US Bank Visa® Platinum
REVIEW

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Picture of US Bank Visa Platinum
By : Mr Credit Card

In A Nutshell: US Bank Visa Platinum Is Great For 0% APR Financing For 20 Months

The US Bank Visa® Platinum has the longest intro period (20 months) for a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfer today. It is a great card for those who intend to make a large purchase and do 0% APR financing through a credit card. For those of you looking to transfer a balance over, it does however, charge a balance transfer fee so you should compare this card with other 0% credit cards with no balance transfer fee also. This card also provides cell phone insurance for up to $600 with a $25 deductible.

After the intro period ends, benefits like cell phone protection are useful. Having a US Bank credit card can also waive your monthly fee if you have a "Gold checking account". However, the lack of reward program, foreign transaction fee and just an average to high APR after the intro period ends makes this card a candidate for the drawer rather than a keeper card.


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% Intro APR for 20 months from date of transfer when transfer is within 60 days of account opening
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR for 20 months
Regular APR 13.99% to 23.99%
Balance Transfer Fee Greater of $5 or 3% of balance transfer
Foreign Transaction Fee 2% for foreign transaction or withdraw cash from foreign ATM in USD
3% for foreign transaction or withdraw cash from foreign ATM in foreign currency
Chip and PIN No - only Chip and Signature


0% APR for 20 Months on Purchases and balance transfers - New card members get 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers. You are allowed 60 days to transfer your balance over from another financial institution.

Balance Transfer Fee - There is a balance transfer fee of the greater of $5 or 3% of balance transfer.

Foreign Transaction Fee - The US Bank Visa Platinum also charges a foreign transaction fee. You are charge a 2% fee if you make a foreign transaction or withdraw cash from a foreign ATM in US Dollars. You are charged a 3% fee if you make a foreign transaction or withdraw cash from a foreign ATM in a foreign currency.

Regular APR: 13.99% to 23.99% - The regular APR after the introductory period ranges from 13.99% to 23.99%. It is not exactly a low APR. 13.99% slightly below average and 23.99% is definitely on the high side.

Chip and Signature - Like most US based issuers, US Bank's cards are all Chip and Signature and not Chip and PIN.

Cell Phone Insurance Protection - Card holders who pay their cell phone bills with the card. You are covered up to $600 for damages, theft and loss of a cell phone. You can claim up to $1,200 a year. The main line and additional lines are covered. There is a $25 deductible if you file a claim.



Competition

Card 0% APR Purchase 0% APR BT Regular APR Balance Transfer Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
US Bank Visa Platinum 20 Months 20 Months 13.99% to 23.99% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Wells Fargo Platinum 18 Months 18 Months 16.49% to 24.49% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Citi Simplicity 18 Months 18 Months 14.74% to 24.74% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Citi Diamond Preferred 18 Months 18 Months 14.74% to 24.74% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Citi Double Cash N.A. 18 Months 13.99% to 23.99% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer $0
Greater Metro Platinum Mastercard 12 Months 12 Months 8.9% $0 $0
Greater Metro Mastercard 12 Months 12 Months 11.9% $0 $0
BECU Visa 12 Months 12 Months 6.9% to 12.9% $0 $0
BECU Cash Back Visa Months 12 Months 9.9% to 15.9% $0 $0
Navy Federal 12 Months 12 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0


If you look at the table above, I have listed some of US Banks competitors. Many of them are from mainstream issuers who have cards offering long intro periods on their 0% teaser deals. But I have also listed some credit cards from credit unions who do offer shorter 0% APR deals but do not charge any balance transfer fee.

If you look at the table above, it is clear that at this moment, the US Bank Visa Platinum has the longest introductory period among all cards offer 0% APR deals today. 20 months is the longest followed by 18 months by cards from Citi. They include the Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Simplicity Card, both of which 0% APR for 18 months on both purchases and balance transfers.

If you are looking for a 0% APR credit card for a large purchase that you intend to make, then this card is a no brainer. However, I do also have to point out that if you are looking to do a balance transfer, there are also credit cards available that have no balance transfer fee. Most of these are from credit unions and the intro period is only 12 months. The examples I listed in the table include the BECU Visa, the BECU Cash Back Credit Card and the Greater Metro FCU Platinum Mastercard. They all have 0% APR deals for both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. While 12 months is not attractive compared to 20 months offered by US Bank, their balance transfer offer all do not charge any balance transfer fee (in contrast to US Bank). For some of you, having a shorter intro period but not having to pay any balance transfer fee is better than having a longer intro period but having to pay a BT fee. For others, the reverse holds true. You have to do your calculations and math to figure which is better for you.

