At a glance
Union Bank Visa® Credit Card
- Sign-up Bonus: None
- Rewards: None
- Intro APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
- Regular APR: 11.49% to 21.49% (variable)
- Fees: 3% foreign transaction fee; 3% ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee; 5% ($15 minimum) cash advance fee
- Annual Fee: $0
- Credit Needed: Good to excellent
The Union Bank Visa® Credit Card is a no-frills, under the radar credit card with an attractive introductory 0% APR promotion for new cardholders. Like higher-profile low APR credit cards such as Chase Slate and Citi Simplicity, it pairs this long interest-free period with a relatively low ongoing interest rate, making it a solid choice for well-qualified cardholders seeking the flexibility to carry balances from month to month.
Union Bank Visa Credit Card has some other useful features. Notably, cardholders enjoy an extensive list of Visa-backed benefits, such as complimentary auto rental collision insurance and extended warranties on certain purchased items. But if you’re looking for a generous rewards program or lots of juicy fringe benefits, you’re bound to be disappointed. Check out our roundups of the best cash back credit cards, best travel rewards credit cards, and best hotel credit cards instead.
Here’s what you need to know about Union Bank Visa Credit Card, the friendliest low-APR card you’ve probably never heard of.
The Union Bank Visa Credit Card has a 12-month, 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. During this period, neither type of transaction accrues interest.
Once the introductory period ends, this card’s purchase and balance transfer APR rises to between 11.49% to 21.49%, depending on prevailing interest rates at the time of the transition and your personal creditworthiness. The rate is variable, so it’s subject to change in the future.
The cash advance APR is set at 26.49% when you open your account, but can also vary with prevailing rates. The penalty APR ranges as high as 29.99%.
Union Bank Visa Credit Card has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the transaction amount. Balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 3%. Cash advances cost the greater of $15 or 5% to $20 or 4%. Late payments cost $37. Returned payments cost $35.
Overdraft Protection for Union Bank Deposit Accountholders
Union Bank checking account holders can use their Union Bank Visa Credit Cards to protect against costly overdrafts thanks to the bank’s optional overdraft protection service.
If you have overdraft protection, transactions that would typically fail or cause negative account balances due to insufficient funds instead trigger automatic cash advances from your Union Bank Rewards Visa Credit Card cash advance credit line, allowing the transaction to go through as intended. Each advance occurs at the end of the business day during which the offending transaction occurred. Each transfer costs $10, but if multiple transfers occur on the same business day, only one daily $10 fee is charged.
Overdraft protection transfers start accruing interest at the cash advance rate as soon as they’re executed, so you’re strongly encouraged to pay them off as quickly as possible. Also, as this card’s cash advance credit line is invariably lower than its spending limit, you may not have sufficient leeway to cover overdrafts on large purchases.
Free FICO Score
Every month, the free FICO score in your account dashboard refreshes. This is an easy, low-stakes way to keep tabs on your credit health, limit the potential consequences of bad credit, and find ways to improve your credit score.
Visa-Backed Cardholder Benefits
Union Bank Visa Credit Card has a lineup of Visa-backed benefits. The most noteworthy include:
- Extended warranties of up to 1 additional year on certain items with existing manufacturer warranties
- Complimentary insurance on rental cars purchased in full with the card
- Emergency lost card replacement
- Purchase protection for 90 days on certain registered items
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Cell phone protection coverage when you pay your cell phone bill with your credit card
Union Bank Visa Credit Card is designed for cardholders with good to excellent credit. If you have any serious issues in your credit history, such as personal bankruptcy, your application probably won’t be approved.
- No Annual Fee. Union Bank Visa Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s great news for frugal cardholders who don’t want to pay to keep their accounts open.
- Generous 0% APR Promotion. This card’s 0% APR introductory promotion is ideal for new cardholders seeking to finance large purchases over time without accruing interest, and for new sign-ups struggling with existing high-interest credit card balances on other cards. In either case, you have a full year from your account opening date to pay off your transactions interest-free.
- Low Ongoing Interest Rate for Qualified Cardholders. If you have excellent credit, you’ll likely qualify for an ongoing interest rate at the lower end of this card’s range: 11.49% APR. That’s less than most competing credit cards, even those that advertise low rates.
- Nice Visa-Backed Benefits. For a no-rewards credit card, Union Bank Visa Credit Card has a pretty nice lineup of Visa-backed benefits. These include extended warranty coverage, purchase protection, cell phone protection, complimentary damage insurance on rental cars paid in full with the card, 24/7 roadside assistance, and much more. And you don’t have to pay to use most of them, though there may be incidental charges for roadside assistance and the like.
- No Rewards. Union Bank Visa Credit Card has no rewards program. Your purchases don’t earn cash back or points. While this probably isn’t a dealbreaker for new cardholders seeking interest-free financing or balance transfers, it could be problematic for longer-term customers seeking returns on their spending. If you’re seeking a reliable, no-annual-fee rewards credit card, check out Chase Freedom Unlimited or Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
- No Account Opening Bonus. This card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. Some other low APR credit cards do offer sign-up bonuses in some form. For instance, Discover it doubles all cash back earned during the first year of card membership.
- APR Can Be High for Less Qualified Cardholders. Though Union Bank Visa Credit Card’s minimum APR is quite reasonable, the possible APR range is quite broad. The highest possible APR exceeds 20%, which could be a dealbreaker for less qualified cardholders seeking the flexibility to carry balances from month to month. If you’re looking for a guaranteed low APR, check out Barclaycard Ring Mastercard. (See Ring’s terms and conditions for more details.)
- Has a 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. That’s bad news for frequent overseas travelers, especially given the absence of a rewards program. Competitors such as Discover it Chrome don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
- Charges Penalty Interest. This card’s penalty interest rate approaches 30% APR. If you’ve missed a payment due date in the past due to liquidity issues or large, unexpected obligations, look for alternatives that don’t charge penalty interest. Citi Diamond Preferred is a good option.
I know more about personal credit and banking than the average consumer, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’d never heard of Union Bank before I began research for this post. The United States has hundreds of well-regarded local and regional banks that most people have never heard about. Union Bank is one of them.
Though it’s a bit bigger than most, it has a robust branch network in Washington State, Oregon, and California, plus a sprawling business banking operation that serves customers across the United States. For the fortunate few, there’s also a wealth management arm.
If you’re a Union Bank newbie like me, don’t write them off. Even if you don’t have a branch in your area, the company’s credit cards may align nicely with your spending needs and goals. I’d recommend giving them a closer look.
Union Bank Visa® Credit Card
The Union Bank Visa® Credit Card is a solid balance transfer vehicle for new cardholders who expect to be able to pay off their transferred balances within 12 months of opening their accounts. It’s also a useful mechanism for financing large purchases on an interest-free basis.
The potential for a low ongoing APR (as low as 11.49% for qualified cardholders) is tempting as well. However, with no rewards program, this card’s value is limited after the first year, particularly for those who don’t qualify for the lowest possible ongoing APR.
Key benefits include the lack of an annual fee, the generous 0% APR introductory promotion, the extensive Visa-backed benefits, and the relatively low ongoing APR for qualified cardholders.
Major drawbacks include the lack of a rewards program or account opening bonus, the high ongoing APR for less qualified cardholders, the 3% foreign transaction fee, and the penalty interest rate.
Overall, this is a fine card for new cardholders seeking to finance large purchases or pay down existing high-interest balances within 12 months of opening their accounts. For everyone else, better alternatives exist.