Does Milestone Credit Card Have an Annual Fee?

An annual fee is a common component of many credit cards, charged to cardholders each year for access to the card and its benefits. Milestone credit cards can have annual fees ranging from $0 to several hundred dollars, depending on the specific card. As you evaluate Milestone cards, it’s important to understand these annual fees, whether they are waived the first year, and if the perks outweigh the costs for your usage.

This guide will explore Milestone credit card annual fees in detail, including:

  • How annual fees work
  • Typical fee amounts and structures
  • Benefits and perks that offset the fee
  • Ways to save on or avoid the fee
  • Issuing bank policies and considerations
  • Alternatives like no annual fee cards
  • Tips for maximizing value from fee cards

Let’s dive in to uncover everything you need to know about annual fees for Milestone credit cards!

Understanding Credit Card Annual Fees

An annual fee, sometimes called an annual membership fee, is a recurring charge billed to your card each year for access to the account and card benefits. It’s essentially a subscription cost for having the credit card long-term.

Here are some key things to know:

  • Fees typically range from $0 to $500+ depending on the card
  • Charged once per calendar year, commonly on your account anniversary
  • Paid on top of normal interest charges and transaction fees
  • Value depends on how much you use the card perks and rewards
  • May be waived the first year as an signup incentive
  • Fee amount can increase over time with account renewal

For no annual fee cards, you avoid this cost but likely get fewer rewards and benefits. Overall, weigh the fee amount against the potential card usage and value you will receive annually.

Typical Milestone Credit Card Annual Fee Amounts

Milestone credit cards can have annual fees ranging from $0 to over $500 depending on:

  • The issuing bank
  • Card rewards program
  • Exclusivity of the card
  • Cardholder perks and benefits

Here are some typical Milestone card fee tiers:

  • Entry-level cards – $0 to $99 annual fee. Basic rewards rate and benefits.
  • Mid-tier cards – $100 to $199 annual fee. Enhanced rewards potential. Additional benefits like hotel status or airport lounge access.
  • Premium cards – $250 to $500+ annual fee. Highest rewards earnings rates and bonus categories. Luxury benefits like $200 annual airline credits and airport lounge membership.

Within each tier, the annual fee amount depends on the issuing bank and specific card benefits. Review fee details as you compare cards to find the optimal value.

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Benefits That Can Offset the Annual Fee

The perks and benefits packaged with a credit card account are meant to offset the annual fee cost through usage. Here are some common benefits that can make a fee card worthwhile:

  • Reward points/miles – Cards with annual fees often earn points or miles at an accelerated rate on spending categories like travel, dining, and entertainment. The additional earned rewards can be worth more than the fee.
  • Travel credits – Some cards offer annual airline fee credits (e.g. $200 per year) that help reimburse incidental travel expenses like checked bags and in-flight food.
  • Lounge access – Airport lounge programs provide comfortable wait areas with free food/drink. Entry is often included for cardholders and guests.
  • Hotel elite status – Complimentary mid-tier elite status at hotels like Hilton Honors Gold can get you perks like room upgrades, late checkout, and bonus earnings.
  • Rental car benefits – Card rental car protection can provide insurance coverage so you can decline the rental company’s expensive policies.
  • Concierge service – Round the clock assistance booking travel, making restaurant reservations, finding gifts, and more from dedicated luxury card concierges.

Take advantage of the fee-justifying benefits offered for your card and usage style to maximize potential value.

Saving on or Avoiding the Annual Fee

Issuers want to keep long-term cardholders, so they provide ways to save on or avoid the annual fee entirely:

  • Introductory fee waiver – Many cards waive the fee for the first year as a signup promotion. This lets you try out benefits before paying.
  • Account credits – Some statement credits each year can directly offset the annual fee amount. Bank of America is known for this benefit structure.
  • Qualifying account waivers – Fees are commonly waived if you have other accounts with the issuing bank and maintain a certain total balance.
  • Downgrade options – You can request to convert your premium card to one with no fee and fewer benefits if you don’t want to pay the high annual fee long-term.
  • Cancellation refunds – If you cancel a card within 30 days of the annual fee billing date, issuers will typically refund the charge.

See if any waiver or discount policies from the issuing bank apply to your situation before automatically paying a large annual fee.

