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Whether or not a credit card is worth carrying if you have to pay an annual fee is a question you will have to answer for yourself.

Perhaps the first thing to ask yourself is if you feel that you have done an adequate amount of research to be wholly confident that you have found the best available deal. You should go online to compare cards that have annual fees against those that don’t to see what additional perks (if any) you are getting in exchange for the fee. Often times rewards credit cards are the ones that have annual fees, so see if there is a comparable card out there that offers a similar rewards program without the burden of having to pay a yearly fee to have it in your wallet.

Also examine the terms and conditions of the card to make sure there are no hidden fees in addition to the annual one. In terms of rewards cards, occasionally the issuer tacks on some sort of redemption fee when you want to cash in on your points, miles or other rewards you have accrued. In this type of situation, it is prudent to do the math and figure out whether the card will actually save you any money. Let’s use an airline miles card as an example – if you get saddled with an annual fee plus an additional fee levied by the airline when you want to redeem your miles for a ticket, you may be better off simply purchasing yourself a ticket and getting yourself a different credit card that does not come at the cost of an annual fee.

Some cash back cards that give you a percentage of your purchase amount back may only allow you to collect your earnings once you have reached a set amount of points. This means that unless you spend enough, you may end up ineligible to access any of the cash back you have earned. So be mindful of the restrictions that are imposed by rewards cards and factor in whatever the cost is of the annual fee when determining whether or not the card is worth your while.

In closing, it pretty much goes without saying that if you are seriously considering paying an annual fee for a particular rewards credit card, the rewards that card has to offer had better extraordinary and worth every penny of that annual fee and more. Ask yourself if you are totally positive that you will use the benefits or rewards that the card carries, because if you were to acquire a credit card with an annual fee and then not take advantage of the special perks it offers you would simply be wasting your money. And, finally, be certain that the rewards are easy to claim and redeem. If your ability to collect the rewards you have earned by using the card is hampered by excessive rules and restrictions, consider passing on the card and looking for another one. You should not be made to jump through too many hoops in order to redeem your credit card rewards!