Q: I currently have a checking and a savings account with US Bank and they sent me a pre-approved offer in the mail for the US Bank Visa Platinum card. I like their bank but don’t really get why I should get excited about this card. Am I wrong?
A: That depends on what you are looking for. The US Bank Platinum Visa won’t be for everybody. The biggest drawback for 2015 is this:
- No rewards program. If you carry a balance, this shouldn’t be a priority for you anyway. But if you pay in full each month, then you would be better off with one of their other cards like the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards.
Meanwhile the biggest benefits that come with it are:
- Long 0% promotion. This card often features a good 0% intro rate on purchases and/or balance transfers.
- Low APR after promotion. After the intro offer expires, the interest rate for those with excellent credit is definitely below average.
Conclusion? Apply for it if you carry a balance (and you like the idea of a plain vanilla card). If you don’t, go with something else.
When it comes to benefits, there is a noteworthy perk worth mentioning… your credit score. Internet banking customers will get to access their Experian credit score for free through US Bank. Keep in mind this won’t be your FICO, but rather a PLUS Score, which is a credit scoring model developed by Experian for consumer use. Even though it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison to your FICO number, it still can be a good tool for monitoring your creditworthiness.
The other benefits are your typical Visa Platinum card benefits. You get auto rental insurance for collision and theft, emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement. Obviously, these perks aren’t anything exciting and you will find them on almost every credit card on the market.
Without rewards, it will have limited appeal. The only people who should apply for the US Bank Visa Platinum card are those who either (a) currently carry a balance, or (b) plan to carry a balance. It’s a very vanilla card that serves one purpose and that’s it. If you fit that profile then this is a great choice. However, for everyone else who pays their balance in full, you will be better off with a cash back or airline rewards card.