This credit card has one primary use: to pay down debt or to make a big purchase and enjoy a long, interest-free period to pay it off. If you have excellent credit, and you’re looking to do these things, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better offer on the market nowadays.
We wouldn’t recommend this card if you’re looking for a rewards card, or even a card that will continue to benefit you indefinitely. That’s because its major benefit only lasts for a defined period of time (a long period of time, but one with a fixed end date nonetheless), and the card doesn’t earn rewards. You can find better options elsewhere for earning rewards over the long term if that’s what you’re interested in.
Long 0% APR offers
Few perks or bonuses
Limited value after the intro period ends
- Long 0% APR offers: This card’s main attraction is its long 0% APR offers: a full 20 months at 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers. That could save you hundreds of dollars. No other card in our database offers a longer 0% intro offer.
- Cellphone protection: There aren’t many noteworthy perks beyond the introductory 0% APR promotion. But if you use your card to pay your cellphone bill, each phone on the account will be covered against damage and theft.
- Few perks or bonuses: There’s not a lot here besides those twin 0% intro APR offers and the cellphone protection. That said, it’s also true that few pure balance transfer cards in our database offer lucrative new-cardholder bonuses and rewards programs.
- Limited value after the intro period ends: Beyond the lack of bonuses and rewards with this card, it’s also tied to a middle-of-the-road ongoing interest rate. You can’t rely on this card after those intro offers end to help you save on interest should you need to still carry a balance. If you can accept a shorter introductory 0% interest period (say, 15 months), you can find cards that might give you a lower ongoing APR. And if you can choose either a balance transfer offer or an intro purchase offer, you’ll find many more strong contenders to choose from.
If you’re looking to transfer a balance, make sure you do it soon after opening the account. The 0% APR offer only applies to balance transfers you complete within the first 60 days after you open the account.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
The real strength of this card is as a financing tool for a large purchase.
Let’s say you want to get LASIK eye surgery for $5,000. Normally, if you paid off that whole balance within 20 months using a card with the average interest rate (20.21% APR as of September 2020, according to our analysis), you’d end up paying $931 in interest by the time you closed the debt. But if you commit to paying it off within 20 months using this card, you’d avoid paying all that interest—quite a deal.
This card will also help you pay down your existing credit card balances—but there is a 3% balance transfer fee you’ll have to pay. Do the math using a balance transfer calculator to figure out if the transfer is worth it. If it’ll cost you a $300 fee to transfer a $10,000 balance from another card but only $200 in interest to pay that card off without the transfer, then it doesn’t make sense to do the transfer. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) most cards charge a high enough interest rate that even with the balance transfer fee it still makes sense, but it’s still good to check first.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum’s Excellent Perks
This card doesn’t offer much in the way of extra perks, but there is one thing we’d consider particularly good:
- Cellphone coverage: If you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card, you will be covered for up to $600 if it’s damaged or stolen. You can file twice per 12-month period ($1,200 total), and any phone on the account is covered. There is, however, a $25 deductible.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
You may not receive white-glove customer service if you choose this card. According to a 2020 J.D. Power survey of credit card issuers, U.S. Bank ranked near the bottom of the list of 11 issuers. It scored 786 (out of 1,000). The average score for national issuers was 810.
U.S. Bank deploys all the usual industry tools to keep you and your money safe. It also offers a few extra features, like the ability to lock your card through the app if it’s stolen or you lose it.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Fees
One thing to watch out for with this card is how you get cash advances (check, by ATM, “cash” or “cash equivalent”) and how you make foreign purchases (either charged as U.S. Dollars or in whatever currency of the country you’re in). Most credit card issuers only charge one fee for either of these categories, respectively, but U.S. Bank charges you different fees for certain options.