These days, most certifications are like temporary licenses: while they do confer rights and privileges, they have to be renewed regularly. That means meeting, reporting on, and tracking acceptance of continuing education requirements, or scheduling, paying for, and retaking the exam(s). Most credentials run on two- or three-year cycles, and require at least some kind of related activity and expenditure every year.
While the benefits of certifications are many, credential seekers need to be aware that nothing is free: all certifications have a cost associated with them. And not all certification costs are transparent. Certification seekers need to be aware of both hidden as well as apparent costs. Understanding the cost in terms of time, effort, money, and maintenance makes the certification path easier when the credential seeker knows what to expect.