This may seem like an obvious question but there seems to be no other resource online explicitly explaining this.

Say I have a credit card with an annual fee of $X.

Do I pay $X when I apply for the card, or after the first year of using the card?

And by extension, if the first year's annual fee is waived, do I pay $X after the first year of using the card or only by the second year?

  • 3
    When they put the change for that fee on the card? Given how many good no-fee options there are, I've never gotten anything else....
    – keshlam
    May 12, 2015 at 1:59
  • In Europe, I have had credit cards that were included in a banking “package”, with a monthly or quarterly charge. Just mentioning this to highlight the fact that “it depends”.
    – Relaxed
    May 12, 2015 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


This really depends on the policy of Card issuer.

Generally annual charges are collected upfront for the usage, i.e. at the beginning of the year. If the fees for the first year is waived off, one is charged at the beginning of the second year.


My annual fees are collected upon the anniversary of my membership with that card. I'd imagine there are some that follow a calendar year and either provide a grace period or prorate the fee. As the other answer states, it really varies based on the card and issuer.

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