U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review: Solid intro APR offer, but limited long-term value
Fend off interest for awhile, but don’t expect to rack up rewards with this card.
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The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum offers cardholders dedicated to paying down a balance a solid introductory offer on both balance transfers and new purchases, although its lack of rewards limits its long-term viability.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Overview
Getting a head start on your debt can be easier with a lengthy introductory APR period, and the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a good choice if you need more than a year of breathing room to pay off your existing balance or finance new expenses.
While it’s not the best balance transfer card offer on the market, the Visa Platinum card carries one of the better zero-interest intro periods for both purchases and balance transfers available. That said, its lack of rewards means it doesn’t offer much ongoing 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.
What are the pros and cons?
Offers a solid intro APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers
Ongoing 18.99 percent to 28.99 percent (variable) APR is slightly below average
Solid cellphone protection perk when you pay your monthly phone bill with your card
No rewards programs or reward-based sign-up bonus limits long-term value
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 18 billing cycles
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent APR for 18 billing cycles (must be within first 60 days)
- Regular APR: 18.99 percent to 28.99 percent (variable)
Current welcome offer
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card doesn’t include a welcome offer. Instead, the card is entirely focused on its intro APR offer. As long as your transfers are within the first 60 days, both purchases and balance transfers are shielded from interest for 18 billing cycles. Be aware that if you plan to make a balance transfer, there will be a 3 percent or $5 minimum transfer fee, whichever is greater.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum doesn’t earn rewards on spending. While this can be disappointing, it doesn’t automatically make this card bad. It can be an opportunity for cardholders to focus on reducing their debt, instead of adding to it to earn rewards. Still, it does affect the longevity of the card’s value, which is something to keep in mind after the intro APR ends.
Other cardholder perks
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. The lengthy intro APR is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card’s main selling point, but there are a couple of other features of note.
Solid intro APR offer
While this is a solid intro APR period, it falls short of the longest offers on the market. Both the BankAmericard® credit card and the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card beat it. The BankAmericard offers a 0% introductory APR for 21 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, after which a 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR applies (3 percent fee, minimum $10 applies).
Meanwhile, the Reflect card offers a 0 percent intro APR of up to 21 months on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening if you make your minimum payments on time during the intro period, followed by a 17.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR thereafter (balance transfers must be within the first 120 days to qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3 percent then a balance transfer fee of up to 5 percent, minimum $5).
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.
Pay over time
With this feature, you can divide large purchases into fixed monthly to pay off over time. These purchases are shielded from interest (see terms) and instead have a monthly fee that doesn’t exceed 1.6 percent of the purchase. This feature can be especially handy for holiday shopping or travel expenses.
Rates and fees
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum offers a 18-billing cycle intro APR offer on purchase and balance transfers, plus a variable APR afterward as low as 18.99 percent (or as high as 28.99 percent). The low end of this range is a bit lower than the current average credit card interest rate, but not by enough to justify carrying a balance long term. 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, fortunately.
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. Still, coupled with no annual fee, this rate makes it a relatively low-cost card.
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.
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum vs. Citi® Double Cash Card
Considering the Citi Double Cash also offers a 0 percent intro balance transfer APR for 18 months (variable 18.24 percent to 28.24 percent thereafter), it may be a better choice than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum. Along with getting a chance to chip away at your balance, you’ll enjoy unlimited up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent back when you buy, plus 1 another percent when you pay). That should give the card a ton more long-term value and more worthy of a spot in your wallet after your intro APR period ends.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum vs. Wells Fargo Reflect Card
The Wells Fargo Reflect card comes with a longer intro APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, so if you’re looking for as much time as possible to pay down your balance, it’s the obvious winner between the two. 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 against damage or theft.
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. One example of a rewards card that could pair well with your U.S. Bank Platinum is the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. The card charges no annual fee and your highest earning spending category is automatically chosen based on your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1 percent). This way, you might be able to skip the extra time it would take to strategize a spending plan to maximize earnings.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card worth it?
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum doesn’t have the lowest ongoing APR or best long-term value after you settle your balance, but it’s 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.
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