Free credit cards are the trend in times of rising fees. FOCUS Online presents four payment cards that attract bonuses of up to 100 euros.
As a convenient means of payment, the credit card has become an indispensable part of everyday life. Pay for weekend shopping with the debit card, which is debited immediately, or conveniently book a hotel room by credit card and only pay at the end of the month – that’s no problem with a Visa card or Mastercard. Banks lure, often in combination with checking accounts, with free credit cards, attractive added value and lucrative partner programs. FOCUS Online presents four free credit cards, with which new customers even receive bonuses of up to 100 euros, and says what you should look out for as a customer with a credit card.
The Blue Card is the entry-level model from American Express, it does not require a basic fee in the long term. Whether the Membership Rewards bonus program (30 euros per year), which is subject to a fee, is really worth it depends on your annual card turnover. You should only consider taking part if you already spend a lot (at least 5,000 euros a year) with the card. But even independently of the bonus points system, cardholders are given various offers from different areas of the Amex cosmos, be it special preferential offers, discounts on hotel bookings, special events or savings opportunities, which are displayed to you via the app. Transport accident insurance is also included. Please note: using the card at ATMs or outside the euro zone is relatively expensive.
The American Express Blue Card is particularly suitable for shopping in the euro zone. Expensive fees are charged for withdrawing from ATMs (at least 5 euros, 4 percent fee on the sum) and paying in foreign currency 2 percent fee. Whether it’s worth paying the Amex points program fee depends on your annual sales. The accident insurance takes effect if you have paid for the trip or means of transport with the Amex card.
With the Visa debit card, comdirect offers a free card that you can use to withdraw money three times a month from Visa ATMs in Germany and worldwide. Each additional transaction costs EUR 4.90. The minimum withdrawal amount is set at 50 euros. A giro card is optionally available. The checking account offers other advantages such as a free custody account and additional services. When you open an account, you will receive a virtual debit card that can be deposited with Apple Pay or Google Pay before the plastic card arrives in the mail. The debit card has been trimmed down to its core functions and is sufficient for paying and promptly settling (online) bills.
Account management is free for the first six months after opening, after that if one of the following conditions is met: 700 euros monthly cash receipt or 3 payments via Apple Pay or Google Pay per month with a bank card (Visa debit card) or Visa credit card or a securities transaction (Trade) / one securities savings plan execution per month on the account belonging to the customer relationship or the age of an account holder is under 28 years and professional status is student, pupil, trainee or intern. Otherwise, the account costs EUR 4.90 per month. The Cash Plus package for EUR 6.90 per month, EUR 82.80 per year and a worry-free travel package for EUR 7.90 per month, EUR 94.80 per year can be booked as an option, with a minimum term of 6 months. You can also get a Visa credit card for EUR 1.90 per month (EUR 22.80 per year). With the Visa credit card, which is subject to a fee, there are no foreign transaction fees, you can repay a sum divided into 3 monthly installments without additional costs and the manufacturer’s guarantee is extended by 12 months when purchasing electrical appliances. If you open a Girokonto Plus, you will receive both packages and the Visa credit card for EUR 14.90 per month (instead of EUR 16.70) or EUR 178.80 per year (instead of EUR 200.40).
Norisbank’s Mastercard is included with the free top current account. The account includes a free giro card and remains free of charge if the account holder is younger than 21 or has a monthly cash receipt of at least 500 euros. Otherwise it costs 3.90 euros. You can manage your checking account and Mastercard in Norisbank’s online banking.
To receive the EUR 50 exchange bonus, apply for the top current account online by June 30, 2022. Then inform at least 5 payment partners about your new bank details by August 31, 2022 using the free account switching service. The reward will be credited to you by September 30, 2022. Payments with Mastercard outside the Eurozone are charged at 1.75%. A fee of 0.5% is charged for cash withdrawals in foreign currencies. Cash withdrawals within Germany add up to 2.5% or at least 6 euros. You can get free cash with your Norisbank Girocard at the Cash Group counters.
With the Consors Finanz Mastercard you can travel, shop or both. From 300 euros, withdrawals from ATMs are free worldwide, below a fee of 3.95 euros is charged. Important: The card is preset to partial payment and should be switched to one-off payment the first time you use it. Once this has happened, you have a payment period of 90 days. The quarterly payment is a double-edged sword, as large sums can accumulate within three months. If you decide to pay in installments, you can do this conveniently and flexibly in the app or browser, but the effective annual interest rate is high at 15.9%. Practical: money can be transferred from the credit limit to the reference account within 48 hours if things get tight there.
The card is preset to pay in installments, but you can easily switch to a one-off payment in the app. The credit rating-dependent credit limit can be up to 5,000 euros. Residual debt insurance is offered as an option. The maximum insured sum for long-term care, death, accidental disability, serious illness is EUR 50,000, for incapacity to work and unemployment the maximum insured sum is limited to the originally agreed monthly installment of the loan. It may not exceed EUR 1,500 per month.
Debit card: It combines the advantages of an EC card and a credit card – just without the credit limit of the latter. After each payment with the debit card, the amount is debited directly from the associated current account. The payment cards are suitable for paying in local shops as well as for shopping on the Internet, as they also have a credit card number. Outside of Europe you have to be careful, as you often cannot pay for the hotel or rental car with the debit card because the card does not have the credit limit. It is not possible to reserve a specific amount on the card, for example as a deposit. You can avoid this by transferring money to your debit card before you go on vacation, thereby increasing the credit limit.
Credit card: Not everyone receives a classic credit card, because receipt depends on the creditworthiness of the applicant. For this purpose, the Schufa data is queried. How to get a line of credit. As long as the credit limit is sufficient, you can charge your card. You will then receive bills at regular intervals that you must pay. If you settle the bill within the specified period, there are usually no fees. If you don’t do this, interest will be charged. Interest rates are relatively high on most credit cards.
Credit card as a charge card: Here you do not get a credit line, but a monthly bill is due. The amount is usually automatically deducted from your account at the end of the month. This is basically how you get an interest-free loan. However, this only has a short term, as the bill has to be paid every 30 days, as mentioned.
Surf tip: You can find more credit card deals and campaigns in the credit card comparison of the FOCUS subsidiary cardscout
If you can’t wait and want to get your finances in shape today, you can read all the tips in our eight-part series right here.