Free credit cards are the trend in times of rising fees. FOCUS Online presents five payment cards that attract bonuses of up to 60 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 five free credit cards, with which new customers even receive bonuses of up to 60 euros, and says what you should look out for as a customer with a credit card.

The standard Mastercard from Revolut is kept in credit, is linked to a free account with a Lithuanian IBAN and can be applied for without a credit check or proof of income. In the standard version, there are no annual fees or charges for using the card at home or abroad. Cash withdrawals also remain free within the monthly limit of 200 euros or 5 monthly withdrawals, otherwise a fee of two percent of the sum, but at least one euro, is collected. There are numerous ways to invest your money or spend it with bonuses and discounts in the app. Accounts for children can also be created.

Postage is charged for the card, which is free of charge, and 6 euros plus shipping costs are due for a replacement card. This card is processed via its own app and mobile phone as well as via a web app on the PC. Despite the connection to a Lithuanian banking license, European deposit protection applies, so the account is protected up to EUR 100,000. Not all retailers accept the Lithuanian IBAN when paying, according to Revolut, a German IBAN is expected to be available by the turn of the year.

With Bank Norwegian’s free Visa card, customers can withdraw cash domestically or internationally with no fee, no foreign currency fee and users get extensive travel insurance. The insurance cover applies as soon as at least half of the cost of the trip has been paid with the Bank Norwegian card. The bank’s billing method gives customers up to 45 days of interest-free credit to pay for services and goods. The important thing is to settle the credit card bill on time. Furthermore, flexible repayment options can be granted, but at least the debt settlement is 3.5 percent of the credit line used and at least 30 euros.

With the Bank Norwegian Visa card, it is important to keep an eye on the financial framework, because you will receive your credit card statement on the 15th of each month. This should be transferred punctually on the 1st of the month, otherwise high fees will be incurred (the effective annual interest rate is 19.55 percent). Since the amounts are not automatically debited, customers have to pay the bill themselves by bank transfer.

The Blue Card is the entry-level model from American Express, it does not require a basic fee in the long term. Whether the fee-based bonus program Membership Rewards (30 euros per year) 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.

The account is permanently free with a salary of 700 euros or if you are under 28 years old, otherwise it costs 4.90 euros per month from the 3rd month after opening the account. With the associated ING Visa debit card, you can withdraw cash free of charge in the euro zone (minimum withdrawal amount 50 euros) and the debit interest is less than ten percent. The credit card transactions, just like those with a girocard, are settled after just a few days. Outside the euro zone, the foreign transaction fee also applies to cash withdrawals.

A Girocard for the account is optionally available for EUR 0.99 per month. The minimum withdrawal amount is 50 euros, in foreign currency there is an additional 1.99 percent foreign transaction fee.

The Germany Credit Card Classic is permanently available without an annual fee and is not dependent on a current account. The free Visa card is particularly impressive when travelling: customers can withdraw cash free of charge at home and abroad, there are no foreign currency fees and users benefit from an online advantage program with vouchers, travel discounts and promotions. In addition, new customers can pay in installments without interest for the first three months. This applies to all transactions within the credit limit that are made in the first three months after the credit card is opened. At the end of the three months, the contractual interest of almost 17 percent applies to partial payments.

Due to the high debit interest of almost 17 percent, you should only use the installment option in an emergency. To avoid the default partial installment payment, switch to full payment in the app or in online banking. Another plus: You can transfer a sum to your checking account from within your credit limit if you should have a short-term bottleneck. The account opening is completely digital via video identification and digital signature. The application decision is displayed after just a few minutes. The credit card opening usually takes place five to seven days before the credit card is received.

Debit card: It combines the advantages of an EC card and a credit card – only 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 use the debit card to pay for the hotel or rental car 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 holiday, 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.