KeyBank Latitude Mastercard review

KeyBank Latitude Mastercard review

Updated: September 10, 2020
Updated: September 10, 2020
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If you’re looking for a simple card with an affordable interest rate and a long-term zero percent APR on purchases, the KeyBank Latitude Mastercard offers one of the best deals you can find. Its interest rate is low for cardholders with excellent credit, and it offers one of the longest interest-free promotional offers around.

You’ll want to peruse the fine print carefully, though, since the card also carries a number of high fees, including a higher-than-average balance transfer fee and a high cash advance fee. The card’s availability is also limited. Only cardholders living near a Key Bank in one of 12 states are eligible to apply.

Relatively low interest rate

If your credit is excellent and you can qualify for the card’s lowest available interest rate, the KeyBank Latitude Mastercard is an appealing card. At 11.99 percent, the card’s minimum APR is nearly 2 percentage points below the average low interest rate card. Meanwhile, its maximum APR also comes in well below average at 21.99 percent, making it a safer choice for consumers with lower scores. By contrast, the average low interest rate card charges a minimum APR of 12.16 percent. Depending on your credit score, you may be able to find a lower regular APR through another card, but the card may not offer as lengthy a promotion period for its introductory APR.

Excellent promotion

The most attractive feature of the KeyBank Latitude Mastercard is its generous promotion on introductory purchases and balance transfers. Cardholders get 15 months to make interest-free purchases, which is ideal if you plan on making a significant purchase soon after acquiring the card. It also offers a 15-month zero percent balance transfer promotion. However, the Latitude Mastercard’s higher-than-average balance transfer fee can make transferring a balance too expensive – particularly if you plan to transfer a large amount of debt from multiple cards.

Significant fees

The Latitude Mastercard charges a 4 percent cash advance fee, which is significantly more than what many low interest rate cards charge. It also charges a substantial foreign transaction fee.

Fewer penalties

On the plus side, the Latitude Mastercard doesn’t charge a penalty rate. So if you accidentally miss a bill, you won’t be hit by a sky-high APR. By contrast, many cards charge penalty rates as high as 28 percent or more. Meanwhile, the Latitude card’s late fee of $37 is typical for a low interest rate card. Also, it doesn’t charge a returned-payment fee.

Relatively few perks

You won’t earn any additional rewards with this card, though. So if you were hoping for more than just a low rate and a long promotion, you may want to look at other cards. This is a plain vanilla card for consumers who are primarily interested in lowering their interest payments. The Latitude card does offer some common credit card perks, including price protection, extended warranty and car rental insurance. But it doesn’t offer as many premium perks as some of its competitors.

Why get the KeyBank Latitude Mastercard?

  • You have excellent credit and can qualify for the card’s lowest available interest rate.
  • You want to make a large purchase and would benefit from a 15-month interest holiday.
  • You don’t plan to transfer a large amount of debt, or to take out cash advances.
  • You’re occasionally forgetful with your payments and need a more forgiving card.
  • You have an account with Key Bank and want a card with the same bank.

How to use the KeyBank Latitude Mastercard:

  • Think carefully about how you’ll use the card before you apply. If you frequently take out cash advances or plan to transfer a lot of debt, it may not be your best choice.
  • Before you use the card to make a large, interest-free purchase, calculate how much you’ll need to pay each month in order to repay the card in full by the end of the promotion.
  • Use your card for domestic travel purchases, such as car rentals, in order to take advantage of the travel benefits.

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