US Bank Balance Transfer Offers Are Good, But Not Great

US Bank logoIt’s that time of year where balance transfers are on everyone’s mind. And the banks know this, so they usually offer some of the most enticing 0% promotions around this time of year. But if that’s what you’re after, how do the US Bank credit cards compare to the competition?

I looked on and saw a lot of different cards (30 total) and out of those, only 5 of them come with a 0% incentive for 2013. Here they are…

0% for 6 months (on balance transfers only)

  • FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa Card

0% for 9 months (on both transfers and purchases)

  • Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Visa
  • Fred Meyer Rewards Visa
  • Ralphs Rewards Plus Visa

0% for 12 months (on both transfers and purchase)

Judging by those numbers, as you can see that US Bank’s 0% balance transfers aren’t exactly anything to write home about. They’re not the worst on the market, but they’re far from being the best. Especially when you consider the fact that all of their credit cards come with a transfer fee of at least 3%:

fees on US Bank card

If you compare them to competition, you will see that the other major banks right now are giving a 0% intro for up to 14, 15, and even 18 months depending on the offer you go with. All of these beat US Bank hands down, especially considering that you might get a longer offer with no balance transfer fee.

When to go with US Bank?

Make no mistake about it, they’re a good bank, but just not for doing transfers. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it just means they are being more risk adverse when it comes to lending out money. Given that the economy is still moving sideways, I can’t say that I blame them.

I see US Bank’s biggest strength being their co-branded reward cards. They have the Ace Rewards Visa which gives 3% rewards at Ace Hardware stores and 5% after you reach a minimum spend of $12,000 anywhere Visa is accepted in a calendar year. If you have young kids, then the Gymboree credit card offers a 5% discount at their stores. And I saved my favorite for last- the Harley Davidson card has good rewards and has different versions available, depending on your credit.

Best BT deal of 2013?

If you’re balance is currently NOT on a Discover credit card (since you can’t do BT’s within the same bank), then my first recommendation would be this current offer they’re running for this new card they launched:

On the other hand, if your credit card debt is currently on a Discover account, then you will have to choose someone different. Since US Bank’s 0% APR offers aren’t very long, I would recommend you compare them to 0% cards from other banks.

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