A free credit card can simplify life enormously in everyday life and is a practical alternative to the EC card, which one receives with the current account. Especially since credit cards are one of the most widely accepted payment methods by merchants worldwide. As a result, they can be used both domestically and when traveling, and allow for cashless payments almost anywhere.
But not all credit cards are the same, because the annual fees and offers of the major credit card providers Visa Card and Mastercard can sometimes differ significantly. In cooperation with banks and other providers issue many different credit card models. In a credit card comparison, the bandwidth ranges from free credit cards to premium credit cards that can cost several thousand euros in annual fees.
Whether it makes sense to use a credit card with a high annual fee, however, is questionable when a free credit card can do the same in many areas. Especially with the fees must be z.B. the free Bank Norwegian credit card does not hide, because of their fee-free significant savings potentials arise.
Free credit card – the most important facts in brief
The range of credit cards can be overwhelming and the user experience depends heavily on the provider of each card. Whether it is a Visa card, Mastercard or American Express, is not decisive. One of the main differences in credit cards, however, are the fees.
Free credit cards can convince here with 0€ annual fee for their services. However, some free credit cards, in addition to a possible annual fee from the 2. Year, especially costs when withdrawing cash, when paying in a foreign currency and by interest triggered by the permanent use of the credit line.
A free credit card therefore often turns out to be not as cheap as expected. Discounts or a starting balance as a welcome bonus can be handy extras, but at the same time, free cash withdrawals or fee-free spending abroad are more important in the long run. Therefore, a credit card comparison is always advisable. This is the only way to find out what costs you will really incur and how you can best save money.
What is a free credit card?
A free credit card is, in the strictest sense, a card that has no annual fee. However, one should not neglect the subsequent costs. The best free credit cards can namely convince in addition to the free acquisition also by low fees in everyday use. If they also offer extras, such as insurance or Apple Pay for mobile and contactless payments, then the search for a suitable solution can come to an end.
For whom is a free credit card suitable?
A free credit card is basically suitable for all users. Because with the fee-free credit cards, just like with some paid cards, you can withdraw cash worldwide free of charge and make payments in a foreign currency free of charge.
For all those who want to spend as little money as possible for the use of a credit card, the offer of free credit cards is particularly interesting. From students and employees, to the self-employed and retirees, free cards are thus suitable for a wide range of users. For travel enthusiasts, a free credit card with integrated travel insurance is very attractive.
Advantages & disadvantages of free credit cards
Free credit cards usually convince with their advantages, because you get a worldwide usable card that costs no annual fee. What more could you want?
You can look forward to the following advantages with the free Bank Norwegian credit card:
- 0€ annual fee
- Flexible use
- Withdraw cash worldwide free of charge
- Cashless payment in many currencies
- Insurance coverage when traveling
- No foreign currency fees
- High data protection
- High security due to 24-hour monitoring of card transactions
However, there are not only advantages, but also some disadvantages, especially for specific groups of people:
- Bonus programs are usually limited
- Credit limit requires creditworthiness
- Schufa information required
The last two negative points relate to people with a low credit score. For these, a prepaid credit card could be the better choice.
Different types of free credit cards
Free credit cards are basically divided into four different types. The classic two formats are charge cards and revolving cards. These are increasingly supplemented by debit cards and, for some users, prepaid credit cards. Here are the main differences.
Prepaid cards differ from regular credit cards in some important ways. Although you can also use a prepaid card to make cashless payments worldwide, you must first load it with credit. Since credit limit is provided to you here, there is also no need to check the Schufa score here. Prepaid credit cards are therefore suitable for all users of legal age.
A debit card can be a Visa card or a Mastercard. However, this does not mean that it is a "real" credit card. Online purchases and in-store payments are easy to make here, too. However, the money is debited directly from the linked checking account. A credit card, on the other hand, can also be used without an associated checking account, as the credit line is offered by credit institutions or the credit card provider and is settled by invoice at the end of the month. Debit cards must be backed by funds in the account at all times.
A charge card is the most widely used type of credit card in Germany. Here you can use the available credit line for purchases. For all expenses you will receive a bill at the end of the billing period (usually once a month), which you have to pay. The important thing here is that the credit granted to the card is settled monthly.
A revolving card differs from a charge card in the following respects. The monthly payments do not have to be balanced entirely. Here, only a percentage of the credit line is repaid and expenses are paid in installments. However, the use of installment payments requires interest payments, which are calculated after one month. So the basic fee of the card can be free, but the interest rates are comparatively high. So pay attention to potential costs when
Visa or Mastercard?
When looking for a credit card, it is not possible to clearly determine whether Visa cards or Mastercard credit cards are better. Both are accepted at a variety of merchants and mini-banks worldwide. The user experience and data protection of the customer is a priority with both providers, and the security of your payments is also guaranteed. Thus, other factors, such as the costs and additional services of the respective offers should rather be the deciding factor for the choice of your credit card. A free credit card from Visa or Mastercard will therefore usually offer you the same services. However, the costs can differ individually.
