U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review

Published: July 3, 2019
Published: July 3, 2019
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
4.4 rating
4.4 rating
4.4 / 5
Introductory Offer: 4.7
Net Value: 3.2
Features: 2.0
Customer Experience 3.5

In a Nutshell:

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card offers cardholders with excellent credit a below average minimum interest rate and reasonable terms, including no penalty APR, and a long introductory period. This offer is no longer available.

 

0% Introductory Period
18 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Regular APR
14.74-25.74% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: $600 cellphone protection ($25 deductible), auto rental insurance, flexible payments

Low Interest Rating:
4.1 rating
4.1 rating
4.1 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 4.3
Rewards: 0.0
Features: 2.0
Customer Experience 3.5

In a Nutshell:

The combination of a low APR and introductory offer make the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card a good value for cardholders seeking to save money on interest. This offer is no longer available.

Regular APR
14.74-25.74% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0%

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is higher)
  • 2-3% foreign transaction fee, depending on the currency
  • 4% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is higher)

Penalties

  • $39 late payment fee
  • $35 returned payment fee
  • No penalty APR

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: $600 cellphone protection ($25 deductible), auto rental insurance, flexible payments

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Review: More Details

If you are a cardholder looking to pay down some debt or finance a larger purchase with time to pay it off interest-free, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card offers one of the longer introductory APR periods available on both new purchases and balance transfers.

Unfortunately, the card doesn’t include any sort of rewards program. Its maximum APR is also on the high side, so you might not get much long-term value out of the card.

Transferring a balance with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum

If you are carrying a large balance on another card, odds are your interest charges are racking up quickly. By transferring a balance to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, you’ll get a lengthy 18 billing cycles to pay it down without interest (14.74 to 25.74 percent variable thereafter). You’ll have to pay a transfer fee of $5 or 3 percent (whichever is higher) but this is likely much less than the interest you’ll save over 18 months.

Cost of balance transfer fee Interest charged over 18 months if not transferred (17.68% rate)
$500 balance with $32 monthly payment $15 $72
$2,000 balance with $127 monthly payment $60 $295
$4,000 balance with $255 monthly payment $120 $582

Despite the interest you save, the balance transfer fee can be particularly high on larger balances. If you are hoping to avoid this extra charge, consider choosing a card with no balance transfer fee instead. These often come with shorter intro APRs, but for most spenders you’ll save enough with the lack of a balance transfer fee to make up for a few extra months of interest.

For example, the Chase Slate card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for the first 60 days of account opening ($5 or 5 percent afterwards, whichever is greater), but it only offers a 0 percent intro APR for the first 15 months (17.24 to 25.74 percent thereafter). Though you’ll have to pay five more months of interest on the Chase Slate than you would with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, you’ll save more than enough on the transfer fee to make up for this.

Cost of transferring and paying down a balance over 18 months

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Chase Slate (with a 25.74% APR)
$500 balance with $28 monthly payment $15 balance transfer fee $3.44 in interest
$2,000 balance with $112 monthly payment $60 balance transfer fee $13.78 in interest
$4,000 balance with $224 monthly payment $120 balance transfer fee $27.56 in interest

As you can see, the Chase Slate saves enough from its lack of balance transfer fee to make up for five months of interest. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing a balance transfer card, including on-going APR and additional perks. Make sure to take all these factors into consideration when deciding what is best for you.

Tip: To discover just how much you can save by transferring your balance, enter your current balance and APR into our balance transfer calculator. Before deciding that debt-payoff strategy is best for you, also consider how it affects your credit score.

Intro purchase APR

In addition to a generous intro APR for balance transfers, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card offers one of the longer intro periods available for new purchases. Cardholders get a full 18 months before they start accruing interest on new purchases (14.74 to 25.74 percent variable APR thereafter). While many balance transfer cards also offer introductory periods for new purchases, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum offer is particularly long.

If you have a balance to pay down, but also want to be able to finance a large purchase over time without racking up interest charges, this can be a great option. Just be sure not to charge more to the card than you can pay off in the first 18 billing cycles, especially if you are also paying down significant debt.

Carrying a balance with the card

If you do find yourself needing to carry a balance on this card at the end of the intro period, the APR is fairly reasonable. Cardholders with the best credit can qualify for an APR as low as 14.74 percent – a pretty low rate even among balance transfer cards. On the flip side, the APR can range as high as 25.74 percent, which will add up quickly on larger balances.

Other fees

The balance transfer fee on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card is pretty standard, but that is not the only fee you should keep an eye out for. The card also charges a $39 fee for late payments and 2 to 3 percent (or $5, whichever is greater) on each foreign transaction you make. If your payment is returned, you’ll be charged a $35 late payment fee. While all of these are standard among credit cards, you can often find a balance transfer card with less surcharges.

On the plus side, the card doesn’t charge a penalty APR, so you won’t have to worry about your rate skyrocketing if you make a late payment.

No rewards program

Unfortunately, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card doesn’t come with any sort of rewards program – limiting its long-term value. If you are hoping to continue to get great use out of the card after the intro period ends, this probably isn’t the best choice for you.

