Average Credit Card Annual Fees 2021

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: September 1, 2021 Studies
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Annual fees are the most common form of credit card fees. Issuers charge them to access various perks, usually inherent with rewards credit cards. As expected, rewards cards have the highest annual fee, while business cards are a close second.

To present the most accurate depiction of annual credit card fees, we went directly to the source. We analyzed products from seven of the largest credit card issuers by the issuer and by type.

Average Credit Card Annual Fees 2021: Statistics and Key Findings

  • American Express (65%) and Chase (62%) have the highest percentage of credit cards with an annual fee. All other issuers are below 40%.
  • American Express has the highest average ($256) and median ($195) annual credit card fee.
  • The American Express Platinum Card has the highest annual fee of all cards surveyed ($550).
  • Discover’s products have no annual fees, and Wells Fargo only charges an annual fee for its secured credit card ($25).
  • In the all-rewards category, American Express (64%), Bank of America (45%), and Citigroup (42%) have the highest percentage of credit cards with an annual fee.
  • In the cashback category, Capital One has the highest percentage (38%). Bank of America and American Express ($95) has the highest average annual fee, while Capital One ($95) has the highest median annual fee.
  • In the business category, Chase ranks first, with 66% of its cards having an annual fee. American Express has the highest average ($244) and median ($195) annual fee.
  • In the low-interest category, American Express is the only issuer that charges an annual fee. The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card and Blue Cash Preferred Card have an annual fee of $95.
  • Wells Fargo is the only issuer in the secured category that charges an annual fee ($25).
  • The data shows that business cards are most likely to have an annual fee, while rewards cards are most likely to have the highest average and median annual fee.

Average Credit Card Annual Fees 2021: Charts, Graph, Analysis

American Express and Chase – at 65% and 62%, respectively – have the highest percentage of credit cards with an annual fee. The other five issuers in our study are below 40%.

American Express also has the highest average annual fee at $256. Its Platinum Card has an annual fee of $550, while its Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Delta Reserve Cards come with an annual fee of $450. Its Gold and Plum Cards come with an annual fee of $250, while its Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card has an annual $195. Due to its top-heavy offering, American Express’s average annual fee is well above its competitors. However, five American Express cards have an annual fee of $95, leading to a median annual fee of $195.

Citigroup suffers from a similar effect.

Citi Prestige and AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard have an annual fee of $495 and $450. Lessening the impact of these two outliers, Citi’s median annual fee is $99.

Issuer: % of Credit Cards with an Annual Fee: Average Credit Card Annual Fee: Median Credit Card Annual Fee:
American Express: 65% $256 $195
Chase: 62% $120 $95
Bank of America: 39% $80 $79
Citigroup: 31% $248 $99
Capital One: 28% $84 $95
Wells Fargo: 14% $25 $0
Discover: 0% $0 $0

Calculated averages exclude cards without an annual fee.

Conversely, Capital One’s average annual fee was biased downward by its QuicksilverOne Rewards Card. The credit card has an annual fee of $39, while the rest of its cards have an annual fee of $95.

For Chase, its Sapphire Reserve and United Club Card both have an annual fee of $450. Its Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card has an annual fee of $149, while its Business version has an annual fee of $199. However, 14 of Chase’s 18 cards have an annual fee of less than $100. As well, the median is $95.

For Wells Fargo, only its secured card has an annual fee ($25). And in a league of its own, Discover does not charge annual fees for any of its credit cards.

Average Credit Card Annual Fee by Type and Issuer

In the all-rewards category, the average and median figures are identical to the consolidated results above. American Express continues to have the highest percentage of credit cards with an annual fee. However, the number is slightly less, at 64%. Unlike the above, though, Bank of America and Citigroup move into second and third at 45% and 42%, respectively.

Capital One leads with 38% of its credit cards have an annual fee in the cashback category. Bank of America and American Express has the highest average annual fee at $95, while Capital One has the highest median annual fee at $95.

Type: Bank of America: Citigroup: Capital One: American Express:
All Rewards: % = 45
Average = $80
Median = $79
% = 42
Average = $248
Median = $99
% = 31
Average = $84
Median = $95
% = 64
Average = $256
Median = $195
Cash Back: % = 17
Average = $95
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 38
Average = $76
Median = $95
% = 33
Average = $95
Median = $47.5
Business: % = 40
Average = $65
Median = $0
% = 50
Average = $99
Median = $49.5
% = 33
Average = $95
Median = $0
% = 64
Average = $244
Median = $195
Low Interest: % = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 40
Average = $95
Median = $0
Secured: % = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
Doesn’t Offer Secured Cards
Type: Chase: Wells Fargo: Discover:
All Rewards: % = 31
Average = $120
Median = $95
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
Cash Back: % = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
Business: % = 66
Average = $122
Median = $97
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
Low Interest: % = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0
Secured: Doesn’t Offer Secured Cards % = 100
Average = $25
Median = $25
% = 0
Average = $0
Median = $0

At 66%, Chase has the highest percentage of credit cards with an annual fee for the business category. American Express has the highest average and median annual fee at $244 and $195, respectively.

In the low-interest category, American Express is the only issuer that charges an annual fee. Its lowest APRs range from 14.99% to 25.99%, its EveryDay Preferred Card and Blue Cash Preferred Card have an annual fee of $95.

Six of our seven issuers either charge no annual fees or don’t offer secured cards in the secured category. Only Wells Fargo has an annual fee of $25.

Across All Issuers and Types

The numbers below represent the average percentage, average annual fee, and median annual fee across all of the institutions in our study:

Card Type: Average % of Credit Cards with an Annual Fee: Average Credit Card Annual Fee: Median Credit Card Annual Fee:
Business: 36% $125 $0
All Rewards: 31% $158 $95
Cash Back: 13% $89 $0
Low Interest: 6% $95 $0
Secured: 6% $25 $0

Calculated averages exclude cards without an annual fee.

As you can see, business cards are most likely to have an annual fee, while rewards cards are most likely to have the highest average and median annual fee.

How We Conducted The Study

We went to seven of the largest credit card issuer websites to gather the data and analyzed their products. We then broke down the findings by the issuer and type.

Sources

American Express

Chase

Bank of America

Citigroup

Capital One

Wells Fargo

Discover

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