

Have you ever gotten sucked into using a “credit card from hell”? What didn’t you know before you signed up for it?

4/26 update: Looking for other ways to save money? Read about Stephanie Barr, Atlanta’s own couponer, who will be on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” Wednesday night. Also, don’t forget about your free pretzel today.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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12 comments Add your comment

Richard Dawson

March 2nd, 2011
8:58 am

Pretty goofy article in CNNMoney. They trashed the JCPenney card merely on its 27% rate. Any credit card is not worth it if you are carrying a balance. If you don’t, like millions of consumers, the rate is irrelevant and you just need to measure the benefits.

Richard Dawson

March 2nd, 2011
9:00 am

Top 3 credit cards for folks who pay off their balance and want cash back (not miles or points): Amex Blue, Discover, Chase Freedom Visa. Would love to hear if there are any better ones out there. I have made a killing using these cards, and particularly when they have the 5% promotions (as Discover and Chase Freedom do every single month).

Lauren Davidson

March 2nd, 2011
9:04 am

Hi, Richard! You might like this blog. You’re doing much of this already but you might some of it interesting.

Roberta Higginbotham

March 2nd, 2011
9:04 am

I guess we’ve got to read “Credit cards from hell” by CNNMoney to actually know who issues these 9 credit cards.


March 2nd, 2011
9:30 am

Hey Lauren,

Do you know of any good articles about the best rewards cards? I have three cards, but part of my New Year’s Resolution was to cut back considering all three have an annual fee. I’m having trouble deciding which card to cut. Also, how many cards would you recommend someone have? I was thinking two should be the max, but if I want to live the frugal life should I cut even further to one?



March 2nd, 2011
9:35 am

Credit card companies get a percentage of the sale so even if you pay your balance every month, they are making $ off of you. It is worth it. They just make more $ when they charge you 25% interest, but these companies are not going broke because of customers who don’t caryy a balance.


March 2nd, 2011
9:37 am

When applying for my last, and only, credit card, I went with my credit union. My current interst rate is less than 15%. I don’t need to pay 20%+ just to get rewards.


March 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

My credit union’s rate is 8.99%.

Ted Striker

March 2nd, 2011
10:36 am

Good column, Lauren. Thank you.

mystery poster

March 2nd, 2011
11:04 am

My credit union’s rate is 7.5%, on BOTH purchases and cash advances.


March 2nd, 2011
2:35 pm

How desparate do you have to be if you get a credit card with 59.99% interest? I think that there are loan sharks out there that charge less.

Ole Guy

March 2nd, 2011
5:03 pm

Back in the 60s, Bankamericard was born. Promising the “good life” for the masses, American Express did them one better. With an unlimited ceiling, one could charge it all, thus sidestepping the “embarrasement” of denied credit while, at the same time, exuding prosperity and exclusivity in the brandishing of the Amex card. It never stops…now, it would appear, yet another provider of the good life creating another bandwagon of exclusivity…and the brainless morons, in search of some sort of identity, are jumping on the very same wagon.

You can’t “educate” the people who groove on this sort of nonesense. The very same people seem to get a big psychological charge at hotels and on airlines when, as frequent flyers/lodgers, or whatever psuedo claim to fame has been promoted, they seem to feel that some sort of void has been filled in their being labeled, somehow, different and “above it all”. In my twice-monthly roadtrips, I see it all the time.