CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value. We may receive a commission through the LendingTree affiliate network if you apply and are approved for a card, but our reporting is always independent and objective.
Our quick take: If you need to finance a major purchase or even some everyday expenses over time, the no-annual-fee U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers the longest introductory offer on both purchases and balance transfers on the market today, and cell phone protection to boot.
- 0% introductory APR for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 60 days after you open the card (14.49% to 24.49% variable afterward).
- 0% introductory APR on all purchases for the first 20 billing cycles (14.49% to 24.49% variable afterward).
- Cell phone protection coverage.
- No annual fee.
- No sign-up bonus.
- No rewards.
- Limited insurance coverage and purchase protections.
Current sign-up bonus: None.
Best for: People who want to save money on interest when making purchases or consolidating high-interest debt over the longest possible period of time.
Digging into the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card
While it’s usually not advisable to carry a balance on a credit card, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card is an exception. It’s a great option to consider if you’re looking for a credit card that offers an introductory rate on purchases so you can extend out the payments on a major purchase over time, or an introductory rate on balance transfers to consolidate your existing debt on a card with no interest.
In fact, this card has the best introductory offer on the market today — you’ll get a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first full 20 billing cycles. But you’ll want to make sure to pay off all your debt in that time, because after that, you’ll pay a variable interest rate of 14.49% to 24.49% depending on your creditworthiness.
There’s no annual fee on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum either, so you can save on interest without an annual investment. Just keep in mind that a 3% balance transfer fee applies with a minimum of $5 if you choose to transfer balances from other cards to your new account.
There are many other 0% APR credit cards on the market today, but the length of the offer on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum is unmatched. If you want to avoid interest for as long as you possibly can and you’re looking for one credit card to do it, this card is probably your best bet.
Advantages of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card
The biggest upside of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card is its purchase and balance transfer offers. If you’ve been looking at other credit cards, you’ve probably noticed that many cards only give you a 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers, but not necessarily both.
Cell phone protection is another major benefit of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum. When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, you’ll have up to $600 in coverage per claim if your cell phone is damaged or stolen. A $25 deductible applies for each claim, and you can only have two claims per 12-month period.
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card also lets you pick your own payment due date, which is a perk that can be immensely helpful if you prefer to have a due date that aligns with your payday at work, or with a certain day of the month.
Disadvantages of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card
There are several downsides of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card, but the biggest by far is the fact that it doesn’t earn any rewards -— at all. No sign-up bonus. No cash back. No travel rewards on your purchases.
A number of other credit cards offer introductory offers on purchases or balance transfers and also come with a sign-up bonus, as well as earning rewards for every dollar you spend on them on an ongoing basis. So you’ll need to decide if you’re ready to trade earning credit card rewards for the lengthy intro offers on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum.
Also, beyond the card’s cell phone protection perk, you won’t find any significant travel insurance coverage or purchase protections on this card. So if you’re looking for a travel credit card that can cover you when your flight is delayed or your checked bags are lost, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Stacking up the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card against our benchmark
CNN Underscored uses the Citi® Double Cash Card as our “benchmark” credit card. That doesn’t mean it’s the best credit card on the market — rather, it means we use it as a basic standard to compare other credit cards and see where they score better, and where they’re worse.
Here’s how the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card scores against our benchmark. The features of each card in the below chart are colored in green, red or white. Green indicates a card feature that’s better than our benchmark, red indicates the feature is worse than our benchmark and white indicates the feature is either equivalent or cannot be directly compared to our benchmark.
As you look at these two credit cards, you’ll notice some striking differences. For example, the Citi Double Cash earns cash back on everything you buy, and at a good rate at that. You’ll earn 2% cash back on everything you buy with the Citi Double Cash — 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay it off — making it one of our favorite cash-back credit cards around.
However, the Citi Double Cash doesn’t have an introductory rate on purchases, whereas the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum does. And you’ll get a longer introductory rate on balance transfers with the U.S. Bank card than you will with the Citi card. In essence, the Citi Double Cash is a better option if your priority is earning rewards, while the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum is superior if you want to save money on interest.
Other credit cards similar to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum
There are many other balance transfer credit cards that don’t offer rewards, but none of them have offers as long as the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum. For example, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is also a top balance transfer card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet its introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers only lasts for 18 months, and it doesn’t have cell phone protection.
On the other hand, if you don’t need a balance transfer offer and instead want to earn rewards while saving money on the interest on your purchases, you’ll find a number of options. One of our favorites is the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on everything else.
This card has no annual fee and comes with a 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months, which rises to a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% after the introductory offer is over, so it could be a good choice if you don’t need quite as long of a runway to pay off your purchases.
And right now, the Chase Freedom Unlimited even comes with a $200 bonus when you spend $500 within three months of opening the account, plus 5% back on all your grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) for the first 12 months you have the card, up to $12,000 in purchases.
Should you get the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card?
At the end of the day, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is best for people who need an introductory interest offer more than anything else, and want it to apply to both their purchases and balance transfers. People who want to earn rewards should look elsewhere, but if you’re carrying a balance on your credit card and paying interest for it, you won’t make up for it with rewards anyway.
So if you’re drowning in interest on your existing credit cards or you’re planning to carry some credit card debt from your upcoming purchases, you’ll want to consider the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card and see if its introductory offers make sense for you.
Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as its best credit cards with 0% interest on purchases in 2021.