|Balance Transfer Rating:||3.1 / 5|
In a Nutshell:
The introductory period for balance transfers is on the short side; however, the Gold Visa® card can save you money in the long run due to its very reasonable rates and fees.
0% Introductory Period
Introductory Purchase APR
Other Notable Features: $0 fraud liability
|Low Interest Rating:||4.0 / 5|
|Rates, Fees, Penalties:||3.4|
In a Nutshell:
The Gold Visa® card offers one of the lowest standard APRs you can get on a credit card and relatively few fees; but it’s only available to cardholders with Pentagon Federal Credit Union accounts.
Introductory Purchase APR
Introductory Balance Transfer APR
Other Notable Features: $0 fraud liability; $100 statement credit if you spend $1,500 in the card’s first 90 days
If you need to carry a balance long term and can qualify for Pentagon Federal Credit Union membership, the Gold Visa® credit card offers some of the most affordable terms you’ll find on a credit card.
The Gold Visa comes with a decent intro APR on both balance transfers and new purchases, charges a low balance transfer fee and even carries a relatively low ongoing APR. This makes it a good choice if you need some breathing room to chip away at debt while minimizing interest charges, but also want to be sure you’ll face a reasonable APR on any future balances. Many competing balance transfer cards charge sky-high APRs after your introductory APR period ends.
The Gold Visa also offers a consumer-friendly fee schedule that caters to military families and frequent travelers. For example, unlike most low interest cards, it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or cash advance fee. And though you won’t be able to get ahold of this card unless you’re a PenFed member, PenFed membership is open to anyone, not just military members, so as long as you open a checking or savings account with PenFed, you can apply for the card.
That said, the card’s intro APR offer is not the longest available. Indeed, several rewards cards boast comparable or even better intro APR offers, as well as ongoing value via sign-up bonuses and points and miles earned on purchases. This means unless you suspect you’ll need to carry a balance on an ongoing basis or well beyond the end of your intro APR period, the PenFed Gold Visa may fall short.
Very low rates
This is a solid low interest card – especially if you have strong enough credit to qualify for the card’s lowest rate. Unlike most credit cards, which offer a wide range of potential APRs based on your credit score, the PenFed Gold Visa’s ongoing APR for purchases is 17.99% variable.
Compare this with the range on a typical low-interest card like the BankAmericard® credit card. While that card offers a lower low-end variable APR of 16.24%, you could also wind up stuck with its high-end variable APR of 26.24%. This difference in rates could cost you quite a bit of money if you plan to carry a balance long-term. So if you want to have an especially clear sense of the APR you’re likely to wind up with long term, the Pen Fed Gold Visa is worth a look.
No foreign transaction fee
The PenFed Gold Visa card also charges fewer fees than the average credit card. For example, it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which is a rare perk for a low interest rate card. Typically, the only cards that waive foreign transaction fees are travel cards with high interest rates.
If you’re in a military family and spend a lot of time abroad – or if you just travel frequently – that perk alone should save you a significant amount of cash. Many low interest credit cards, by contrast, charge foreign transaction fees as high as 3 percent.
Relatively low charges
The Gold Visa also charges no cash advance fee – a charge that can be fairly large on other cards. In addition, it only charges a 3% balance transfer fee, which is lower than many competitors (many charge 5%), and caps late charges at up to $28.
Unlike many low rate cards, however, it does charge a penalty APR, though the 17.99% penalty rate is significantly lower than the penalty APRs that can be found at larger banks.
Decent intro APR offers
The Gold Visa also offers a solid 15-month interest-free promotion for transferred balances made in the first 90 days after account opening (with a fixed 17.99% APR after the offer expires) . The balance transfer offer isn’t the most generous offer on the market. Many competitors, for example, offer interest-free periods for as long as 18 months or more. But if you have just a small amount of debt and only need a little over a year to pay it off, it’s an attractive offer, especially given the relatively low fixed APR and balance transfer fee.
The card also offers a 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 months, after which a 17.99% variable APR applies. This is a big deal if you’re looking for a way to finance a purchase as cheaply as possible.
Why get the PenFed Gold Visa card?
- You plan to carry a balance long-term and want a low rate credit card.
- You have a small amount of debt to repay and want to transfer your balance interest-free.
- You prefer a plain vanilla card instead of rewards.
How to use the PenFed Gold Visa card:
- If this is the lowest rate card you own, use this card for any purchases you can’t pay off in full.
- If you plan to transfer a balance, divide the total amount you need to repay by 15 and try to repay slightly more than that each month.
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