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The Verdict: The RBFCU Platinum Preferred Rate MasterCard comes with a low purchase interest rate that you can make even lower if you take out loans or open accounts with San Antonio, Texas-based Randolph-Brooks Credit Union. The only catch? You have to live in south central Texas to be a member of this credit union and, of course, to apply for the Preferred Rate MasterCard.
Overview: Most credit cards connected to credit unions come with low interest rates and fees. The RBFCU Platinum Preferred Rate card, though, comes with a difference; not only is the starting purchase interest rate low, cardholders can make the rate fall even more dramatically by taking out loans or opening checking or saving accounts with the Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.
How This Card Works: You’ll earn a certain amount of relationship points every time you do business with the credit union. For instance, if you take out a mortgage loan through the Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union you’ll earn two relationship points. If you take out an auto loan with the credit union you’ll notch two points again. You’ll earn one point for taking out a money market account and one point if you pay off a loan through the credit union. If you earn eight or more relationship points you might qualify for a reduction of two percentage points off your initial interest rate with the RBFCU Platinum Preferred Rate card.
Travel & Shopping Benefits: This card is not a rewards card, therefore you won’t earn any cash back or rewards points when you use it to make purchases.
Fees: This card comes with a purchase interest rate that ranges from 5.7 percent to 14.7 percent, depending on the strength of cardholders’ credit. It also comes with an introductory interest rate of 3.9 percent on all balance transfers made from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. The card does not charge annual fees, cash-advance fees or over-the-credit-limit fees. Late-payment fees are $18, while returned-payment fees are $15.
- No annual fee.
- Low purchase interest rate.
- Ability to lower rate further by taking out loans and opening accounts with RBFCU.
- No rewards program.
- Must be member of credit union to apply for this card.