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The Visa Platinum Card from U.S. Bank offers users a longer than average introductory APR period, and is competitive with the best balance transfer cards. This card also offers cell phone protection, something that gives it a leg up on competing balance transfer cards that often have little to no additional benefits.
- Benefits and Features
- How Does the US Bank Visa® Platinum Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
Review: Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum a Good Balance Transfer Card?
The US Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a good 0% intro APR and balance transfer card. However, the typical consumer who always pays off their card bill will have a more rewarding experience considering our recommendations for the best credit cards for travel rewards, or cash back. One of the features worth discussing about U.S. Bank's Visa Platinum is its longer-than-average period for introductory APRs, which places the card in the company of some of the best balance transfer cards. However, if you are not going to fully use the US Bank Visa® Platinum Card's 18 month balance transfer period, there are cards that will offer better value. For instance, some of the most beneficial balance transfer cards—such as the Chase Slate®—give their cardholders the opportunity to avoid paying balance transfer fees.
|Good For…||Bad For…|
|Longer than average introductory APR period of 18 months||Earning rewards|
|Cell phone protection|
The Chase Slate® eliminates balance transfer fees for the first 60 days entirely. This translates to savings which can range from moderate to high. Having no transfer fees means that, unlike for the majority of credit cards, consumers are not penalized for making large transfers. Visa Platinum cardholders would pay a 3% balance transfer fee.
The Citi Simplicity® Card is another option for anyone considering balance transfer cards. This card's introductory APR period is the same length as the US Bank Visa Platinum’s. The Citi card also comes with no late fees which can come in handy if you ever accidentally miss a payment. However, if you're careful about not missing payments the US Bank Visa® Platinum Card's cell phone protection benefit will be a more useful feature.
The US Bank Visa Platinum is one of the top options for low-introductory APR credit cards. On top of having one of the longest introductory 0% APR periods on purchases and balance transfers, it also comes with some pretty valuable perks. In order to get the most value out of your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card, be sure to look to our analysis below, where we break down how the card works and what is its optimal use scenario.
U.S. Bank Credit Card Features, Benefits, and Rewards
In this section, we'll discover a few aspects of U.S. Bank's Visa Platinum card that consumers looking for a balance transfer credit card should know about.
Balance Transfer APR. On any balances you transfer over within the first 60 days of opening your account, you will pay 0% APR for 18 billing cycles (variable 11.74% - 23.24% APR after that). This point is important to keep in mind. In order to qualify for 0% APR on balance transfers, they must be made in the first two months of receiving the card. As long as an individual transfers their debt in that time frame, they buy themselves more time to slowly pay off the debt while not having to gather interest payments. Other credit card balances that get moved to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum get charged the normal annual percentage rate.
Balance Transfer Fees Another thing to understand is that transferring your balance is not free with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum. For all balances transferred, you will incur a fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
Purchase APR On the other hand, any purchases that Visa Platinum cardholders would make over the course of the first 18 months of account opening would accrue no interest charges. Cardholders would get a 0% introductory APR that lasts 18 billing cycles (variable 10.74% - 22.74% APR after that).
Cell Phone Protection Cardholders who pay their cell phone bill every month with the US Bank Visa® Platinum Card will receive this benefit. Cell Phone Protection covers two incidents of cell phone damage or theft, with limits of $600 per incident with a $25 deductible. This protection covers a maximum of four phone. This benefit can be very valuable and is fairly rare.
How does the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Work In Practice?
The Visa Platinum is a balance transfer card and, as such, it is meant to help individuals get their credit balances in under control. How can the US Bank Visa Platinum card help manage your finances? The idea behind cards like this works as follows. If you are carrying a balance on another credit card, which you cannot pay off, in order to avoid paying high interest rates on that current card you simply transfer the balance to the US Bank Visa Platinum.
Let us consider how transferring a balance from an average credit card to the US Bank Visa Platinum could save you money. First, assume that the card you are transferring the balance from has an APR of 13.02% (the average fixed APR in the United States). If a consumer accumulates $12,000 of debt onto it, but cannot pay that off completely, he will be forced to pay interest. How much will that interest cost?
