Credit card debt can be like a ball and chain that you must drag around wherever you go. One of the reasons that it is so onerous is that banks must charge a higher interest rate than they do for other products, and there is a higher cost of using credit cards. Furthermore, credit card debt is unsecured, which means that unlike your home or car loans, there is nothing to repossess in the event that the borrower defaults.
Nevertheless, those who do tend to incur credit card debt can still look for products that have the lowest interest rates. Iberia Bank is a 125-year-old institution headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. Although it does not have branches in every state – and is not a household name – it offers its Visa Classic Card with the lowest standard interest rates of any credit card on the market.
- Low Interest Rates. Cardholders will receive a variable interest rate that is equal to the Prime Rate plus 4%, 7%, or 10%, depending on the applicant’s credit worthiness.
- Low Introductory Balance Transfer Rates and Fees. The APR for balance transfers is 1.99% for six months, with a 2% balance transfer fee. Subsequently, cardholders will incur interest at the standard rate for purchases.
- No Annual Fee. There is no annual fee for this card
- Foreign Transaction Fees. There is a 2% foreign transaction fee on all charges processed outside of the United States.
- Extra Card Fee. Iberia charges a $5 fee for additional cards for authorized users.
- Long Approval Period. Iberia notifies its new applicants that because of “an overwhelming response to our low rate card, it could take up to 30 days to process your application.”
- Market-Leading APR. This card easily makes our list of the 10 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards because it offers those with excellent credit an APR as low as Prime Rate plus 4%.
- Competitive Balance Transfer Offer. Although many banks offer 0% introductory financing on balance transfers for six months or more, Iberia uses a different formula: 1.99% APR for six months plus a 2% balance transfer fee. For some people, this could work out better than the popular offer of a limited time 0% APR with a 3% balance transfer fee.
- No Annual Fee. Some cards that offer competitive APRs and rewards do so at the expense of an annual fee, but the Iberia Classic does not.
- Additional Benefits. This card is not as packed with features as some other travel-focused cards, but customers will receive car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and roadside assistance policies.
- Several Possible Interest Rates. The market-leading APR of Prime plus 4% is only offered to those with excellent credit. Other applicants will receive less attractive offers, but will not know this until after they’ve applied for the card.
- No Introductory Financing on Purchases. Many other competing offers extend an introductory financing period to purchases, but holders of this card will incur interest on new charges.
- Long Application Period. Most banks have an instant application process, but being a smaller bank with such great rates, it seems as if Iberia could take several weeks to approve new customers.
- Extra Card Fee. Almost all banks will provide additional cards to authorized users for free, but Iberia charges a $5 fee for this service.
- Limited Locations. If you prefer to have the option of visiting your bank in person, you can only do so at one of their locations in a handful of Southeastern states.
- Foreign Transaction Fees. Though some other credit cards are dropping all foreign transaction fees, Iberia has yet to do so, charging 2% for foreign transactions.
The Iberia Bank Classic Card is essentially a throwback to the simpler days of credit. There are no fancy or complicated rewards perks here. It’s plain and simple – this is a card for people who know they will carry a balance and understand that no amount of rewards will make up for a higher APR.
For customers with excellent credit, Iberia Bank offers the lowest possible interest rates on credit card debt. If you are the type of credit card user that knows that you will always be carrying a balance, this card should be strongly considered.
Do you use the Iberia Bank Visa Classic Card for its low interest rate? What has your experience been like?