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Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card review

Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card review

Published: December 17, 2018
Published: December 17, 2018
Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.8
Features: 1.0

In a Nutshell:

If you live in Northern California, this is an ideal card to use for your everyday spending: The Golden1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card offers one of the lowest APRs available on a rewards credit card while also offering one of the most generous bonus rates available without paying an annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 3% cash back on gas, restaurant and grocery store purchases
  • 1% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

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

9.79-15.79% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • Cash doesn’t expire
  • No limit on total amount of cash back
  • No minimum on cash back
  • Cash is deposited automatically into your account


  • Must maintain a minimum balance in a Golden 1 savings account to qualify
  • Can’t redeem cash for noncash rewards such as a gift cards or merchandise
  • Can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, Apple Pay, Visa checkout, no balance-transfer fee

Low Interest Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 2.6
Rewards: 3.8
Features: 1.0

In a Nutshell:

Few cards can beat the APR on the Golden 1 Platinum Rewards card, which also features very reasonable rates and fees, including an exceptionally low fee for late payments. However, if you are looking to transfer a balance or finance a new purchase, you may be better served by a card that offers a 0-percent introductory APR.

Regular APR
9.79-15.79% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR

Introductory Balance Transfer APR


  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • 1% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% cash advance fee


  • $15 late payment fee
  • 24.9% penalty APR
  • $5 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, Apple Pay, Visa checkout, no balance-transfer fee

For a card from a small credit union, the Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards is surprisingly generous. It offers a substantial amount of bonus cash on gas, grocery and restaurant purchases, making it a good choice for families that spend a lot on everyday purchases. It also features a refreshingly low interest rate, which has become an increasingly rare find in recent years.

The Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card is limited in its availability, though, so not everyone qualifies. Only Golden 1 Credit Union members who live in California and have a Golden 1 savings account are eligible to apply.

Bonus cash for everyday spending

If you spend a lot on gas and groceries or eat out frequently, the Golden 1 Platinum Rewards card could be just what you need to rack up a significant amount of cash. The Platinum Rewards card gives cardholders 3 percent cash back on grocery, gas and restaurant purchases and 1 percent cash back on everything else. There no minimums on how much you can redeem, nor are there limits on the total amount you can earn, making it an ideal card for consumers who routinely use credit to pay for everyday purchases.

Relatively easy redemption

Golden 1 Credit Union also makes it relatively easy to redeem the cash you’ve earned by depositing it into your account at the close of each billing period. Many cash back cards, by contrast, make you request the cash you’ve earned. You may not qualify for cash back, though, if you don’t maintain a certain balance in your savings account. To qualify for the cash back rebates, you must hold a Golden 1 Credit Union share account and maintain the account’s minimum balance.

Golden 1 Credit Union also doesn’t offer any choice in how you can redeem your cash. Many cash back cards give cardholders the option of redeeming their cash for gift cards, merchandise or other noncash options.

Very low interest rate

Despite the Platinum Rewards card’s strict rules on redemption, the card is an excellent choice for cardholders who tend to carry a balance. Cardholders with the highest credit scores are charged just 9.79 percent, which is one of the lowest interest rates you can get on any credit card. The average low-interest card, for example, charges 11.62 percent, while the average cash back card charges a minimum of 15.27 percent. At 15.79 percent, the Platinum Rewards card’s maximum rate is also well below average for a cash back card.

Almost no perks

The biggest downside to the Golden 1 Platinum Rewards card is that it doesn’t offer as many perks as its competitors. Many other cash back cards offer premium travel and purchase benefits that can save you a lot of money down the road. Such benefits include car rental insurance, lost baggage insurance, extended warranty and price protection. The Golden 1 Platinum Rewards card does waive the card’s balance-transfer fee, making it cheaper to transfer a balance. But it doesn’t offer any promotional rates. It also doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, so you’ll have to wait before you accumulate a significant amount.

Why get the Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card?

  • You spend a lot on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries, and want to be rewarded for spending.
  • You want a low-rate card that also offers substantial rewards.
  • You prefer cash back instead of points.
  • You’re already a Golden 1 Credit Union member and want a card with the same credit union.

How to use the Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card:

  • Use your card for all gas, grocery and restaurant spending in order to maximize cash back.
  • Read through your savings account’s terms and make sure you’re maintaining the account’s minimum balance. Otherwise, you won’t receive cash back.
  • Use this card for everyday spending, but consider using a different card for premium perks – such as car rental insurance and lost baggage insurance – when you travel.

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