Reviews BECU Visa credit card review
BECU Visa credit card review

BECU Visa credit card review

Published: April 24, 2017
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.3 rating
3.3 rating
3.3 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.2
Net Value: 4.7
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

This affordable balance transfer card doesn’t offer the longest interest-free promotion, but its unusually low interest rate and zero balance transfer fee could save cardholders hundreds of dollars in charges.

0% Introductory Period
12 months

Transfer Fee
None

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Regular APR
7.4-18.4%

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: Zero fraud liability, online shopping protection, worldwide travel accident insurance, extended warranty, travel and emergency assistance, car rental insurance

Low Interest Rating:
4.5 rating
4.5 rating
4.5 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 4.9
Rewards: 0.0
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With an ultralow interest rate and minimal fees, the BECU Visa credit card ranks high on our list of low interest rate cards.

Regular APR
7.4-18.4%

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0%

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cash advance fee

Penalties

  • $25 late fee
  • No penalty APR
  • $25 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: Zero fraud liability, online shopping protection, worldwide travel accident insurance, extended warranty, travel and emergency assistance, car rental insurance

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If your credit is excellent and you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re unlikely to find a more affordable choice than this low rate credit card. The BECU Visa card tops our list of low interest rate cards thanks to its exceptionally low interest rate and almost nonexistent fees. The only fees this credit union charges are a modest late fee if you miss a bill and a returned-payment fee if a card payment fails to clear.

Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify for this inexpensive credit card. Only cardholders who live near a BECU credit union in Washington state are eligible to apply.

Exceptionally low interest rate
Few cards offer as low an interest rate as the BECU Visa. If your credit is excellent, you may be offered an APR as low as 7.4 percent, which is one of the lowest interest rates you can get on a credit card today. Meanwhile, cardholders with lower scores may also qualify for a relatively low rate, making it a good choice if you don’t have perfect credit. The maximum interest rate on the BECU Visa tops out at just 18.4 percent, which is well below average for a low interest rate card. BECU also promises to consider lowering your APR if you increase your credit score, so you may not be stuck with a higher rate for long.

Almost no fees
The BECU Visa also sets itself apart by slashing the number of fees cardholders are charged. According to the BECU Visa card’s terms, you’ll only be assessed a fee if you miss a credit card payment or if the check you mail as payment is declined. That means you won’t have to pay a balance transfer fee, a cash advance fee or a foreign transaction fee, making it an ideal choice if you typically use those services. The fees that are charged are also relatively modest. For example, if you miss a payment or if your payment is returned, you’ll only pay $25 in penalties. By contrast, many competitors charge fees as high as $35 if you miss a monthly payment.

Modest promotional offer
In addition, the BECU Visa makes it easy to transfer a balance by offering a zero percent APR on balance transfers for six months. The offer length is relatively short for a balance transfer card, but the money you save by not paying a balance transfer fee can make the short introductory period worth it. Most balance transfer cards charge at least 3 percent to transfer a balance, which can add up quickly if you transfer a significant amount. The BECU Visa card also offers a six-month zero percent APR on purchases. So if you initially make a large purchase, you’ll have more time to pay it off.

Optional rewards
On the downside, the BECU Visa doesn’t offer as many classic credit card benefits as some competitors. However, you’ll still get some typical credit card perks, such as car rental insurance and travel accident insurance. The BECU Visa doesn’t offer any rewards – unless you’re willing to pay an annual fee. For $25 a year, you can get 1 point for every dollar you spend. But for such a low rewards rate, you’re unlikely to earn enough rewards points to make the optional rewards worth the $25 annual fee. For a similar amount of money, you can get much better rewards through another card.

Reasons to get it:

  • You want a simple, plain vanilla card with the lowest possible interest rate.
  • You plan to transfer a balance, take out a cash advance or use your card abroad and don’t want to pay additional fees.
  • You’re already a BECU member and want a card with the same credit union.

How to use it:

  • Use this card for any purchases you can’t afford to pay off in full. However, be careful not to overcharge.
  • Do the math before you transfer a balance. If you don’t think you can afford to repay the balance in full by the end of the card’s six-month promotion, you may be better off choosing a card with a longer promotion, even if it charges a balance transfer fee.
  • Skip paying for rewards on this card and consider using a more generous rewards card for purchases that you can afford to repay in full.

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