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DCU Visa Platinum Rewards credit card review

DCU Visa Platinum Rewards credit card review

Published: November 27, 2018
Published: November 27, 2018
Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
1.2 rating
1.2 rating
1.2 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 1.2
Rewards: 1.3
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

The DCU Visa Platinum Rewards card comes with a reasonable interest rate and waives many common fees; however, cardholders who want to save money on interest would be better served by a card with a 0 percent introductory offer.

Regular APR
13.25-18% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR

Introductory Balance Transfer APR


  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cash advance fee (max $200)


  • $35 late payment fee
  • 18% penalty APR
  • No returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, late check-in at select motels, extended warranty, overdraft protection, travel and emergency services

Rewards Rating:
1.8 rating
1.8 rating
1.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.1
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 1.0

In a Nutshell:

This plain vanilla rewards card offers a low APR and standard benefits, such as travel insurance and extended warranty; but its bare bones rewards program won’t get you very far if you’re looking to quickly earn premier rewards.

Rewards Rate
1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

13.25-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, experiences, charitable donations


  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Must go through the credit union to book travel
  • $31 fee for booking travel online; $36 fee for booking travel by phone
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programss

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, late check-in at select motels, extended warranty, overdraft protection, travel and emergency services

If you’re looking for a rewards card to help you pay for travel, don’t settle for this mediocre credit union card. The DCU Visa Platinum Rewards card offers one of the least generous card rewards programs on the market, making it a poor choice for cardholders planning to use points for airfare or hotel stays. It also charges a steep travel booking fee, making the rewards you earn even less valuable once you factor in the fee.

The card’s modest APR is lower than the average rewards credit card, though. So if you’re just looking for a card to carry a balance on and earn some rewards, this can be a decent choice. However, access to the card is limited. Only cardholders living in Massachusetts or New Hampshire are eligible to apply.

Limited rewards 

You won’t earn much with this low-earning rewards card. The DCU Visa Platinum Rewards card offers just 1 point for every dollar you spend, which is about average for a small credit union card, but disappointing for a travel card. Unless you’re an especially heavy spender, you’ll just barely earn enough rewards to cash in a few gift cards every year.

By contrast, to redeem points for a more expensive travel purchase – such as a $400 airline ticket – you’d have to regularly spend thousands of dollars a month just to have a chance at a free trip in your card’s first or second year. If you can afford to spend that much each month, you’re better off picking a card that offers substantially more points. Unlike many travel cards, the DCU card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus.

Pricey fees

The M&T Visa also charges some of the highest travel booking fees on the market. Cardholders are charged $31 to book travel online and $35 to book travel by phone. By contrast, most rewards cards that charge a booking fee only charge $15 to $25 to book rewards-funded travel. Meanwhile, many cards don’t charge a booking fee at all.

Like most rewards credit cards, the M&T Visa also makes you go through the rewards program to book rewards-funded travel, so you don’t have the flexibility to find better deals by booking through outside travel sites or directly with airlines. With such a steep travel booking fee and limited options for redemption, you are likely better off redeeming points for something unrelated to travel, such as gift cards or merchandise.

Competitive APR

That said, the M&T Visa card does charge a relatively low APR. So if you tend to carry a balance, this may still be a smarter choice than a pricier card with more extensive rewards and benefits. Cardholders with the best credit scores are charged a minimum APR of just 13.25 percent, which is well below average for a rewards credit card. The typical rewards card charges an average APR around 17 percent. Meanwhile, the most M&T cardholders with lower scores can be charged is a maximum APR of just 18 percent.

Few perks

The M&T Visa doesn’t offer a lot of extra perks. However, it does offer standard credit card perks such as car rental insurance and extended warranty. It also offers additional travel coverage through Visa and late check-in at participating hotels.   

Why get the DCU Visa Platinum Rewards card?

  • You want a low-rate card with some rewards.
  • You prefer to carry a card from a credit union rather than a large bank.
  • You plan to redeem points for gift cards or other rewards purchases rather than travel.

How to use the DCU Visa Platinum Rewards card:

  • To maximize rewards earnings, use the credit card rather than a debit card for everyday purchases – such as gas and groceries – and pay off those purchases at the end of the month.
  • Don’t bother redeeming points for travel. You’ll get more value out of rewards earnings by redeeming points for gift cards, merchandise, donations or experiences.
  • Use the card for travel purchases, such as car rentals and hotel stays, to take advantage of the card’s travel benefits.

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