Since there are several rewards credit cards that offer more than 1.25% back (and some even offer 2% back on everything you buy), it’s hard to argue that this card is best for consumers who want to maximize the rewards they can earn on their purchases. The reality is that this card really shines in terms of its low interest rate. This APR is lower than what most cash-back and rewards credit cards charge, making the Simmons Rewards Visa Signature a good option for consumers who occasionally carry a balance.
Just remember that you’ll need excellent credit to qualify, so this card may not work for everyone.
Low ongoing interest rate
Decent introductory 0% interest offer on balance transfers
No sign-up bonus and unimpressive earning rate
Limited redemption options
Longer 0% APR offers exist
- Low ongoing interest rate: This card’s low ongoing interest rate can help you save money on interest whenever you have to carry a balance. For example, say you have a $5,000 balance and can only afford $200 a month to pay it off. With a card charging 21% interest, you’d see $87.50 of your $200 going to interest (at first) and not toward principal. With this card’s 11.75% interest rate, only $48.96 of your $200 would be eaten by interest, which means you’ll pay off the debt that much sooner.
- Decent introductory 0% interest offer on balance transfers: You can also avoid interest on balance transfers made within 60 days with this card for 12 months, which means even more interest savings. Just note, however, that a balance transfer fee applies for the 0% offer. (When the offer expires you can transfer a balance without a fee and pay interest at the ongoing rate.)
- Unimpressive rewards earning rate and no sign-up bonus: Earning a flat 1.25 points for every $1 you spend is better than nothing, but it’s less than you’d earn with many competing cards. Some of the best cash-back credit cards offer 1.5% or even 2% back—and like this card, don’t charge an annual fee. The Simmons Rewards Visa’s lack of a sign-up bonus is another disappointment, especially when you consider that competing no-annual-fee cards offer bonuses of $150 or more.
- Limited redemption options: Rewards earned with this card have to be redeemed through the Simmons Bank rewards portal, which means you have fewer options than some other cards. You can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and travel, for example, but all rewards have to go through the Simmons Bank rewards website.
- Longer 0% interest balance transfer offers exist: If you were thinking of signing up for this card for the balance transfer offer, note that many cards in this category come with 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 to 21 months.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature lets cardholders earn 1.25 rewards points for every $1 spent. There are no bonus categories that let you earn more than the base rate, and no rotating categories, either.
If you’re looking for a card that offers a higher ongoing rate of rewards for each dollar you spend, you won’t have to look very hard.
Points expire three years from the last date of the month during the month you earned them. For example, points earned Nov. 10, 2019 will expire Nov. 30, 2022. Points are redeemed “first in, first out.”
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature requires you to redeem rewards through the bank’s online rewards portal or over the telephone with customer service. Redemption options include airfare, hotels, gift cards, and merchandise. Regardless of how you redeem them, your points are worth 1 cent each.
While having so many ways to redeem your rewards sounds good in theory, note that this rewards program holds you “hostage” to its rewards portal. Some competing cards let you book any travel you want, for example, from wherever you want, and then allow you to redeem points to cover the charges on your statement. This card limits you to travel options Simmons Bank makes available.
As a rule of thumb, a rewards point value of 1 cent or more is considered good value. So while many rewards programs offer more than 1 cent per point for certain redemptions, plenty of others offer less—sometimes much less.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Because you’ll earn a flat rate of 1.25 points for each dollar you spend, using your card for all your regular purchases and bills is the best way to maximize rewards. Redemption is just as uncomplicated, as you’ll redeem your points at the rate of 1 cent each via the Simmons rewards portal.
If you have balances on cards with higher interest rates, the 0% balance transfer offer and the relatively low ongoing variable interest rate can help you save on interest charges. Be aware that if you want to transfer a balance after the 60-day window for the intro deal is closed, you still can, but you’ll pay the regular ongoing variable APR of 11.75%. However, you won’t have to pay a balance transfer fee.
You’ll forfeit all your Rewards Points if you close your account without redeeming them. Make sure you cash in your points before you close your credit card.
Simmons Rewards Visa Signature's Excellent Perks
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature does offer one perk considered “excellent” by the editors of The Balance:
- Travel accident insurance: Qualify for up to $1 million in travel accident insurance coverage in the event of accidental loss of life or dismemberment on a common carrier. You must pay the full amount of your common carrier fare (train fare, airfare, taxi fare, etc.) with your credit card to qualify.
Simmons Rewards Visa Signature's Other Features
- Extended warranties
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
- Travel and emergency hotline
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature offers 24-hour customer service and online banking. Simmons Bank also offers a mobile app that lets you make payments, transfer funds, and monitor your purchases from your mobile device.
Simmons Bank offers standard security features for the industry including two-factor authentication and chip-enabled technology. Customers can also set up alerts to monitor account activity.
Simmons Rewards Visa Signature Fees
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature comes with a standard selection of fees, but you’ll have to pay a foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad.