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What are the fees on a Discover card?

By , CardRatings Contributor

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Question: What are the fees on a Discover card?

Answer: What fees are involved with a Discover card--or any other card--are determined by the type of card you get, not the brand. Some of the more traditional fees are balance transfer fees of usually 3 to 5 percent. There are also cash advance fees often similar to balance transfer fees. But there are also late fees, over the limit fees and numerous other fees that you often do not hear about. And don't ever forget to see if there is an annual fee. But all of this is true of just about any card.

Often a card will have a zero percent rate or zero fees as a promotion, but you should never be getting a card based solely on a promotional offer. Promotions are a great perk, but it's important to consider the ongoing terms and conditions of any credit card offer. You should only consider a promotion if you have already determined how you will use the card after the promotional period ends--unless you are prepared to sock-drawer it if needed.

Before you decide which cards to even consider, first check your credit rating from a credit bureau or from annualcreditreport.com. (There is a fee to check your credit score; however, knowing for certain you have an excellent credit score offers many more opportunities for credit than a weak score.) Then check CardRatings.com and first select the type of card that best suits your needs, such as cash back or flyer miles, along with how you will probably be most using your card. If you will mostly use it to buy gas and groceries, it is silly to get a card that offers rewards for airline tickets. Only after you know your approximate credit rating and how you want to use the card, can you select which card suits your needs and decide which brand of card--for example, Discover--you want.

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