Compare credit cards: benefits and costs

Here's an overview of the most important features of the best credit cards.

Our advice: credit cards may incur different fees if you use your credit card outside the EU or at atms of different domestic financial institutions. The basic procedures, fee structures and billing modes of the respective credit card providers should be reviewed in detail and if necessary. As far as possible with consultation check.

Good to know: you can usually use a new credit card within the agreed limit as soon as you receive it. The whole process should not take more than a week to complete. Basic credit card features include a credit card account login where you can view and review individual transactions.

Finanztip: pay attention to the different credit card types

There are so many different offers to choose from: it's hard to know where to start. We've already done the hard work, looked at various credit cards and selected the best offers. However, before you search, consider the following types of credit cards:

Prepaid credit card: fees are often higher than for free credit cards. The payment transaction is processed exclusively via credit and not via a loan. Prepaid offers are usually only suitable for people who can't get another card, such as teenagers or someone with a bad schufa score.

Free credit card: the free credit card is ideal for basic needs. The best offers do not charge an annual fee and only small fees are due when making payments or at atms. As a rule, however, you have to do without additional services.

Gold and platinum cards: many credit cards offer additional benefits such as insurance coverage, discount programs or access to airport lounges. You'll pay high fees to do so. In addition, insurance coverage is often sketchy. Credit cards with many additional services are only suitable for small target groups.

Visa or mastercard: what's the difference?

If you are traveling to exotic areas, we recommend a card with mastercard and visa card, because sometimes only one of the two cards is accepted. The two companies have no direct contact with the cardholder, but issue licenses to banks and savings banks. These then issue the cards. Therefore, there are countless banks where you can get a visa or mastercard.

Other credit card providers include american express and diners club, from which you can get a direct credit card. However, far fewer businesses, hotels and so on accept these cards than visa and mastercard. We therefore do not recommend these providers. Limit your choice to mastercard and visa.

Credit card billing: when is charged?

When the amount is debited from your account depends on the billing method of your credit card. The main types of billing are:

Debit – with these cards, the money is immediately debited from the connected checking account.

Batch – for credit cards, the turnover is debited from the account monthly. For the time between payment and entry there is no interest on the money spent. Here's how consumers can definitely avoid getting into overdraft. You simply use the credit card instead of the girocard and make up the deficit at the end of the billing cycle.

Revolving – this variant works like an installment loan; each month only a part of the outstanding amount is debited. However, this interest payment results in high interest rates. But you can, if you want, pay the money back in one fell swoop at any time. This is the better option due to the high cost.

Prepaid – these cards can only use the amount previously deposited in the credit card account. This system is especially suitable for young people and people with bad credit rating.

These fees are crucial

The most obvious fee for credit cards is the annual fee. However, there are a variety of other, sometimes hidden, fees. We'll point you to these fees when you use our search engine to compare credit cards. The main fees are:

Withdrawal fee – the withdrawal fee may be charged when you withdraw cash from atms or counters at home or abroad.

Foreign currency fee – this fee may apply to payments and withdrawals in currencies other than the euro. It is mostly a process

Loan interest – when you repay the money paid out in installments, interest is charged on the loan. Since these borrowing costs are expensive compared to other loans, you should use this option only in exceptional cases. For cards without this feature, the credit line is partially available as a line of credit.

Payment term – some credit card providers offer a free loan. This is always the case when the amounts due are not debited daily, but only once a month or even every two months. This applies to debit cards.