Can there be fees even though the credit card is free of charge?
With a free card, initially only the annual fee is waived. The title therefore says nothing about the other fees and costs of the offers. So a bank or credit card provider may initially charge an annual fee of €0, but apply high fees for cash withdrawals, foreign currency payments or top-ups (for prepaid cards).
There may also be a cost for a linked checking account. Therefore, a comparison of the different fees is always advisable. You should compare all the important information and data of the cards to get the best possible overview of the various services and costs.
Withdraw cash can quickly become a cost factor no. 1 with a card will. Because many providers require a percentage or a minimum amount when withdrawing money. So when you look at what the issuing banks are offering, always keep an eye on the credit card's follow-up costs as well.
Furthermore, the costs for cash withdrawals at home and abroad can differ. Some banks charge high fees, especially for withdrawals in currencies other than the euro. Here it is important to be careful not to be surprised by additional costs.
A credit card is a means of payment that crosses borders. Especially on the Internet, it is common nowadays to pay not only in Germany, but all over Europe or the world. Even when traveling, it is normal to make payments in currencies other than the euro. Therefore, when choosing the right credit card without a basic fee, it is important that the use abroad is possible without additional costs. Otherwise, the card quickly becomes an expensive cost factor, despite the fact that the initial costs are waived.
Interest rates are the most important factor to consider, along with usage fees. The offer can be still so tempting, if you make regular use of the credit line, without making appropriate repayments, you will have to pay permanently interest on the credit. These costs add up quickly. Therefore, it makes sense to use this option really very consciously and to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of installment payments. For larger purchases, however, these can of course also be practical.
Partner & replacement card
A partner card is useful if at least two people in the household want to access the same credit card account. Thus one can divide a credit card account per household and arrange thus the finances around some more clearly.
Furthermore, it is important that a replacement card is provided as quickly as possible in the event of loss – ideally free of charge. Especially if you lose your card while traveling abroad, it is important that you receive a new card immediately. Therefore, always choose a trustworthy partner when choosing your credit card. So you can benefit from secure payments and comprehensive services at all times.
Currency conversion fee
Free credit cards can incur high costs in everyday use despite the waived annual fee. In comparison, the free credit card of Bank Norwegian has therefore proven itself. This offers namely an actual free use. There are no costs for cash withdrawals from ATMs and also foreign currency costs or. there is no currency conversion fee. The credit card can also be used abroad free of charge, which makes it an ideal travel credit card.
How to find a suitable free credit card?
Keeping track of the large number of free credit cards is not always easy, even for financial professionals. Every month, new offers are added, enticing users with more and more new services. But not everything that glitters has to be gold.
Often an unexciting offer is better than many dubious promises of benefits. So pay attention to the most important thing in a credit card – the fees. A credit card is there to pay online and offline, worldwide. Therefore, compare all the important data of the providers in terms of costs for everyday use and also whether it is a trustworthy partner.
Choose a credit card
Here is an overview of the most important factors when choosing a credit card. Pay attention to the following aspects when choosing a card. The most important information at a glance:
A free credit card has the advantage that it can be used entirely without an annual fee. Some providers offer an annual fee of 0€ only in the first year, which increases in the following years. A permanently free credit card is therefore recommended.
Additional services, bonuses & cashback
With many credit cards you get some extras in addition to the payment option. These range from cashback, travel bonuses and travel insurance for the card user, to points and rewards for expenses incurred. A comparison of the conditions therefore makes sense.
Cash withdrawal & foreign currency fees
Free credit cards are more worthwhile the lower any fees are. The biggest cost factors here are cash withdrawals and payments in currencies other than the euro. Therefore, look for an offer with low to no fees for regular use.
Not every credit card provider delivers what it promises. Costs are often hidden in the small print and the conditions for use are deliberately formulated in an ambiguous manner. It's better to check such offers several times than to be negatively surprised afterwards.
Instead, use only credit cards and financial products from banks, credit institutions and partners you can trust 100%. The more transparent all information is made available, the better. The content of the contract should always be clearly defined, which is why there are no hidden costs at Bank Norwegian. Customers should be able to easily and securely pay worldwide without additional fees.
Fill out the online application
Modern providers, such as Bank Norwegian, make it possible that you can easily fill out the application for a credit card online. Fortunately, the days when you had to go to a bank branch in person are over.
Innovative features, such as online banking via app, Apple Pay and contactless payments are also standard with your Nordic credit card provider. This makes your credit card easy to use and provides you with the convenience you need for all everyday payments.
Sign credit card contract & confirm identity
If you decide to sign a credit card contract online, then it is usually necessary that you confirm your identity. In many cases, you can use the Postident procedure for this purpose. Bank Norwegian uses the VideoIdent procedure to verify your data. For this to happen, your consent is first required and then a video chat, using your ID or passport, matches your details and confirms your identity.