These other no balance transfer fee credit cards have a couple of things going for them that US Bank doe not. Firstly, they do not charge any foreign transaction fee while US Bank does. Secondly, they offer Chip and PIN cards vs Chip and Signature for the US Bank Visa Platinum. So these cards are better for using when you travel abroad whereas I would not use the US Bank card abroad.


Pros and Cons

Pros

Longest Intro Period for 0% APR - At this moment, 20 months is the long intro period for a 0% APR deal. This is 2 months longer than the second longest intro period of 18 months.

60 Days to Transfer Balance for 0% Deal - You are allowed 60 days to transfer your balance. This gives you enough time to plan ahead and you do not have to rush into it during application time.

Cell Phone Loss/Theft and Damage Insurance - Card members who pay their cell phone bills with this card will get cell phone loss/theft and damage protection for up to $600.

Cons

Balance Transfer Fee - The 0% APR balance transfer deal for 20 months comes with a balance transfer fee. While many of you will benefit from the very long intro period, you also have to evaluate whether a credit card with a shorter intro period but no balance transfer fee is better.

Foreign Transaction Fee - This card charges a foreign transaction fee and is not the ideal card to use abroad.

Chip and Signature not PIN - All US Bank credit cards come with Chip and Signature technology with no PIN. While Chip and Signature works abroad, not having PIN technology seems so backward these days.

Free Credit Score is not FICO - While it is great the US Bank give their cardholders a free credit score, what they offer is a TransUnion Vantage score and not an actual FICO score.

No Rewards - This card has no reward program.


Our Take

Great for 0% Financing on Large Purchases and Probably Balance Transfer

At this moment, the US Bank Visa Platinum has the longest 0% Intro APR among it's peers. 20 months is 2 months longer than it's nearest rivals. It is a great card for those of you who want to make a large purchase and get 0% financing. The US bank Visa Platinum allows you to get 0% APR financing for 20 months (which is nearly 2 years).

As far as balance transfer goes, 20 months is a very long intro period despite the fact that you have to pay a balance transfer fee. You should do your own calculations and check out 0% credit cards with no balance transfer fee. These cards tend to have shorter intro periods (mostly 12 months) and most of them are credit cards from credit unions. Some of you may find that credit cards with no balance transfer fee are a better fit but I suspect most of you will be better off with a 20 month intro period despite having to pay a balance transfer fee.

Should You Keep or Use This Card After The Intro Period Ends?

While we can all agree that this is a great card if you want to take advantage of their 0% deal, we have to answer the question of should you keep and use this card after the intro period ends.

As we highlighted earlier, there are a couple of things about this card that does not make it a keeper card. Firstly, as far as APR goes, the ongoing regular APR after the intro period ends is not low. The best we can say is that if you get the low end of the range of APR being offered, the rate is average. And if you get the higher end of the range, then the APR is rather high. If you carry a balance occasionally, then this is not the best card to have as there are many other credit cards with much lower APRs.

Another reason why this is not a keeper card is because there is no reward program. If you have paid off your balance from the intro deal and you are the type of person that pays your bills in full every month, then you should get a credit card with a reward program.

The US bank Visa Platinum also charges a foreign transaction fee. This coupled with the fact that it is Chip and Signature and NOT Chip and PIN means this is not the ideal credit card to use when you travel abroad.

Despite all of the above, there are a couple of features that makes this card or any US Bank card worth keeping. They do offer cell phone insurance protection (which very few credit cards offer). Secondly, having a US Bank credit will waive your monthly fee if your balance falls below the minimum amount for those of you with a "Gold Checking Account".

To Sum: How You Should Use the US Bank Visa Platinum

To sum up, this is how you should use the US Bank Visa Platinum.

  • Take Advantage of the 0% APR Intro Offer
  • If you have a US Bank Gold Checking Account or/and if you value the cell phone insurance feature, either keep the card or PC (product change to another US Bank credit card with rewards)
  • If you do not have a US Bank Gold Checking account and or do not care about the cell phone insurance, then keep the card but do not use it. Instead, get another card that better suits you need after the intro period ends.