“No Enrollment Fee” does not mean “No Annual Fee” with Credit Cards

Recently I over-anxiously signed up for a credit card to help build my credit and to have on hand as a backup emergency card for a trip to Australia I was planning.

I’ve always stayed clear of credit cards had annual fees, but this time around this particular credit card advertised “No Enrollment Fee” which in my brain thought meant “No Annual Fee”. Nope. Those are two completely separate things as it turns out. (I know, it sounds like a no-brainer, but in my defense I’m not the only one who has made that mistake. A mistake a hope to save you from).

As you can imagine I was surprised I already had a balance of $45 on my card the first day I received it. I dug around, discovered I was charged an annual fee and then looked at the initial paperwork. Apparently on the back in very tiny print it mentions an annual fee of $45, but I think my eyes must have missed that because on the front of the application in big bold it says “No Enrollment Fee” (which of course I thought was the same thing).

That being said, if you’re looking for a credit card that really has no annual fee and no enrollment fee, my favorite thus far is my Cabela’s Credit Card. You earn reward points (Cabela’s Club Points) on your purchases which can be used when shopping at Cabelas.com or at the actual store. The best part is they often offer instant Cabela’s Club Points you can use as soon as you apply and are accepted.

For example, I was physically at Cabela’s to buy my son a fishing rod, applied at the register for a credit card, was approved in minutes and they instantly gave me 25 Cabela’s Club Points (= $25) that I was able to instantly use towards the purchase of the fishing rod. The same goes for if you apply online. The promotions and perks change all the time, so yours may even be better.

So there you go. I hope this helps you find a fuss free credit card you’ll be happy with. Have fun on your adventures and shopping.