U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review
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U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Overview
Getting a head start on your debt can be easier with a lengthy intro APR period, and the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a prime choice if you need as much breathing room as possible while paying off your balance and upcoming expenses.
The Visa Platinum card offers one of the best zero-interest introductory periods for both purchases and balance transfers available, plus the peace of mind its extra cellphone protection perk can bring. Although the battle for the best balance transfer credit card is raging with a host of newly introduced and updated card offers, U.S. Bank’s Visa Platinum is one of the safest picks if you have big purchases around the corner.
However, like other cards designed mainly for balance transfers, the Visa Platinum doesn’t provide much value after you’ve settled your balance. Before you make your decision, you should consider competing cards and even rewards cards with shorter intro APR offers to see which option will be more worthwhile in the long run.
Want more details? Jump to the following sections:
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- No rewards programs or reward-based sign-up bonus
- Barebones benefits—not much value after paying off your balance
- 3 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum; balance transfers must be within the first 60 days)
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee (2 percent if transaction abroad is in U.S. dollars)
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent APR for 20 billing cycles
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent APR for 20 billing cycles (must be within first 60 days)
- Regular APR: 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent (variable)
Current intro APR offer
Rather than offer a cash back bonus incentive like the BankAmericard® credit card or Chase Slate Edge℠*, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum entirely focuses on its intro APR offer. Both purchases and balance transfers, as long as your transfers are within the first 60 days, are shielded from interest for 20 billing cycles.
This was previously perhaps the longest period for both purchases and balance transfers on the market, but the new Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card surpasses it with up to 21 months of 0 percent intro purchase and qualifying balance transfer APR by completing each minimum payment on time through that duration (balance transfers must be within the first four months).
A few other prominent cards carry up to 21-month intro APRs as well, but the longest intro period doesn’t necessarily translate into the most valuable offer. For instance, the newly updated Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card both offer a 21-month 0 percent intro balance transfer APR and 12-month 0 percent intro purchase APR, but the Visa Platinum’s eight extra months of intro purchase APR greatly outweigh the Citi cards’ extra month for transfers (then a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent for the Simplicity, and 13.74 percent to 23.74 percent for the Preferred).
You may also find a no annual fee cash back card with a solid zero-interest period could recoup more value in rewards than the extra few intro APR months would in interest, depending on your balance.
Other cardholder perks
The lengthy intro APR is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card’s main selling point, but cellphone protection is its only other notable additional perk outside its basic Visa account monitoring features. Like other cards invested wholeheartedly into zero-interest, the Visa Platinum’s barebones benefits don’t make a convincing case to hold onto it after your balance is clear.
By paying your cellphone bill each month with your card, the associated phones on it are covered for up to $600 per eligible damage or loss claim—minus a $25 out-of-pocket deductible. You may be reimbursed or receive equivalent replacement phones from two possible claims each year for up to $1,200 in annual coverage.
That’s the same level of coverage that you’d receive with the Wells Fargo Reflect, making it and the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum two of the best balance transfer cards for cellphone insurance available.
Rates and Fees
A good to excellent credit score (a 670+ FICO score) could net you the 20-billing cycle intro purchase and balance transfer APR plus a variable APR afterward as low as 14.49 percent, on up to 24.49 percent. The low end of this range is below the current average credit card interest rate, but not by enough to justify keeping this card for. Just be sure to transfer your balances during your first 60 days to qualify, and to never miss a payment due date. Otherwise, you may lose your zero-interest offers and experience an up to $40 late payment fee—but no penalty APR, luckily.
Still, coupled with no annual fee, this rate makes it a relatively low-cost card. You should also be aware of its 3 percent ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee, which is on the lower end of the typical 3 to 5 percent range, and 3 percent foreign transaction fee. The foreign transaction fee drops to 2 percent for purchases you make abroad in U.S. dollars, but keep in mind the additional currency conversion fee will probably end up being more expensive than the foreign currency 3 percent fee.
How the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card compares to other balance transfer cards
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card has one of the longest intro APR periods on both purchases and balance transfers out there, but it may not be the best option for you depending on your long-term needs.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum vs. Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
As the only credit card from a major issuer to deliver a longer intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, the Wells Fargo Reflect card seems like a no-brainer initially. Both cards offer a 3 percent balance transfer fee with a $5 minimum (the Reflect card’s increases to 5 percent and disqualifies transfers for the intro APR after the first 120 days) and the same level of cellphone protection without many other benefits, so the comparison comes down to the intro APR.
The Reflect offers up to 21 months of 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers, extended from the base 18-month period for as long as you keep making on-time minimum payments. After that, the ongoing APR can be legitimately classified as low-interest at 12.99 percent to 23.99 percent (variable). If you want a longer intro APR upfront without feeling like you have to “work toward it,” the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum may be the easier option. However, the Reflect card will be the stronger option for many cardholders considering its potentially better intro APR, ongoing APR and the minor savings from the My Wells Fargo Deals program.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum vs. Citi® Double Cash Card
By using a balance transfer calculator beforehand, many cardholders may discover that a card that trades intro APR length for a rewards program is more valuable both upfront and over time. As an example, both the Citi® Double Cash Card and the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum pose a 3 percent ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee, which would cost $90 with either card if you decided to transfer a $3,000 balance.
Paying off your balance with 21 $150 monthly payments wouldn’t charge any interest with the Visa Platinum, but although the Double Cash card would incur $5.35 in interest since it only provides 0 percent intro balance transfer APR for 18 months (transfers must be within the first four months), you’d actually come out ahead thanks to its unlimited up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent back when you buy, plus 1 another percent when you pay). Spending $300 in groceries per month, for instance, would earn $126 cash back by the end of 21 months—enough to cover your balance transfer fee and put $36 extra into your pocket.
|Feature||U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card||Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card||Citi® Double Cash Card|
|Welcome Offer||No cash offers.
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles
(then 14.49% to 24.49% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days)
|No cash offers.
0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for up to 21 months—can be extended from 18 months with continuous on-time minimum payments
(then 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first 120 days)
|No cash offers.
0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
(then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR; balance transfers must be made within the first four months)
Best cards to pair the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card with
If you need one of the longest intro APR periods available to pay off debt, focusing your efforts on whittling away your balance before applying for more cards will be more rewarding in the long run.
When the time comes, you’ll have an easier time choosing a rewards card tailored to your biggest expenses.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card worth it?
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum is certainly worth it if you need to keep interest at bay for an exceptionally long time while you pay off your balance and upcoming purchases. It doesn’t carry the longest intro APR, lowest ongoing APR or best long-term value after you settle your balance, but the Visa Platinum is a solid option if you just need an above-average timeframe to finish off your card debt.
Its cellphone protection and relatively low balance transfer fee give it an edge over other balance transfer cards, but a rewards card with a solid intro APR and sign-up bonus could be much more rewarding upfront and down the road.
*The information about the Chase Slate Edge℠ has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.