How Interest Charges are Calculated
APR can be a tricky concept to understand. It is not equal to the interest you pay. Instead, other calculations must be done in order to calculate what you can expect to pay with interest. The calculation is as follows: Monthly Interest Rate = Periodic Interest Rate x Number of Days in a Period
The periodic interest rate is simply the APR divided by 365 (the number of days in a year). The number of days in a period in this case is 30, since we are interested in calculating the balance at the end of each month. We multiply the product of those two factors by what is referred to as the “average daily balance”. For the purpose of simplicity, we take this balance to not change throughout the month, meaning you make payments at the end of each month, and don’t add to the total balance throughout the month. Therefore, the amount of interest you pay is determined by:
Interest = Average Daily Balance x Periodic Interest Rate x Number of Days in a Period
Saving on Interest through Balance Transfers with the Visa Platinum
In the case of a 13.02% APR, the periodic interest rate is 0.036%. After just 6 months of making minimum payments of $500 per month, you would pay $710 in interest expense!
How does that same situation look if you transferred the balance over to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card? Upon first transferring the balance, you will incur a balance transfer fee of 3%. On a $12,000 balance, that is $360. After that however, you pay nothing else but your monthly payments. That means your saved a total of $710 - $360 = $350 in interest fees. That is just in 6 months. Your savings continue to grow for at least the full 18 month period during which you pay 0% APR.
How Does the US Bank Visa Platinum Card Compare to other Credit Cards?
To help you reach a better informed decision, we set out to show how US Bank Visa Platinum stacks up against other low introductory APR cards. Below we highlight some cards which might be of interest to consumers looking for these cards.
US Bank Visa Platinum vs Chase Slate®
While the Chase Slate® offers a shorter 0% APR Period than the US Bank Visa Platinum card, it is still one of the best balance transfer cards available. This is because it waives its fee for balance transfers that occur in the first 60 days of receiving the card. To see how much this benefit can save, look to our example from before. When transferring the $12,000 balance, US Bank Visa Platinum card members paid $360 in transfer fees, making their total savings from the transfer only $350. If that same transaction was carried out with the Chase Slate® credit card, that savings would be $700+ – an increased savings of 102%.
US Bank Visa Platinum vs Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simplicity® Card is an almost identical card to the US Bank Visa® Platinum Card, as it also offers an 18 month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers (after which its APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% Variable). Additionally, just like with the US Bank Visa Platinum, there is a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever of the two is greater). One advantage to the Citi Simplicity® Card is that the 0% APR period applies to balances transferred within the first 4 months—giving you twice as much time as the US Bank Visa Platinum Card.
The Citi Simplicity® Card also comes outfitted with special perks for cardmembers. The standout feature of card is Citi Price Rewind. With this, any purchases made using Citi Simplicity® Card enter a 60 day price protection period. If the retailer discounts the item you purchased online during those 60 days, you will be refunded the difference.
US Bank Visa Platinum vs U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature® Card
For those who wish to do business with US Bank, there are good introductory APR cards available, which can be of more worth to certain individuals than the Visa Platinum. The US Perks+ Visa Signature Card works exactly like the US Bank Visa Platinum, with the exception of having a shorter intro APR period. The Perks+ holds off on charging you APR for just 12 billing cycles (variable 11.99% - 21.99% APR after intro period ends) – 6 months less than Visa Platinum customers. What’s the trade off? You are given incentives to actually use the card for purchases, since the Perks+ doubles as a rewards credit card.
Perks+ Cardholders earn 2 points on gas and grocery shopping, and 1 point on all other purchases. You can redeem these points on gift cards, cash back and airline tickets. Redeeming for the latter starts at 25,000 points with an advertised value of up to $400. That means the Perks+ points are valued at $0.016, which is quite good for a no fee credit card. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you do not receive any points from performing balance transfers. It is also not advised to be making large purchases while trying to manage a balance. The benefit of having a card like the US Bank Perks+ over the Visa Platinum card, is that once your balance is paid off you can start taking advantage of the rewards.