Credit Card Annual Fees: Is It Ever a Good Idea to Suck It Up and Pay?

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Sometimes, absolutely. But it all depends on what kinds of rewards the card promises—and what kinds of rewards you’ll actually reap and use.

The key is to weigh what you’d pay in an annual fee versus the value of the rewards, and also to factor in the reward possibilities of cards that have no annual fees. For many cards, the rewards are far more, well, rewarding to customers who fork over annual fees, but this isn’t always the case.

In a SmartMoney post investigates some of the options, several experts say that it is unwise to automatically dismiss a card just because it comes with an annual fee:

Consumers could be costing themselves money or rewards by automatically rejecting cards that carry annual fees without taking a careful look at the terms and conditions, especially if such fees become more common, [Bill] Hardekopf [of

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