Bank-Dependent Policies and Considerations

Annual fee specifics like amount, discounts, and refund policies will depend on the issuing bank. Here are some key factors:


  • Typically charges fees from $0 to $550 on its cards
  • Many cards waive the fee for the first year
  • Provides prorated refunds if you downgrade or cancel a card
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American Express

  • Known for high annual fees up to $695 on premium cards
  • Offers periodic “retention offers” with bonus points or credits to keep customers
  • Refunds full annual fee if you cancel within 30 days of billing

Capital One

  • Has a range of no fee, low fee, and high fee cards
  • No fee for the first year is common
  • May waive or reduce fee if you ask and threaten to cancel


  • Annual fees from $0 up to $495
  • Can refund fee if you cancel within 60 days of billing date
  • Provides exclusive experiences, credits, and savings for cardholders

Compare issuer policies as part of your card selection process.

Alternatives to Fee Cards

If you want to avoid annual fees, go with a no annual fee credit card. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Cash back cards – Flat-rate and bonus category cards providing cash rewards, like the Citi Double Cash (no fee)
  • Student cards – Designed for students learning credit management. Usually no annual fee.
  • Secured cards – Require a refundable security deposit. Help build credit. No annual fee.
  • Store cards – Retail store cards tend to have no annual fee and provide discounts.
  • Travel cards – Some travel cards waive the first year fee and provide modest rewards for no fee long-term.

While you miss out on premium perks, no annual fee cards allow you to avoid recurring costs. Weigh the pros and cons based on your spending profile and goals.

Maximizing Value from Fee Cards

To justify the annual cost, follow these tips for getting maximum value from premium fee cards:

  • Take advantage of all perks from airport lounges to dining rewards
  • Use card for all expenses to earn accelerated points in bonus categories
  • Offset the fee with statement credits offered by the issuer
  • Transfer points to airline/hotel partners to maximize redemption value
  • Request a retention bonus if offered to keep your account open
  • Downgrade to a no fee version of the card after year one if underutilized

Evaluating your actual perk usage each year compared to the fee helps determine whether it makes sense to continue paying for a premium card long-term.


Is the annual fee charged upfront, or can it be spread out over the year?

Typically, the annual fee for the Milestone Credit Card is charged upfront, either upon account opening or on the anniversary of your account activation. However, specific arrangements may vary, so it’s advisable to refer to your cardholder agreement for precise details regarding fee payment.

Can the annual fee be waived or reduced?

The possibility of waiving or reducing the annual fee depends on various factors, including promotional offers, creditworthiness, and customer loyalty. Milestone may occasionally provide incentives or opportunities to reduce or waive the annual fee, but this is not guaranteed. It’s recommended to contact Milestone customer service for inquiries regarding fee adjustments.

Does the Milestone Credit Card offer any benefits or rewards to offset the annual fee?

While the Milestone Credit Card may not offer traditional rewards programs like cash back or travel points, it may provide other benefits such as credit-building tools, access to online account management, and customer support services. These features can be valuable for individuals looking to establish or rebuild their credit history.

What happens if I don’t pay the annual fee?

Failure to pay the annual fee may result in adverse consequences, including account closure, negative impacts on your credit score, and potential collection actions. It’s essential to fulfill all financial obligations associated with your Milestone Credit Card to maintain account in good standing and avoid any penalties or repercussions.

The Bottom Line

The annual fee is an important factor to weigh as you choose a Milestone credit card. Consider fee tiers, waived first years, discounted amounts, and account credits offered by issuers. Compare to the card benefits you will realistically use. Aim to offset the fee cost through your spending rewards earnings and perk usages. While no fee cards allow you to avoid this cost, premium cards provide outsized rewards potential for heavy usage. Know your preferences and spending habits to select optimal Milestone cards for your wallet.

Summary of Key Points

  • Annual fee is a recurring charge for having the credit card long-term
  • Fee amount depends on the issuing bank and card benefits
  • Perks like lounge access and credits can offset the fee cost
  • Look for introductory fee waivers, account discounts and refund policies
  • No annual fee cards allow you to avoid this cost entirely
  • Make sure you maximize card benefits and rewards to justify a paid fee card
  • Evaluate factors like rewards earnings potential and your usage habits when selecting a card