Alternatively, several cash back cards, including the Discover it® Balance Transfer offers a generous cash back rate and a similar introductory period on balance transfers. (Read more about the Discover card in our card comparison section below.)

Cellphone insurance

Though it doesn’t come with a rewards program, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card still includes some extra benefits that boost its value. One of the most lucrative perks it offers is cellphone insurance. Cardholders who pay their phone bill with the Visa Platinum card can be covered up to $600 ($25 deductible) in the case of damage or theft.

Other benefits

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card is light on additional features. However, it does come  with a few benefits that can help you better manage your spending.

  • Choose your own payment due date – To help you match your card payments to your schedule, you have the flexibility to choose your own due date.
  • Fraud protection – You’ll be notified of any unusual card activity to stay a step ahead of credit card fraud.
  • 24/7 account access – The U.S. Bank Mobile App makes it easy to visualize your payment, balance and transactions at any time.
  • Free credit score – You’ll receive your TransUnion credit score on online banking and receive email alerts to any major changes to track your credit progress.
  • Autopay – If you are worried about keeping track of payments, you can set up automatic payments each billing period.

All of these perks can help you get on track of your budget and improve your credit score.

Customer experience

Among major issuers, U.S. Bank doesn’t have the greatest customer service reputation. In J.D. Power’s 2018 customer satisfaction survey, the bank scored 781, ranking below 70 percent of other major credit card issuers. While U.S. Bank does offer 24/7 customer service and an online chat feature, their app receives very mixed reviews. It rates well in the Apple App Store (4.8 out of 5) but poorly in the Google Play Store (2.9 out of 5).

Approval odds

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card is designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670) so you’ll want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. Additionally, balance transfer requests are approved independently of your card application – based on your allotted credit limit. If you have a larger balance to transfer, it is a good idea to wait to apply until you are higher in the range.

How does the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum compare to other cards?

Though the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum has one of the most generous introductory APRs available on both balance transfers and new purchases, it might be the best choice for every kind of cardholder. If you are hoping to save on a balance transfer fee or earn rewards after you pay down your debt, one of these other popular options might be best for you.

Chase Slate
Chase Slate
Discover it Balance Transfer
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Wells Fargo Platinum
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card
Rewards rate

None

Rewards rate

  • Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in various categories throughout the year
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Rewards rate

None

Introductory period (balance transfers)

15 months

Introductory period (balance transfers)

18 months

Introductory period (balance transfers)

18 months

Introductory period (new purchases)

15 months

Introductory period (new purchases)

6 months

Introductory period (new purchases)

18 months

Regular APR

17.24-25.74% (variable)

Regular APR

14.24-25.24% (variable)

Regular APR

13.74-27.24% (variable)

Other things to know

  • $0 balance transfer fee for first 60 days of account opening ($5 or 5% afterwards, whichever is greater)
  • Budgeting tools
Other things to know

  • 3% intro balance transfer fee (up to 5% fee on future balance transfers)
  • No penalty for first late payment
  • Social security number alerts
Other things to know

  • 3% balance transfer fee for first 120 days, then 5%
  • Cellphone protection
  • Budgeting tools

Chase Slate

The Chase Slate card comes with a slightly shorter introductory period than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, but it also doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for the first 60 days ($5 or 5 percent thereafter, whichever is greater). For most cardholders, you’ll save more from the balance transfer fee than what you’ll have to pay in the extra five months of interest charges.

However, the Chase Slate doesn’t come with any sort of rewards program, so if ongoing value is more important to you than an upfront balance transfer fee charge, consider choosing a card with a fee and rewards program.

Discover it Balance Transfer

The Discover it Balance Transfer combines a generous rewards rate with a long intro period for balance transfers. Cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating bonus categories and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. Users also get 18 months of a 0 percent APR to pay down a balance transfer.

Unfortunately, you won’t get quite as good of an intro purchase APR – just 0 percent for the first six months (14.24 to 25.24 percent variable thereafter) with the Discover it. If maximizing the time you have to pay down purchases without interest is your top priority, sticking with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum and sacrificing rewards might make more sense.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

Similar to the U.S. Bank Platinum Visa, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa also comes with a competitive intro APR on both new purchases and balance transfers, cellphone protection and tools to help you manage your spending. Unfortunately, the Wells Fargo Platinum card balance transfer fee ups from 3 percent to 5 percent after the first 120 days.

Who should get the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card?

  • Cardholders who want a long intro APR for both new purchases and balance transfers.
  • Users who will take advantage of perks like cellphone protection.
  • Cardholders who are more focused on avoiding interest charges than earning rewards.

How to use the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card:

  • Make a plan to pay off your balance in the first 18 billing cycles to avoid accruing interest.
  • Avoid charging more than you can pay off by the end of the introductory period.
  • Pay for your cellphone bill with the card to take advantage of the protection.

Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card worth it?

For cardholders dedicated to paying down a balance who are not worried about earning rewards after the intro period, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum offers a top-tier introductory offer on both balance transfers and new purchases. Plus, its cellphone protection benefit can save you on damages.

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