| Last updated on November 9th, 2023
SBI Visa® Platinum Card
SBI Visa® Platinum Card
- 19.24% to 29.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 19.24% to 29.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
- 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
- 0% for the first 18 months Intro Purchase APR
At a Glance
The SBI Visa® Platinum Card is a balance transfer credit card that lacks the fireworks of a rewards card but makes up for it with a typically low APR and an extensive interest-free introductory period on balance transfers and purchases.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- No annual fee
- 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Pay down existing balances with an everyday low rate
- Visa benefits and protections
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for the first 18 months
- Regular Purchase APR: 19.24% to 29.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for the first 18 months
- Balance Transfer APR: 19.24% to 29.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- You're an Indian national and want a credit card that works both in California and abroad
- You have an existing credit card balance to pay down – and would like to do so at a lower rate
- You plan to finance a major purchase soon
- You don’t want to pay an annual fee for a low APR card
In-Depth Review: SBI Visa® Platinum
The SBI Visa® Platinum is the basic, low APR credit card offering from the State Bank of India (California). The card provides all the ingredients to make a great balance transfer card, although it lacks some of the additional perks that set it apart from the rest in a rather crowded space.
An Extensive Introductory Interest-Free Period
The major selling point of the SBI Platinum is the extended introductory interest-free periods it enjoys on both balance transfers and purchases. The card benefits from 0% intro APR on both of these transaction types for the first 20 months after opening an account. This intro period places it on par with other balance transfer options, such as the BB&T Bright and BankAmericard, though slightly behind the U.S. Bank Platinum Card. The U.S. Bank Card offers 18 introductory months interest-free on both categories.
Very Competitive Low APR
Once the introductory period ends, the SBI Visa® Platinum enjoys a low rate every day, though the precise APR will vary depending on the creditworthiness of the applicant. At the lowest end of the spectrum (for those with excellent credit scores), the SBI Cal Platinum features an APR for purchases and balance transfers that is below 14% – almost a full point below the national average minimum for a low APR card.
This low rate is an excellent selling point for those who plan to carry a balance or pay down existing balances over time, but it pales in comparison to the lowest rate offered by another California bank – California Bank & Trust.
The CB&T AmaZing Low Rate Visa features a purchase and balance transfer APR that starts well below 12%, which may put the SBI Card to shame, though that great rate comes with the caveat that the introductory 0% APR period for the CB&T Card is only six months – a full nine months shorter than what SBI offers.
Ideal for Carrying a Balance
The combination of a highly-competitive APR on the lower end of the spectrum plus 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the first six quarters makes the SBI Visa Platinum an excellent tool for those who either plan to pay down an existing credit card balance or finance a significant purchase over the first 20 months after opening an account.
Fifteen months is a considerable period, meaning paying for an expensive item, such as home improvements or a new television, and paying it down interest-free can help stretch a family budget and make financing these costs much more bearable.
Additionally, 20 months of 0% interest can help a new account holder to pay down existing balances considerably, with the knowledge that the typical APR, once the introductory period concludes, is very reasonable – especially if they have a credit score in the 700s.
The APR won’t be as enticing for those with lower credit scores, as the higher end APR with the SBI Platinum tops out above 22%, which is almost 5% higher than the CB&T AmaZing Rate Card. Fortunately, the 20 months more than makes up for this shortfall, providing SBI credit cardholders an additional nine months over CB&T customers to pay down their balances without fear of additional interest costs.
Other Card Features
Beyond the introductory interest-free period and the no annual fee, the SBI Visa® Platinum Card doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table. The card charges a foreign transaction fee of up to 3%, for example, and the balance transfer fee is also 3%. Neither of these charges is excessive, nor are they uncommon, but they are still additional costs, which is never great – though they can be avoided with careful planning.
The only other perks that come with the card are the essential Visa benefits and protections offered by all Visa® Platinum credit cards. These perks include Zero Fraud Liability, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Dispatch, and more. These travel and fraud protections aren’t unique to the SBI Card, but they do provide an additional layer of security that makes paying with a Visa card so popular.
About State Bank of India (California)
State Bank of India (California) is – as the name implies – a division of the State Bank of India (SBI), the largest commercial bank in the nation of India. Thanks to the majority ownership of the government of India, SBI is currently one of the top 50 financial institutions on the planet, making it a reliable banking partner throughout the world – California included.
The California subsidiary of SBI features seven branches throughout the Golden State, with its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. While the bank doesn’t have a considerable presence in the United States, it is part of a global network of over 22,000 SBI branches (many of which are on the Indian subcontinent).
The bank’s close ties with the SBI main bank makes being an SBI California account holder an excellent option for those who are from India and currently live or work in California. SBI removes many of the hurdles Indian nationals face when sending money back home, making it a straightforward and easy process.
Should You Apply for the SBI Visa® Platinum Card?
The SBI Visa® Platinum Card isn’t the prettiest belle at the ball, but it isn’t supposed to be, either. The card is a no-nonsense, full-throttle balance transfer credit card – something it does rather well. There are no rewards with the card or enticing bonuses – minus the 20 months of 0% intro APR (which, if you ask us, is almost as enticing as any statement credit bonus).
That introductory interest-free period – which applies to both balance transfers and purchases – sets the card apart from other California-centric banks and cards (most notably the CB&T AmaZing Low Rate Card). The typical rates are also comparable with larger names in the U.S. credit card game, particularly BB&T and Wells Fargo.
Given that the card is very similar to offerings from notable names, like Wells Fargo, BB&T, and U.S. Bank, what is the draw of the card – especially as those issuers have a much more significant presence in the United States than State Bank of India? Beyond the unique factor, the SBI Visa Platinum has the global power of the State Bank of India behind it, meaning cardholders can expect unparalleled support across the globe.
State Bank of India (California) also makes the process of sending money back to India much more accessible for customers, meaning being associated with the bank can significantly ease some of the hurdles Indian nationals must go through to send money home. This convenience for Indian nations who live or work in California can’t be overstated, as it reduces the hoops sending funds home can cause.
Overall, the SBI Visa® Platinum is a robust balance transfer and low APR credit card that serves cardholders well. It isn’t the flashiest card, but for what it sets out to do, it does that task effortlessly, making it a great option for Californians to consider.
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