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U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Review: 0% APR for 15 Months

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Image of US Bank Visa® Platinum Card
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"A mediocre balance transfer card, with no added features."

Contents

The Visa Platinum Card from U.S. Bank offers users a longer than average introductory APR period, though falls short of doing anything special which would make it competitive with the best balance transfer cards. There are no added benefits, rewards, perks or features that would place the Visa Platinum credit card ahead of other options consumers may be considering - only individuals for whom better options are unavailable should apply for this card.

US Bank Visa Platinum Pros

  • Longer than average introductory APR period of 15 months
  • No annual fee

US Bank Visa Platinum Cons

  • Higher than average balance transfer fees of 3 - 4%
  • No outstanding benefits or features

Review: Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum a good balance transfer card?

In a crowded field of credit cards competing to offer prospective cardholders bonus cash back, travel rewards, or better than average terms, the Visa Platinum credit card from U.S. Bank does not stand out. The typical consumer will have a more rewarding experience considering our recommendations for the best credit cards for travel rewards, or cash back. The one feature 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 balance transfer cards. Our picks for best balance transfer cards, however, provide much better value to consumers than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card does. It lacks many cost saving features, which are especially important to individuals who are in need of transferring their balance. For instance, some of the most beneficial balance transfer cards give their cardholders the opportunity to avoid paying balance transfer fees, or an even greater introductory period of advantageous treatment. We'll discuss the Chase Slate® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever as two better options.

The Chase Slate®, for example, 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 from a high interest rate account to a cheaper credit card. Visa Platinum cardholders would pay a 3% balance transfer fee during the first month after opening the account. This 3% fee can hardly be called a feature as it is an average rate for this kind of fee. After the first month is up, balance transfers with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum will carry a cost of 4% for each transfer – a higher price than most top-tier balance transfer cards. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is another better option for anyone considering balance transfer cards. Simplicity®’s introductory APR period lasts 6 months longer than the US Bank Visa Platinum’s. The Citi card also comes with better benefits, such as Price Rewind, which essentially protects your purchase if the item you purchased is discounted up to 2 months after your purchase by refunding you the difference in price.

The US Bank Visa Platinum is just one option among low-introductory APR credit cards. The card’s biggest misstep is the fact that it fails to stand out from the crowd and offer consumers anything special. It is by no means a terrible option, and if cards such as the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever or Chase Slate® are not available to a consumer, there are worse cards to have than this. 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 carry over within the first 30 days of opening your account, you will pay 0% APR for 15 billing cycles (variable 10.74% - 22.74% 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 month 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. If you transfer a balance in the first 30 days of the account opening, you will be charged a 3% fee of whatever that balance is. After the initial 30 days the fee goes up to 4% but, once again, we advise against transferring your balances any time after that first month. Not only will you be paying a higher transfer fee, but you will be subject to an APR and have to pay interest.

Purchase APR On the other hand, any purchases that Visa Platinum cardholders would make over the course of the first 15 months of account opening would accrue no interest charges. Cardholders would get a 0% introductory APR that lasts 15 billing cycles (variable 10.74% - 22.74% APR after that). 

Unfortunately, there is not much more to the US Bank Visa Platinum Card than these. The card’s website advertises features such as auto rental insurance, however, you should be aware this is not a unique feature of the card. All Visa credit cards carry this benefit, as well as select MasterCard and Discover cards.

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 minimal 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 15 month period during which you pay 0% APR. 

Below we show the same scenario, extended over a 2 year period.

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. We found it is easy to come across cards from both US Bank and other financial institutions which outperform the US Bank Visa Platinum in terms of both savings and features. Below we highlight some cards which might be of interest to consumers.

US Bank Visa Platinum vs Chase Slate®

The Chase Slate® is one of the best balance transfer cards. It offers the same length 0% APR Period as the US Bank Visa Platinum card. One of the biggest separators between the two cards is the fact that the Chase Slate® has no fee on balance transfers that occur in the first 60 days of receiving the card. This provides huge savings. 

Look to our example before, to see this more clearly. 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, in a 6 month period. If that same transaction was carried out with the Chase Slate® credit card, that savings would be $700+ – increased savings of 102%!

On top of not having to pay a transfer fee for 60 days, the Chase Slate® offers added features. The best feature is by far the purchase protection, which covers new purchases for up to $500 in damages or theft. Unfortunately, the US Bank Visa Platinum offers nothing like this, and the card’s only utility comes from its mediocre balance transfer abilities.

US Bank Visa Platinum vs Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is made for individuals who are looking to buy themselves extra time. It has the longest 0% APR period of any card in the U.S. – it lasts 21 billing cycles. Just like with the US Bank Visa Platinum, there is a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever of the two is greater). The difference is that the US Bank Visa Platinum only extends the 3% fee for 2 months. Any balance transfers preformed after that cost 4%. Remember that, if you are a Visa Platinum cardholder, you should not be transferring balances past 30 days anyway. If you do, they will not be rewarded the 0% APR offer. This is another area in which the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is superior. The 0% APR on balance transfers offer extends for 4 months. 

How about bonus features? Just like the Chase Slate®, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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 - No Late Fees Ever enter a 60 day price protection period. If the retailor discounts the item you purchased online during those 60 days, you will be refunded the difference. 

US Bank Visa Platinum vs US 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) – 3 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 (for 12 months), 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 preforming 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.

Bottom Line: Is the US Bank Visa Platinum Card Worth It?

There is no reason to apply for the US Bank Visa Platinum card, as long as other options are available to you. The Chase Slate® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever are great alternatives, and you will be hard pressed finding better balance transfer cards than those. If remaining with US Bank is a top priority, the US Bank Perks+ Card offers the same low APR features as the Platinum card, with the added benefit of being a rewards card.

US Bank Visa Platinum Card Resources

How can I apply for the Card?

You can apply for the card by following this link https://www.usbank.com/credit-cards/platinum.html or by calling (800) 715-2922.

How do I transfer balances?

To perform a balance transfer, contact US Bank and provide them with the necessary credit card account information. Bankers will walk you through the process, and take care of contacting the financial institution you are transferring the balance from.

Comments and Questions

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.