Credit card debt is a major financial concern for consumers. A 2014 MagnifyMoney survey found the average American family carried nearly $11,000 in credit card debt with an interest rate north of 15 percent. Fortunately, there can be a solution for digging out of debt faster.
When used properly a balance transfer card can be a great tool for reducing interest costs. These deals can be found from both banks and credit unions. American Heritage Federal Credit Union offers one of the most competitive balance transfer deals on the market with its Platinum Preferred MasterCard.
The Platinum Preferred card balance transfer offer comes with no balance transfer fees and a 4.99% (previously 2.99%) introductory rate for the first 18 months. American Heritage provides a credit limit range from $300 to $40,000 depending on credit worthiness.
If you’re not approved for the Platinum Preferred card you might be offered one of the other two cards offered by American Heritage, the Platinum Classic MasterCard (12.90% APR) or the Platinum Secured MasterCard (15.90% APR). But neither of these would qualify as a decent balance transfer deal. Instead, you should look to apply for another balance transfer deal including ones with 0% interest and even ones offering 0% with no fee. Find our list of no fee balance transfer offers here.
The Platinum Preferred card is a rare “A” transparency score balance transfer option because it discloses fees upfront and uses very few traps to get you back into revolving debt while on your repayment journey.
How to Become Eligible
Credit unions are known for their commitment and ability to offer consumer (and wallet) friendly products. Some credit unions have strict requirements for membership but joining the American Heritage Federal Credit Union (American Heritage) is easy and detailed below. American Heritage subscribes to a “once a member, always a member” policy. Membership with the credit union is for life. If you change jobs, relocate, or retire, you still retain your membership, as long as your account remains active and in good standing.
Platinum Preferred Card Pros and Cons
- No annual fee
- No balance transfer fee
- Anyone on can join the credit union and the online application process is simple
- Doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR option
- You must be a member of the credit union and maintain a minimum balance of $15 in a share savings account to remain in good standing.
- Does not offer 24 hour customer service
What do you need to qualify?
To apply for this you must be a credit union member in good standing. To be eligible for membership you must:
- Be an employee of one of its partner companies. There are more than 800 companies, mostly located near Philadelphia.
- Have a family member who is a member of the credit union, or
- Indicate your support for Kids-N-Hope Foundation on the application form, with no donation required.
Who Is It Best For?
This card is best for individuals who are looking to reduce their interest rates while paying off high interest debt. It offers rewards and a few additional perks such as $1 million in travelers insurance on purchases made entirely on the card but this is not a strong rewards card.
This card is also best for individuals with excellent credit.
The Fine Print Alerts
This is where it’s important to pay attention in order to get the more out of the card.
- If you miss a minimum payment on this card you pay big time. According to its disclosure agreement, when your minimum monthly payment is late all balances, including those purchases, cash advances and balance transfers made during the introductory period, are subject to the non-introductory APR and $20 late fee.
- Should you ever lose your card, the replacement card fee is up to $7.50 and if you need it in a hurry the rush card fee is $25.
- Make sure to rollover your balance transfer within the first six billing cycles (we recommend just doing it in the first month).
- The introductory APR for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances will only apply to transactions posted to your account during the first six billing cycles following the opening of your account. That means purchases or balance transfers must be made before the sixth billing cycle or they will be subject to the non-introductory APR rate of 9.99%. But you shouldn’t be using your balance transfer card for purchases anyway.
- If you pay your credit card transfer balance off before the 18 months are over your introductory period will automatically conclude and the 9.99% APR will be implemented on any purchases.
Balance Transfer Card Alternatives?
You can search for a variety of other balance transfer options including ones with 0% interest and even ones offering 0% with no fee. Find our list of no fee balance transfer offers here.
If you’re still interested in considering other cards, which may have a longer duration but charge a fee, then explore our balance transfer marketplace here.
Overall an Excellent Option for Digging Out of Debt
While it the American Heritage Federal Credit Union Platinum Preferred card isn’t marketed for its balance transfer perks like its competitors, it’s definitely a card worth considering when used solely as a balance transfer card.
It doesn’t offer a 0% option, but its introductory period is longer than most other offers out there, so if you need more time to pay your debt off this might be a good card for you.
In order to get the most out of this offer, all balance transfers must be done before the sixth billing cycle. Also keep in mind that once if you pay the balance off entirely before the 18-month period is over you’re automatically subject to the 9.99% on all transactions going forward. But you also shouldn’t be carrying a balance again.