Requirements for the credit card application at Bank Norwegian at a glance:
- Residence in Germany
- At least 20 years old
- Regular taxable income
- No active collection procedure
- Bank Norwegian app installed for identification through VideoIdent procedure
- Passed credit check
What to look for in a free credit card?
The most important question you should ask about a free card is: How free is the credit card really??
The basic fee for the credit card is usually only a relatively small portion of the annual costs. Other fees can quickly become a critical cost, especially if you use the service regularly. Therefore, make sure that your free credit card also offers fair conditions for the actual purpose of use, paying for goods and services.
Payments at home and abroad should be inexpensive or completely free of charge. Furthermore, insurance or other bonuses can never hurt, especially if the card is available without a basic fee.
It is now quite normal to make contactless payments with your credit card at the payment terminal. Therefore, make sure that your credit card offers this function. This is because it is possible to just hold the card up to the card reader and pay directly without having to insert the card and confirm the payment with a PIN. Namely, for amounts up to €50, contactless payments can be made worldwide without entering a PIN.
Pay worldwide in local currency
When making payments abroad, in some cases you will be able to give consent for a payment in the local currency or in your national currency.
Paying in the local currency has the advantage that you get a better conversion rate. If you are interested in z.B. if you decide to pay in euros, you will usually choose a conversion rate that is worse than the daily exchange rate. Therefore, make sure you always choose the local currency when paying abroad. This makes a few percent or euro difference on each transaction and can quickly pay for itself during a trip.
Credit card limit
The credit card limit varies from bank to bank. Some banks offer a credit limit of several thousand euros directly, whereas others increase the available credit limit only after a certain period of time. Here it depends mainly on your creditworthiness and general payment morale. If you have proven in the past that you reliably pay your credit card bills, then there is nothing to stop you from increasing your credit limit. With the Bank Norwegian credit card, a credit line of up to €10,000 is possible.
Possible problems when paying abroad
When paying for services abroad, there can always be a problem. Therefore, choose a proven credit card provider that supports you in such cases. Generally, it is also a good idea to carry a secondary card. If one of your credit card is not accepted, then the other card can be used in an emergency.
Reclaim unauthorized bookings
If you are illegally charged money from the credit card, you can report to your bank and complain about the incident. In some cases it is just a misunderstanding and the bank can help clear it up. In the worst case it can be a scam. Banks usually block your credit card directly in this case. This protects your money and current account from unlawful access.
Loss of credit card
If your credit card is lost, you should report it to your bank immediately. The card is then blocked and you are sent a replacement card after it has been processed. With Bank Norwegian, this replacement card is completely free of charge for you. In the Bank Norwegian app, you can also block your card directly and order a new one without having to contact the bank. This saves time and possible costs.
There are always dubious phishing calls to customers who ask you for information about your online banking or your card. These are fraudsters who want to gain unlawful access to your card or current account. So always be on your guard and do not give out confidential information. This is the best way to protect yourself and your money, because one wrong click can quickly become expensive on the Internet.
Frequently asked questions about free credit cards
If also with a free credit card a SCHUFA inquiry is made?
A SCHUFA query is made even with a free credit card, because it is not about the annual fee to be paid, but about the granting of a credit line. If you are looking for a credit card without a SCHUFA query, you should therefore focus your search on a free prepaid card. This is also available with a low credit score.
What are the requirements for a free credit card?
The following factors are important when applying for a credit card at banks:
- Positive SCHUFA information
- Good credit rating and corresponding income
- Proven good payment record
How high is the card limit for a free credit card??
The limit for a free card is set in most cases individually, according to the creditworthiness of the applicant. The limit here ranges from a few hundred to 10 000€, such as z.B. at the bank Norwegian card.
How to charge your credit card?
A credit card with a line of credit does not need to be loaded with money before it can be used to pay, compared to a prepaid credit card. But if the credit limit is already exhausted, you can provide additional credit by transferring money to the card.
Is there a minimum amount for payments?
There is no general minimum amount for credit card payments. However, some merchants insist on a minimum amount in the range of z.B. 5 to 30 euros per
The bottom line – save on fees with a free credit card
Bank Norwegian's free credit card is certainly a good choice and allows customers to save money every year. Pay attention to the fact that the subsequent costs can differ enormously with other cards. The fee overview should therefore always be studied in detail by customers. Otherwise, unpleasant surprises can quickly arise.
However, there are some free credit cards that, in addition to a free basic fee, are also completely convincing in terms of other costs. Due to your excellent conditions, the Bank Norwegian credit card is therefore one of the most popular free cards in Germany. Eliminated fees for foreign payments, cash withdrawals, and foreign currencies combined with travel insurance make Bank Norwegian's free card the ideal credit card to have.