While many banks offer MasterCard and VISA credit cards, interest rates and annual fees vary widely. Some also offer a "grace period," during which no interest is charged. All of these factors affect the difference between the amount of your purchases and what you actually end up paying. The following is a list of the top 15 Orange County-based banks and five others with a number of branches in the area, the interest rates and annual fees they charge for their credit cards, and the number of interest-free days they offer, if any. Rates are for conventional cards, applicable as of Oct. 28.
Interest Annual Interest-free Bank/Base City Rate Fee + Days ORANGE COUNTY American Commerce National Bank, 17.9% $25 25 Anaheim *** or 21% or $15 Bank of Newport, Newport Beach 15.96% $16 0 Commercial Center Bank, Santa Ana ++ 19.8% $20 25 Commerce Bank, Newport Beach ++ 19.8% $20 25 El Camino Bank, Anaheim ** 19.8% $20 25 Eldorado Bank, Laguna Hills 17.9% $25 0 Landmark Bank, La Habra +++ 18% none 25 Monarch Bank, Laguna Niguel ++ 19.8% $20 25 National Bank of Southern California, 15% * $25 25 Santa Ana Pioneer Bank, Fullerton 18% $15 25 OUTSIDE ORANGE COUNTY Bank of America, San Francisco 19.8% $18 25 California First Bank, San Francisco 19.8% $15 25 Security Pacific Bank, Los Angeles 16-20.4% $15 25 Sanwa Bank, Los Angeles 17.25% $15 0 Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco 20% $18 25
+ From bank's posting date.
++ Offered through Union Bank.
+++ Offered through Farmers and Merchants Bank.
* First year is free.
** Offered through Marine Midland Bank.
*** Offered through First Interstate Bank.
Among the top 15 Orange County-based banks, the following do not offer credit cards: Sunwest Bank (Tustin); Citizens Bank of Costa Mesa (Costa Mesa); Huntington National Bank (Huntington Beach); Orange National Bank (Orange); Marine National Bank (Santa Ana).
Source: Individual banks