Best Credit Union Balance Transfer Credit Card

January 16, 2013 No Comments »

Generally speaking, credit union credit cards provide better terms for their members than those issued by big banks. However, this may not be true across the board depending on the category of card you’re after.

A post-bank-collapse-survey was conducted by Pew Research a few years ago that suggested that credit cards issued by credit unions provide lower rates and less fees but may not provide quite the same reward structure. While a reward program is important to many people, it is essential to first focus on more important details including the interest rate and fees.

The study noted that big banks tend to make it more difficult for customers to sniff out hidden fees and potential rate hikes associated with their cards. On the other hand, credit unions are known to keep their card applications and terms/conditions as simple and straight forward as possible.

All in all, credit unions have the reputation for being more customer friendly because they are generally locally established/owned institions whose members are also shareholders. Along with this, they are not-for-profit institutions that pass along profits back to customers in the form of lower loan rates (and credit card APRs).

What to Look for in a Balance Transfer Card?

Before making the decision to apply for a balance transfer card from a credit union (or bank for that matter) you must first determine what you need from the card.

The first thing you should sniff out in the fine print are the fees. Like we mentioned above, this is typically where a credit union balance transfer card has an edge. The most important fee is the transfer fee. With a standard card issued by one of the main credit card companies this fee will sit right around 3 percent. Therefor for every $1,000 you plan on transferring, you’ll need $30 up front. With a credit union card, you’ll usually get this fee waived – a great deal for those looking to transfer a hefty sum.

However, the trade off is that credit unions rarely offer 0% APR terms. While many bank issued balance transfer cards will offer promotional 0% APR introductory terms of between 6 – 18 months (followed by a substantially higher APR after the promotional term), credit unions will just keep a consistently low APR throughout the life of the card.

Below is a perfect example of a solid balance transfer credit card offer by a credit union (sent in by a BankVibe reader). You may not be able to join this particular credit union, but this should give you a good idea of what to look for from your own local credit union.

Consumers Credit Union Balance Transfer Credit Card

For those with little knowledge on the subject, it can be difficult to understand just how much a credit union credit card has to offer. To learn more, take a closer look at the Consumers Credit Union Balance Transfer Credit Card which was forwarded to us this week by reader Jake.

Here’s the scoop: Consumers Credit Union offers three distinct credit cards, each one offering the flexibility and convenience customers have come to love.

Platinum Visa with Rewards

While most credit union credit cards don’t have a reward program, this one is different. For each purchase, you will earn points that be redeemed for everything from travel to gifts and much more.

Other features of this card include:

  • No annual fee
  • Credit limit ranging from $500 to $50,000
  • Rates as low as 9.99% APR
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Accepted all over the world

Gold MasterCard

This credit card does not have a reward program like the Visa, but there are other benefits such as a lower APR:

  • No annual fee
  • Credit limit ranging from $500 to $50,000
  • Rates as low as 8.99% APR
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Accepted all over the world

As you can see, the main difference between the Gold MasterCard and Platinum Visa is the reward program (offered by Visa) and lower APR (MasterCard wins here).

Credit Builder Credit Card

Are you looking for a way to build credit for the first time or repair a damaged credit history? If so, the credit builder credit card is the right choice. Many recent graduates find this offer to be the perfect choice.

  • Credit limit starting at $500
  • Flexible requirements
  • Low minimum monthly income requirement

Consumers Credit Union is just one example of an establishment that offers flexible and convenient credit card options. Stop by your local credit union for a better idea of what they can do for you.

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