Free credit cards are trending in times of rising fees. FOCUS online presents five payment cards that offer rewards of up to 150 euros.

It’s hard to imagine everyday life without the credit card as a convenient means of payment. Pay for your weekend shopping with an instant debit card or conveniently book a hotel room with a credit card and only pay at the end of the month – that’s no problem with a Visa card or Mastercard. Banks entice customers with free credit cards, attractive added value and lucrative partner programs, often in combination with current accounts. FOCUS online presents five free credit cards, where new customers even receive bonuses of up to 150 euros, and says what you as a user should pay attention to when choosing a credit card.

The Blue Card is the entry-level model from American Express; it does not require a basic fee in the long term. Whether the paid bonus program Membership Rewards (30 euros per year) is really worth it depends on your annual card sales. You should only think about taking part if you spend a lot (at least 5,000 euros annually) with the card. But regardless of the bonus points system, cardholders are presented with 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 Eurozone is relatively expensive.

Now for the Amex Blue Card offer

The American Express Blue Card is particularly suitable for shopping in the Eurozone. There are expensive fees for withdrawing money from an ATM (at least 5 euros, 4 percent fee on the total) and there are 2 percent fees when paying in foreign currency. Whether the Amex points program fee is worth it depends on your annual sales. Accident insurance applies if you paid for the trip or means of transport with the Amex card.

With the Visa debit card you can withdraw cash free of charge three times a month from all ATMs with a Visa symbol in Germany and worldwide. Each additional transaction costs 4.90 euros. For payments outside the euro area, a foreign transaction fee of 1.75 percent applies. For new customers, the corresponding Comdirect checking account is available free of charge for six months and under certain conditions, plus there is a daily interest rate of 3.5 percent for three months. With the optional, chargeable Visa credit card, there is no foreign transaction fee, you can repay a monthly sum divided into 3 installments without additional costs and an extension of the manufacturer’s warranty by 12 months is included when purchasing electrical appliances.

Now to the Comdirect offer

With the Barzahlen/viacash app function, you can withdraw cash free of charge three times a month and deposit cash free of charge three times per calendar year – from the fourth transaction onwards, a fee of EUR 4.90 applies.

The account is permanently free from 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 Visa debit card you can withdraw cash for free in the euro zone (minimum withdrawal amount 50 euros) and the interest rate is less than ten percent. Credit card transactions, just like those with a Girocard, are billed after just a few days. Outside the Eurozone, a foreign transaction fee also applies when withdrawing cash.

Now to the ING offer

An ING Girocard for the account is optionally available for 0.99 euros per month. The minimum withdrawal amount is 50 euros; in foreign currencies there is a further 1.99 percent foreign transaction fee.

The Visa DirectCard is a debit card from BBBank and is only available in conjunction with a checking account from the cooperative bank. Up to the age of 30, the debit card and the young account are free of charge, as long as receipts such as training allowances, salary/remuneration are made through the account from the start of training or the start of a career. From the age of 31, the cost model changes, then the debit card costs 18 euros per year, a monthly fee of 2.95 euros is charged for the checking account and a checking card costs an additional 11.95 euros per year, a total of 65.35 euros annual costs. Paying in euros and foreign currencies is possible free of charge worldwide, cash withdrawals from ATMs are free of charge 36 times per billing year, after which 1.50 euros are due per withdrawal.

Now for the BBBank offer

Parents can also open an account and card at BBBank branches.

Santander Bank offers a whopping 150 euros welcome bonus to all new customers who open a checking account. There are no account management fees for the BestGiro account and no minimum incoming funds are required. You will also receive a free Visa debit card with which you can withdraw cash free of charge at Santander counters and ATMs and those of CashPool partner banks. At other banks, a withdrawal costs 3.95 euros per transaction, this also applies to foreign currency. You also have the option to cash out up to 200 euros at a selection of retailers. When paying in foreign currency, 1.5 percent of the amount is due. A debit card is available for an extra 12 euros per year, and the free BestCard Basic is also available as a real credit card.

Now to the Santander offer

The CashPool partner banks include around 2,800 financial institutions such as BBBank, Degussa Bank, National-Bank, Oldenburgische Landesbank, Santander Consumer Bank, Sparda-Banken, Targobank as well as other regional private banks such as Südwestbank, Steller Ethik-Bank, Pax-Bank, Flessabank, Sperrer-Privatbank and more.

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 checking account. The payment cards are suitable for paying in local shops as well as for shopping online because they also have a credit card number. Outside Europe, you have to be careful as you often cannot use your debit card to pay for a hotel or rental car because the card does not have a 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 your vacation and thereby increasing your credit limit.

Credit card: Not everyone gets a classic credit card, as receipt depends on the applicant’s creditworthiness. For this purpose, Schufa data is requested. How to get a line of credit. As long as the credit limit is sufficient, you can charge your card. You will then receive invoices at regular intervals that you must pay. If you pay the bill within the specified period, there are usually no fees. If you don’t do this, interest will be due. The interest rates on most credit cards are relatively high.

Credit card as a charge card: Here you do not receive a credit limit, but a monthly bill is due. The amount is usually automatically deducted from your account at the end of the month. This essentially gives you an interest-free loan. However, this only has a short term because, as mentioned, the bill has to be paid every 30 days.

Surf tip: You can find more credit card deals and promotions in the credit card comparison of the FOCUS subsidiary cardscout

If you can’t wait and want to get your finances even further in shape today, you can read all the tips in our six-part series here.