The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card comes with a generous zero-interest offer on balance transfers and purchases. Is that enough to make this card a good addition to your wallet?
Do you want a credit card that helps you earn rewards for every purchase? Or maybe you want one that offers a welcome bonus for spending within the first few months? If so, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card probably isn’t the right choice for you.
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is a basic credit card, meaning it doesn’t feature a rewards program that lets you earn points, miles or cash back when you use it. If you want to rack up points to spend on a flight to Hawaii, a free stay in a luxury hotel or a big cash back deposit into your bank account, you’ll need to choose another card.
But that doesn’t mean the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card isn’t a good choice for some. If your credit score isn’t as high as you’d like, this card can help you improve it (and without charging an annual fee). Plus, if you need to pay off existing credit card debt, this balance transfer credit card offers one of the longest low-interest offers available – 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles (followed by a variable APR of 15.99% to 25.99%).
Here’s a look at when the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card might make sense – and when opting for a different card may be the better choice.
When is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card worth it?
While the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card doesn’t come with a rewards program or fancy perks, it’s a good fit for consumers struggling with debt or those who want to boost their credit score.
0% APR on balance transfers
If you owe a lot of credit card debt, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card can help you pay it off in the cheapest way possible, thanks to its long zero-interest offer on balance transfers.
If you transfer debt from another credit card to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, the interest rate on that debt will remain at 0% for 20 billing cycles (with a variable APR of 15.99% to 25.99% thereafter). This means you have 20 months to pay off the transferred debt without worrying about interest.
Be careful, though. If you do transfer debt to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, make sure you pay it off in full before the introductory offer ends. If you don’t, your card’s standard variable interest rate of 15.99% to 25.99% will kick in, and your unpaid debt will start to grow each month. Also, be sure you’re not racking up more debt while paying off your transferred balance – that defeats the purpose of the zero-interest offer.
Lastly, balance transfers aren’t free for all cards. With the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, you’ll have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount you transfer, or $5 (whichever is greater). If you transfer $500, for example, you’ll have to pay $15 in fees. If you transfer $1,000, you’ll pay $30.
0% interest on purchases
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card also offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 20 billing cycles after you open your account (followed by the same 15.99% to 25.99% variable APR).
This can be useful if you want to make a big purchase and can’t pay it off in one fell swoop. With 20 billing cycles free of interest, you can comfortably charge a big-ticket item and pay it off over more than a year.
Take caution, though, not to run up too much credit card debt just because you won’t have to pay interest on it immediately. If you don’t pay it off before the introductory window ends, your card’s standard variable APR will take effect, and you could be hit with high-interest payments.
No annual fee
Credit cards that offer a slew of benefits and heightened rewards are surely valuable, but they often charge high annual fees to match.
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is a no-annual-fee card, which makes it a valuable option for those ready to rebuild a less-than-excellent credit score. (While U.S. Bank doesn’t highlight a minimum credit score needed to qualify for this card, you can expect to need a FICO score at or above 670.)
If you qualify for the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, you can slowly push a good credit score toward excellent territory. Just make charges each month that you can afford to pay off in full by your card’s due date, as payments are reported to the three national credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If you build a history of on-time payments, your credit score will steadily rise.
Be sure to pay your bill on time. If you pay 30 days or more past your due date, that, too, will be reported to the credit bureaus. This can cause your credit score to fall, and often by 100 points or more.
When is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card not worth it?
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card isn’t the best choice for everyone. If you already have a high credit score and not much existing credit card debt, you might consider applying for a standard rewards credit card that comes with a rewards program, welcome bonus and solid perks.
And if you don’t want to pay an annual fee, don’t worry: There are several credit cards that offer rewards and don’t charge a yearly fee.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠, for instance, doesn’t charge an annual fee but does offer rewards. You’ll earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories after activation (on up to $1,500 per quarter) and on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also earn 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card also doesn’t charge an annual fee. You’ll earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25X miles on all other purchases.
Should you get the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card?
If you’re struggling to pay down high-interest credit card debt, this is a smarter card for your collection. You’ll struggle to find a zero-interest offer longer than that offered by the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card.
You have plenty of choices when searching for a new credit card. But if you also want to transfer existing debt to a card, few are a better choice than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card. The 20-billing cycle 0% intro APR period on balance transfers and new purchases (followed by a variable APR of 15.99% to 25.99%) ranks among the best zero-interest offers in the industry. Just remember: If you want to earn cash back, miles or rewards points, this is not the card for you.