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BECU Cash Back Visa Credit Card
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Intro: BECU Cash Back Visa Credit Card

 

At first glance, the Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) Cash Back Visa Credit Card is just another run of the mill 1.5% cash back credit cards (and there are quite a few of them). However, it does have a couple of interesting features which makes it stand apart from it's peers. One of it's most attractive feature is that they offer a 0% APR deal with no balance transfer fee (which is extremely rare today). It is also one of the rare no annual fee cash back credit cards that actually has no foreign transaction fee. Let's find out more about this card.


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Cash Back Rewards 1.5% on all purchases
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% for 12 months from date of transfer when transfer is within 90 days of account opening
Regular APR 9.9% to 15.9% Variable
Cash Advance APR 9.9% to 15.9% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee $0
Cash Advance Fee $0


Cash Back Rewards - At the heart of this, the BECU Cash Back Visa is a flat rate cash back card that gives you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Cash Back Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits and you can earn unlimited cash back.

Fees and Rates - There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and no balance transfer fee. This is actually pretty unique for a cash back credit card. The APR after the intro period ranges from 9.9% to 15.9% (which is at the lower end of most credit cards).

Intro APR - BECU offer a 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. As mentioned earlier, there is no balance transfer fee. This makes it one of the very rare credit card with zero interest offer and no balance transfer fee.


Visa Benefits

As this is a Visa credit card, it comes with the following Visa Benefits:
  • Warranty Manager
  • Roadside Dispatch
  • Worldwide Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Price Protection
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption


Different BECU Credit Card Designs

BECU has 4 other different designs to choose from:

becu wsu becu uw

becu retirees becu boeing employees


Competition

The are many cash back credit cards offering a flat rate of 1.5%. However, one of the main reasons you are considering BECU is because they do not charge any balance transfer fee for their 0% balance transfer deal. They also do not charge any foreign transaction fee. We will be doing our comparisons based on these factors.

Card Annual Fee Cash Back Balance Transfer Intro APR Regular APR Balance Transfer Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
BECU Cash Back Visa $0 1.5% 0% APR for 12 Months 9.9% to 15.9% $0 $0
Greater Metro Mastercard $0 0% 12 Months 11.9% $0 $0
Greater Metro Mastercard $0 0% 12 Months 8.9% $0 $0
Navy Federal $0 N.A. 0% APR for 12 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0
Citi Double Cash $0 2% 0% APR for 18 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited $0 1.5% 0% APR for 15 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0
Wells Fargo Cash Wise $0 1.5% 0% APR for 15 Months 14.49% to 24.99% $10 or 5% 3%
Capital One QuickSilver $0 1.5% No Balance Transfer Deal 15.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% 3% $0
Amex Cash Magnet $0 1.5% 0% for 15 Months on Purchase Only 13.99% to 23.99% Cannot Transfer Balance 2.7%


Cash Back Perspective - As you can see from the table above, most flat rate cash back credit cards give you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. So BECU is competitive with it's peers as far as the flat rate payout goes. The one standout among flat rate cash back credit cards is the Citi DoubleCash which gives you 2% cash back.

No Balance Transfer Fee - Like some of it's 1.5% cash back credit card peers, BECU offers an introductory 0% APR deal. In this case, the terms are that new cardholders get 0% APR for 12 months for both purchases and balance transfers. Many of it's mainstream 1.5% cash back peers have longer introductory periods. For example, The Citi DoubleCash offers an introductory period of 18 months for their balance transfer. But BECU is the only 1.5% flat rate card to have no balance fees on their 0% APR deal.

Foreign Transaction Fees - BECU is one of the rare cash back credit cards that does not charge any foreign transaction fee. Most of their peers charge a foreign transaction. The only exception is Cap One Venture (though they do not have a 0% balance transfer deal).

No Sign Up Bonus - BECU does not offer any sign up bonuses. But that does not make it a bad thing. The reason is that most cash back cards that have 0% intro offer begin their intro period when you get approved of the card. To get your sign up bonus, you need to spend a certain amount on the card to earn it. So even if you meet your sign up bonus spending requirements during your first month and pay it off in full, you reduce your balance transfer introductory period for one billing cycle. With no sign up bonus, you avoid this problem.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No Annual Fee - Like most credit cards, this one has no annual fee.

  • 1.5% Cash Back - Let's be clear about this. Many cash back credit cards offer 1.5% cash back. At the very least, I would say that this card from BECU is competitive with it's peers.

  • 0% APR Deal with no balance transfer fee - Probably the most attractive feature of this card. Many 0% APR deals with longer introductory periods charge a balance transfer fee. The BECU Cash Back Visa is one of the rare cards that offer a 0% APR deal with no balance transfer fee.

  • Have 90 days to make your intro offer balance transfer - You have quite a bit of time to consolidate all your accounts with this BECU card.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees - Most of BECU's flat rate 1.5% cash back peers charge a foreign transaction fee. BECU does not, which makes this a great card to use when you travel abroad.

Cons

  • No Sign Up Bonus - Most cash back credit cards offer some sort of sign up bonus where if you spend a certain amount within a number of days of your account opening, you will earn some bonus cash back. BECU does not offer any such deals. However, I do not look at this as a real negative because they main reason you want to get this card is for the 0% balance transfer deal where you pay no balance transfer fee. Spending to meet the sign up bonus would reduce your credit lines for balance transfer anyway so I do not see this as being a big negative at all.

  • Cash Back Can Only Be Redeemed For Statement Credit - The cash back you earn with BECU can only be redeemed for statement credit. That might not be an issue with some of you but there are other cash back credit cards that allow you to redeem your cash back either via checks or direct deposit. Some of you may prefer these alternatives.


How to Join?

You can join BECU if you meet the following criteria.
If You Live or am a Business Owner if the following area - You are eligible if you live or am a business owner in the Washington State or select counties of Idaho and Oregon. Select counties of Oregon include Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill Counties. Eligible counties in Idaho include Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce and Shoshone.

Employees of BECU, Boeing or any Credit Union - Employees, retirees and volunteers of the above organizations are eligible to join BECU. If fact, families members of these people can also join.

Member, Employee, Volunteer and Retiree of UWAA, WSUAA, KEXP and NWCUF - UWAA (University of Washington Alumni Association), WSUAA ((Washington State University Alumni Association), NWCUF (NW Credit Union Foundation).
 


Our Take

The BECU Cash Back Visa is a great credit card overall though it may not seem so at first glance if all you care about is cash back. There are many cash back credit cards offer a fixed rate of 1.5% cash back. Furthermore, Citi has a card called the Citi Double that actually gives you 2% cash back. So from a cash back earning perspective, it is competitive with the current market offering but that is it.

However, there are a couple of other things really going for it. Firstly, there is no foreign transaction fee. Many of the 1.5% cash back credit cards that it's competitor offer have foreign transaction fee. With no foreign transaction fee, you can use this card abroad and not worry about the typical 1% to 3% charge.

But perhaps the best feature of this card is that there is a 0% APR teaser deal for both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months and you are not charged any balance transfer fee. 12 months as an intro period is MEH, but having not transfer fee is becoming a rarity in today's world. Since this card does not offer any sign up bonus, you make make use of your full credit limit for balance transfer and not worry about missing up on sign up bonus.

If you are looking for a no balance transfer fee credit card with a 0% APR offer, this is one of the rare credit cards to consider. Furthermore, this is a keeper card after the intro period ends because you get to earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases.


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