Simmons Bank Visa Platinum

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The super-low APR makes this card shine.

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If you carry a balance on your credit card, you’re probably paying too much in interest. The Simmons Bank Visa Platinum card’s low annual-percentage rate can help you keep a little more of your hard-earned cash in your wallet.

Review

This card has a super low variable APR of 9.25% on purchases and balance transfers. No that’s not a typo. It gets even better. You’ll pay no annual fee and no balance transfer fee, which, for some people who have debt, could make it a better deal than a card with a 0% balance transfer offer.

Who cares if it doesn’t dangle a sign-up bonus or flashy rewards for spending? If you typically carry a balance — like most credit card holders do, you’ll spend less on your debt with this card. Although the sign-up offers that come with some cards can be tempting, the value of those rewards is almost always overshadowed by what you end up paying in interest charges, usually somewhere in the range of 15% to 25%.

Why is paying the lowest APR possible important? It can save you a bundle when you do carry a balance. Let’s say you charge $10,000 on the Simmons card at an interest rate of 9.25% and $10,000 on another card that has the average variable credit card interest rate of 17%. If you charge nothing else to the Simmons card — and pay just the monthly minimum — you’ll have paid $777 in interest over the course of a year. But on your Average Joe card, you will have paid $1,478 in interest — or about twice as much.

Who should get this card

Anyone who typically carries a balance on their credit card might benefit from this card’s low APR on both purchases and balance transfers.

Advantages
  • This card's low APR makes it ideal for consumers who occasionally carry a balance.
  • Pay no annual fee or balance transfer fee.
Disadvantages
  • You need excellent credit to qualify.
  • There are no rewards with this card.
  • This card has a 2% foreign transaction fee.
  • Although late payments won’t affect your APR, you may still have to pay a penalty fee.

Fees and APR

• You’ll pay a variable APR of 9.25% on purchases and balance transfers.
• This card charges no annual fee.
• Balances may be transferred from another card without incurring a fee.
• You’ll pay a 2% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S.
• Late payments won’t affect your APR, but you may have to pay a late fee of up $35.

Extras and perks 

This card comes with accident insurance with a benefit of up to $1 million. It also comes with car rental collision and theft coverage.

How this card compares

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Card Details
  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year*
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card gives you 21 interest-free months to pay off purchases and balance transfers. That’s the longest 0% introductory period available today.

Citi Simplicity® Card
Card Details
  • The Only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee...Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% based on your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*

If you have a great deal of credit card debt, you have a choice to make when it comes to balance transfer credit cards: Pick the one that on the surface offers the cheapest way to get out of debt, or pick the one that gives you the longest 0% APR introductory period possible.

The Citi Simplicity Card falls into this second group.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Card Details
  • 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases. Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 13.99%
  • No balance transfer fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard offers a lengthy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, but also earns its high marks by waiving the balance transfer fee so many other offers impose. With no fee, cardholders could save hundreds of dollars in additional costs over other balance transfer cards.

Simmons First Visa® Platinum Rewards
Card Details
  • Earn one point per dollar spent.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 9.50% Variable APR. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

The interest rate is a bit higher on the sibling Simmons Bank Visa Platinum Rewards card, but you also can earn 1 point per dollar on purchases. That’s pretty modest, so earning rewards should not be the primary reason you choose this card.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.