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Greater Metro Platinum Mastercard
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Who is Greater Metro FCU?

Greater Metro Federal Credit Union was originally found in 1970 by a group of IBM employees in the Metropolitan New York area and called IBM Metro Employees FCU. As the economy changed, they modified their charter so they could add IBM business partners into their group. In early 1994, they merged with Varoh Federal Credit Union which served the employees of the Veterans Administration in Manhattan and other select employee groups. The original name (IBM Metro Employees Federal Credit Union) was later changed to Greater Metro Federal Credit Union.

Greater Metro has two credit cards. One is a plain vanilla card whilst the other has a rewards. In this review, we will be reviewing the one with the reward program. The card is called the Greater Metro FCU Platinum Mastercard.


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% for 12 months from date of transfer when transfer is within 6 months of account opening
Regular APR 7.9%
Balance Transfer Fee $0
Chip and PIN Yes - PIN Preferred


Fees - The Greater Metro FCU Platinum Mastercard has no annual fee and they do not charge any balance transfer fees as well.

Rates and Intro Offers - New card members get 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. As we just mentioned, there is no balance transfer fee. After the introductory period ends, the APR is 7.9% which is very low.

Reward Program - This card has a reward program run by CU Rewards. You earn one point per dollar spent on the card and you can redeem the rewards for travel and merchandise.

Chip and PIN - This card has Chip and PIN EMV technology and it is also PIN Preferred. That means that if you use your card (even in the US), you will be asked for a PIN rather than signature. This is very rare among US-based credit cards and this is especially useful when you travel to Europe and Asia where Chip and PIN is so prevalent. It is also more secure than signature.


How To Transfer Your Balance

To transfer a balance, you need to fill out the following balance transfer form. The form has enough space to transfer balances from four accounts.



Being a Mastercard, this card comes with the following benefits:
  • 60 Day Price Protection
  • Cash Advances
  • Extended Warranty
  • Identity Theft Resolution
  • Auto Collision Damage Waiver
  • Travel Accident Insurance


There are very few credit cards offering 0% APR for balance transfer with no balance transfer fees. So I will compare this with a couple of cards (mainly from credit unions) that have no balance transfer fees and also highlight how this card differs from mainstream issuers.

Card Annual Fee Intro APR Intro Period Regular APR Balance Transfer Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
Greater Metro Platinum Mastercard$00%12 Months8.9%$0$0
Greater Metro Mastercard$00%12 Months11.9%$0$0
BECU Visa$00%12 Months6.9% to 12.9%$0$0
BECU Cash Back Visa$00%12 Months9.9% to 15.9%$0$0
Navy Federal$00%12 Months5.99% to 18%$0$0
US Bank Visa Platinum$00%20 Months13.99% to 23.99%Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer3%
Wells Fargo Platinum$00%18 Months16.49% to 24.49%Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer3%


As you can see from the table above, mainstream issuers all have 0% deals with longer introductory periods than Greater Metro. However, at this moment, all of them charge a foreign transaction fee. Only a couple of credit cards (all from credit unions) have 0% APR deals with no balance transfer fees. The two credit cards from BECU have similar 0% APR deals for 12 months with no transfer fee as does the Federal Navy FCU Platinum Card. The Greater Metropolitan FCU has a slight edge in that they can give you up to a $25,000 credit line.

As far as Chip and PIN goes, Greater Metro is one of the very few issuers in the US that has Chip and PIN with PIN preferred or priority rather than Signature Priority. Using a PIN is always safer because signature can be forged and most credit card machines would approve a transaction even if the signature is unlike the cardholders signature.

Though there a quite a few Chip and PIN issuers in the US, most are signature preferred. That means that when you use the cards in the US, you will be asked for your signature rather than PIN number. If you use a Greater Metro credit card in the US, you will be asked to provide your PIN because it is set up that way.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No Balance Transfer Fee - This card offers a 0% intro APR with no balance transfer fee

  • Low Ongoing Rate - The ongoing rate is very low at 7.90%. Most mainstream issuers who offer long intro periods for their teaser 0% APR deals have APRs that start from the mid-teens once the intro period ends.

  • Reward Program - This card also offers a reward program (which is rare for cards that have low ongoing rates).

  • Up to $25,000 Credit Limit - While am excellent credit score and income over time can get you a high credit limit, Greater Metro actually explicitly states that you CAN get UP TO $25,000 credit limit.

Cons

  • Could Use A Longer Intro Period - A 12 month intro period is OK. But many issuers do offer 15 month or even 21 month on their 0% APR deals and many of you will be wanting a slightly longer intro period.


Our Take

The Greater Metro FCU Platinum Mastercard is one of the best credit cards available for balance transfers, ongoing low rate and even for a reward program.

If you are looking for a balance transfer credit card, you will find that mainstream issuers like Citibank, Chase might offer longer introductory periods. However, they all charge a balance transfer fee that is usually in the range of the greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of balance transfer. Depending on how much the balance transfer is, this could amount to a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, the ongoing rate after the balance transfer is usually in the mid teens (on the low end).

While the Greater Metro FCU Platinum Mastercard may only offer a 12 month introductory period, they do not charge any balance transfer fee. Furthermore, after your introductory period ends, the APR is still very low (7.90%) so even if you do not manage to pay off your balance that you transferred over, you still end up paying interest on a very low rate.

Aside from having introductory 0% APR and a low ongoing rate, this card also have a reward program where you can earn one point for every dollar you spend and redeem them for travel and merchandise.

As great as this card is for balance transfers and low rate, this only downside is that it is from a Federal Credit Union and you have to be a member to get your hands on it. However, if you can become a member or are a already a member, then this is a very good card to have if you are either looking for a no balance transfer fee card and/or a low rate card.


Who Can Join Greater MetroPolitan FCU?

The Greater Metro FCU is in New York and members of eligible organizations like the following can join:
  • IBM Corporation
  • The Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Manhattan
  • The Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive
  • Visiting Nurse Service
  • Fedcap Rehabilitation Services
  • The Population Council
  • General Theological Seminary


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