Executive Summary -
There are no rewards programs for this card. Neither can you earn cash back. But what you get is a card which gives you an incredible low rate. If you carry a balance occasionally and you have excellent credit, then this is one card you must seriously consider.
There are extreme ends in the credit card segment. On the one end are cards competing in the rewards spectrum. Huge sign up bonus miles and points are the norm here (50,000 points is not uncommon). Airline credit cards are constantly added new features like free first baggage and companion tickets. Cash back cards are adding merchants to their online shopping portal all the time. Because of the cost of running these programs, most do not offer the most competitive interest rates.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have cards constantly offer 0% teaser deals to get sign ups. Balance transfer deals of 15 to 24 months are not as uncommon as you think. Many cards are also offer 0% interest rate on purchases for such long periods. They hope that by enticing consumer with these deals, many would stick around and continue using the card after the introductory period expires. While their teaser rates are great (who can fault zero percent), the on going rates thereafter tend not to be the lowest either.
Yet, there are some consumers who do not want the frills of these rewards but would rather have a low rate card that was consistent, doesn't change rates all the time and have good customer service. They simply want a card they could use all the time and do not like switching cards and chasing the latest deals. And it is in this segment that there are very cards competing. But the ones that do offer the best rates in town. And this card from First Simmons certainly does. And in fact, it probably has the lowest ongoing interest rate in the market today.
What Do You Get - Low Rates - The key highlight of this card is the low rate that you get - at 7.25%. Many cards have a range of interest rates which different customers would get depending on their credit profiles. But this one has just one low rate. This means that you have to have really excellent to get it. Like most cards today, there is no annual fee. There is no teaser balance transfer offer so if you transfer an existing balance over, your rate will be 7.25%. The good thing though is that you will not be charged a balance transfer fee whenever you move your existing balance over. The APR for cash advance is rather low as well at 11.25%. Another thing that I really like about this card is that you get a 25 grace period (in contrast to most cards which give you 20 or 21 days grace period).
What Does This Compare With Other Low Rate Cards?
While there are less "really low rate" cards, there are still a couple that may give this cards some competition. For example, the Iberia Bank Visa® Classic also has a rate of 7.25%. But not all of those approved will get that rate. Some may get 10.25% or 13.25% depending on their credit status. Iberia has a BT deal (1.99% for 6 months versus none for this card) though they do charge a balance transfer fee. As far as rates go, they are both equal though you run the risk of not getting the lowest rate with Iberia whereas with Simmons First, you get 7.25% if you are approved.
Another card that is pretty close to this one is the increasing popular BarclayCard Ring MasterCard®, which has a flat 8% interest rate for everything (BT and cash advance also) and it also does not have a BT fee. The interesting aspect of the Barclays Ring Card is that card members get to vote on new features! This has attracted lots of sign ups.
As we mentioned earlier, this card does not have any teaser deals. Hence, it loses out to some cards in this area. For example, in the BT area, the best cards have 0% deals for 15 to 18 months. The same goes for 0% APR for purchases where the best deals also run from 15 to 18 months. But what this card offers that these other deal driven card do not is a very low ongoing interest rate.
If you are looking for reward card with low interest rate, Simmons First has a version of this with rewards. The rate is slightly higher though at 9.25%.
Simmons First - Great Low Rate Card
After looking at the rates and comparing it to it's closest peers, I can say with confidence that this card has the lowest ongoing APR in the market today. There are no reward programs. There are also no 0% teaser deals. You need excellent credit to get this card. But if all you are looking for is card with very low interest because you carry a balance, then this is one of the few cards you should consider.