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BECU Visa Credit Card
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Who Is BECU?

BECU was founded by 18 Boeing Employees in 1935 and was originally called Fellowship Credit Union. It was later changed to Boeing Employees Credit Union. It offers a range of financial services to it's members and also a couple of credit cards. In this review, we will be looking at the BECU Visa card. It turns out that it is one of the rare cards offering 0% APR deals with no balance transfer fee and also a low APR after the intro period ends. Let's find out more about this card.


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% for 12 months from date of transfer when transfer is within 90 days of account opening
Regular APR 6.9% to 12.9% Variable
Cash Advance APR 6.9% to 12.9% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee $0
Cash Advance Fee $0
Late Payment $25


Fees - The BECU Visa does not have any annual fee. It also does not charge any foreign transaction fee or balance transfer fee.

Rates and 0% APR Intro Deal - The BECU Visa offers a 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfer for 12 months. As we have just mentioned, there is no balance transfer fee. Furthermore the regular purchase APR after the introductory period ends ranges from 6.9% to 12.9%, which is very low even if you get 12.9%.


Visa Benefits

As BECU 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 Waiber


Loan Reprice Program

One of the key benefits with having a relationship with BECU is that every year, your account is evaluated and if your credit scores are improving, BECU can and will reduce the interest rate that you are paying for any of the products you have with them (be it credit cards, loans etc). This is a feature that very banks have. In fact, very often, trying to get a bank to lower your interest rates is just impossible.


Different BECU Credit Card Designs

BECU has 4 other different designs to choose from:

becu wsu becu uw

becu retirees becu boeing employees


Competition

Since the BECU Visa has a 0% APR deal with no balance transfer fees and a low APR after the intro period ends, we will compare credit cards with either 0% APR deals and/or those with low rates.

Card Annual Fee Intro APR Intro Period Regular APR Balance Transfer Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
BECU Visa $0 0% 12 Months 6.9% to 12.9% $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 0% 12 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0
Citi DoubleCash $0 0% 18 Months 13.99% to 23.99% $5 or 3% $0
Citi Diamond Preferred $0 0% 21 Months 13.74% to 23.74% $5 or 5% $0
Wells Fargo Platinum $0 0% 18 Months 16.49% to 24.49% $5 or 5% $0


Balance Transfer Fee - As you can see from the table above, many mainstream credit card issuers offer 0% APR deals for purchases and balance transfers. However, at this moment, there is not one which has no balance transfer fee. The Chase Slate for the longest time, used to give new cardholders 0% APR for 15 months with no balance transfer fee. However, they no longer offer this card. So at this moment, no mainstream issuers waive their balance transfer fee when they offer 0% APR deals. The balance transfer fee is typically the greater of $5 or 3% of the balance transfer amount.

Start of Balance Transfer - The 12 month intro period for BECU Visa starts when the balance transfer is complete. You are allowed up to 90 days to transfer your balance. In contrast many mainstream cards like the Wells Fargo Platinum or Citi Diamond Preferred starts the intro period when you get your card. So for both these cards, you have to apply for the balance transfer during the online application. BECU gives you time to sort this out.

Low Ongoing APR - Furthermore, we also observe that after the introductory period, most credit cards offer higher APRs than BECU. Even if you get the highest APR for BECU (after the intro period), it will still be lower than most other cards offering 0% deals. For example, the Wells Fargo Platinum has a regular APR of between 16.49% and 24.49%.

No Foreign Transaction Fee and Cash Advance Fee - Most credit cards offer 0% APR deals for balance transfer also charge a foreign transaction fee. Though some issuers like Capital One do not charge foreign transaction fees on all their cards, most cards that have no such fees are travel rewards cards or premium credit cards. BECU is one of the few issuers that does not charge any foreign transaction fee and cash advance fees. Though we never encourage anyone to do cash advance with their credit cards, it is good to know that you will not be charged any fee if you do need it.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No Annual Fee - Like most credit cards, the BECU Visa has no annual fee.

  • No Balance Transfer Fee - This is a big one. Most credit cards offering 0% APR deals charge a balance transfer fee. BECU is one of the rare issuers that does not charge any balance transfer fee on their 12 month 0% APR deal.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee - BECU is one of the rare non-travel rewards credit card that does not charge any foreign transaction fee. This makes it an ideal card to use when you travel abroad.

  • No Cash Advance Fee - While we discourage using credit cards for cash advances unless in an emergency, it is good to know that BECU does not charge any cash advance fee.

  • Low Ongoing APR - Most credit cards that offer a "range" of possible APR start at a low APR level and progress to a high level. Therefore, you might end up getting a high APR rather than a low one. BECU's Visa has a range between 6.9% to 12.9%. Even at 12.9%, it is considerably lower than the average of most credit cards.

  • Chip and Pin - Most US based credit cards use Chip and Signature technology. However, in Europe and Asia, Chip and PIN is more common and more secure for transactions because you actually have to key in your PIN number rather than just your signature (which is easily forged). BECU's credit cards use Chip and PIN technology.

Cons

  • No Reward Program - This is a plain vanilla low rate card and has no reward program. As an alternative, BECU has a Cash Back card that has a 1.5% cash back rewards.



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 Visa is a rare credit card that offers a good 0% APR deal for both purchases and balance transfers and does not charge any balance transfer fees. Furthermore, the ongoing rate after the end of the introductory period is very low. The one downside is that there is no reward program.

If all you want is a good balance transfer credit card with no transfer fee, then this is a great card to get. The rate after the intro period is also low so from this perspective, this is a keeper card if you occasionally carry a balance.

Before you get too excited, you should first check if you are eligible to join BECU. If you are, then this is definitely one of the top balance transfer cards to get.


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