The Senate Visa Smart Rate credit card is a no-frills credit card with low fees and low rates, offered by the United States Senate Federal Credit Union. There’s no rewards program, but in exchange you get a lower interest rate and the service of a credit union. In credit unions, the members own the financial institution, so you are seen as a valued member of a club rather than a number.
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To become a member of the Senate Credit Union, you must work for or have retired from an eligible employer, or be a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Family members of current United States Senate Federal Credit Union members can also apply. All you have to do is open a qualifying savings account with a minimum of $5, and you are able to take advantage of all of the credit union’s other offers, like credit cards.
Senate Visa Smart Rate’s Interest Rate
The biggest advantage of the Senate Visa Smart Rate card is its lower-than-normal interest rate. The purchase rate for this credit card is a variable 9.25%.
While some cards charge more for balance transfers or cash advances, the Senate Visa Smart Rate credit card charges the same low rate for these as it does for purchases.
The credit card also has low costs. There’s no annual fee, no cash advance or balance transfer fee, and the foreign transaction fee is only 1%. This is well below the industry standard rate of 3%.
Senate Visa Smart Rate’s Basics
The Senate Visa Smart Rate is a very basic credit card. There’s no cash back and no points earned on purchases. However, this makes the card simpler keep up with. There’s no expiration dates to keep track of or rewards to remember to redeem.
In fact, the U.S. News & World Report says that those rewards programs are often more expensive than we realize. Having a lower interest rate on a credit card is more important than getting a few dollars back, and this is especially true if you typically carry a balance on your card. In reality, you’ll save much more by getting as low an APR as possible.
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