If you’ve got excellent credit and don’t pay off your credit card bills in full each month, a low-interest card is the way to go. And with a variable APR under 10%, the Simmons Visa Card is one of the best you’ll find. You won’t get any rewards, sign-up bonuses, or VIP perks, but those features mean less if you keep a balance, since finance charges usually erase the value of any cash back or points you earn anyway.
Very low APR
Balance transfers with no fee
No rewards or sign-up bonus
Tough to qualify
- Very low APR: The single-digit variable rate is less than half the average interest rate for a credit card, based on The Balance’s analysis, and it applies to balance transfers as well as purchases. Even the cash advance APR (13.25% variable) is lower than on many cards.
- Balance transfers with no fee: If you act within 60 days of opening your account, you’ll get 12 months interest-free on any balances you move to this card after paying a 3% fee on the transferred balance. What happens on any transfers made after that may be more important, though. You’ll pay the regular (still low) APR, but Simmons Bank won’t charge you a balance transfer fee. This means you can use a higher-APR card to earn rewards and then transfer your balance to this card to reduce your finance charges. (More on this below.)
- No rewards or sign-up bonus: These days credit cards come with all sorts of rewards on your purchases, and you’ll be missing out on all of them. This card doesn’t offer cash back on your spending or points or miles that can be used toward travel fare or online shopping. The only real selling point of the Simmons Visa Card is the APR, so if you don’t regularly carry a balance, look elsewhere.
- Tough to qualify for: Such an impressive interest rate is typically a privilege reserved for those with excellent credit, and that’s probably what you’ll need to get this card.
A rewards card only makes sense if you can commit to paying off your balance in full each month. Not only are the APRs typically higher for rewards cards, but the payouts essentially become moot if you’re racking up finance charges as fast as points.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Pairing this card with a rewards card that doesn’t charge an annual fee may be worthwhile if you only run a balance occasionally or just on certain types of expenses. Maybe you need a few months to catch up after the holidays, or you only carry a balance on less regular expenses like car repairs and medical bills.
You could pay for everything with the rewards card and then transfer any portion of your balance that you’re not going to pay in full to the Simmons Visa Card. You’d earn rewards on your purchases with the companion card, you wouldn’t have to pay a fee to transfer the balance to the Simmons card (as long as it’s more than 60 days after you’ve opened your account), and you’d then be paying one of the lowest APRs available.
Only try this strategy if having a rewards card won’t tempt you to spend more than you normally would, and if you know you can be vigilant about transferring your balances from the rewards card to the Simmons card whenever you have to carry a balance.
If you carry a balance more than occasionally, your best bet is to focus on reducing your debt. Transfer your high-interest debt to this card during the first 60 days you have the account so you can get the 0% APR deal for 12 months. (Keep in mind you’ll have a 3% transfer fee.) Or check out other cards with 0% APR balance transfer deals.
Simmons Visa Card’s Excellent Perks
This card comes with very few benefits, but one is among those we’ve classified as excellent because of its superior value:
- Travel accident insurance: Get up to $1 million in accident insurance at no additional cost. This covers you, your spouse and your dependent children if there’s an incident while you’re a passenger on a flight or other eligible trip you’ve paid for with your card.
Simmons Visa Card’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
Simmons Bank makes customer service representatives available 24/7. It also offers a mobile app for credit card customers, though it’s not integrated with the app used by customers of its retail bank, which operates more than 200 branches in the Midwest. (A company spokesperson says they’re working on this.)
The Simmons Visa has standard security features, including opt-in fraud monitoring services that will send you texts or emails if potentially suspicious activity is detected.
Simmons Visa Card’s Fees
The Simmons Visa doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee except if you use the 0% APR promotion on balance transfers (available during your first 60 days with the card), and then the fee is 3% or $10, whichever is greater. Otherwise, the card has fairly standard fees. It’s worth noting that you will be charged 2% of any foreign transactions, so you should avoid using this card if you travel abroad.