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Verdict: The SAFE Platinum card has many benefits to members of the credit union. The card offers a generous credit limit up to $20,000 and is free to carry. The rewards version also offers points for every $1 spent, so frequent shoppers can earn rewards that never expire. This card does offer a 1.90% intro APR for six months, which may be put to good use for financing a large purchase. Unfortunately, both versions of this credit card have a rather high APR that is up to 17.90%. There is also a penalty APR of 23.90%, which is much higher than average. Despite not having an annual fee, this card should be avoided by anyone who carries a balance.
Overview: The SAFE Credit Union extends membership to anyone living or working in many California counties such as Sacramento and El Dorado. Along with other financial services, the credit union offers two personal Platinum Visa cards to members. The regular version of the card features a credit limit up to $20,000, no annual fee, and an APR as low as 9.90%. The Platinum Rewards card, on the other hand, earns points for every purchase that may be redeemed for travel, accommodations and more. Both cards have a number of benefits to cardholders, although there are drawbacks that make the cards less than they could be.
How These Cards Work: The Platinum Visa from SAFE is accepted worldwide. Cardholders may use fee-free cash advances by going through the SAFE system online, calling over the phone or using a SAFE ATM. Both versions of the card use a 25-day grace period. To avoid interest charges, the cardholder must pay their balance in full during this period. Interest charges for cash advances and balance transfers have no grace period and interest charges begin immediately. There is a penalty APR for this credit card of 23.90%, which may be applied after a late payment is received or a payment is returned. The penalty APR will remain in effect for six full billing cycles, as long as the minimum monthly due is paid on time. The Platinum Rewards version of the card earns one point for every $1 spent, which may be redeemed through ScoreCard. Points do not expire and may be used toward merchandise, travel and more.
Travel & Shopping Benefits: The regular Platinum Visa version of this credit card includes overdraft protection that is tied to the cardholder’s checking account. Visa discounts are also available at a number of retailers around the country, such as Home Depot. The Platinum Rewards card adds travel and accident insurance, which covers the cardholder, spouse and dependents when tickets are purchased entirely with the card. Safeguard is used, which protects against fraud and unauthorized transactions. Optional protection plans and benefits are also available.
Fees: There is no annual fee for either version of the SAFE Platinum Visa. The variable APR for the regular Platinum card is 9.90% to 17.90%, which is based on credit history. For the Platinum Rewards, the APR varies from 10.9% to 17.9%. Both cards include an introductory APR of 1.90% for six months, which applies to purchases only. The penalty APR for this card is 23.90%, which is much higher than typical. This APR may be triggered after a late or returned payment and will remain in effect for at least six months. There is no minimum interest charge and no fee for balance transfers. Cash advances, on the other hand, are subject to a 3% fee with a minimum of $10. This fee may be avoided by using a SAFE ATM or getting the cash advance directly through the credit union. Foreign transactions are subject to a 1% fee. Returned payments are charged at cost, which is not to exceed $10. Late payments are $15, or the current minimum payment, whichever is lower. There are no other hidden costs to this credit card.
- No annual fee
- No fees for balance transfers
- Possible to avoid cash advance fee
- Credit limit up to $20,000
- 6 month intro APR of 1.9%
- Rewards points for purchases with Platinum Rewards card
- Must be a SAFE member to apply
- Penalty APR of 23.90%
- Limited travel and shopping benefits