At a Glance
The Southern Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card is offers cardholders some attractive features on top of the many benefits that are included in most
Visa credit cards. Cardholders can take advantage of no annual fee and 0% APR on balance transfers within the first 12 months. Additionally, cardholders have the option of enrolling in the Bank Miles® program for added rewards and can qualify for cell phone protection when they pay their monthly cellular phone bills with their Southern Bank Visa® cards. Ideal for Those Who: Prefer dealing with smaller local banks Don’t want to pay an annual fee for using a credit card Want to transfer a balance from another credit card without interest Like the flexibility of joining an optional rewards program Southern Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card Review Southern Bank is a North Carolina-based credit union that services the eastern part of the state and Virginia. Presently, the bank’s Visa® Platinum Credit Card is the only credit card on offer with this bank. It’s an attractive credit card for consumers who want a no-frills credit card with the option of enrolling in additional rewards programs, like BankMiles®. No annual fee and an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers are some of the top selling points of this card. No Annual Fee
There is no annual fee associated with Southern Bank’s Visa® card, which makes it an appealing credit card for many consumers. However, those who are looking to apply for this card should know that they will have to pay additional fees in order to take advantage of some of the card’s rewards programs.
0% Introductory APR for Balance Transfers
balance transfer rate isn’t something that Southern Bank advertises in its rundown of the Visa® Platinum Card benefits, which is a shame, because this is perhaps one of the better perks of this credit card. Once approved, cardholders can transfer a balance onto their Southern Bank card for 0% APR for the first 12 months. Cardholders have up to 90 days after getting approved to transfer a balance onto their new cards. If they wait too long, they forfeit the offer.
This perk is great for people who have a significant balance on or more high-interest credit cards, especially if they have solid plans for paying off those balances within 12 months. After the 12-month introductory period is over, any remaining balance will rack up interest, which can vary depending on the APR a cardholder is approved for.
Since cardholders have 90 days to take advantage of this offer, it’s best to see the interest rate will be before determining whether or not to transfer a balance and how much money one should transfer onto the Southern Bank card. If approved for a lower APR, a cardholder may even consider paying off the balance over a longer period of time than 12 months.
BankMiles ® Rewards Program
After getting approved for the Southern Bank Visa® credit card, cardholders have the option of enrolling in the
BankMiles® program. This is a third party rewards program that charges a $50 annual fee for participating. Cardholders earn 1.5 points for every $1 they spend, which they can then redeem for merchandise, gift cards, digital purchases (like ebooks and music downloads), and travel.
A $250 travel voucher is valued at 25,000 points, which has a cash value of about $16,000. In other words, you would have to spend about $16,000 on your Southern Bank card in order to redeem a $250 voucher. Points carry the same value regardless of the value of the item a cardholder is looking to get. In other words, a point is worth the same whether a cardholder wants to redeem it for a $10 gift card or a $1,500 vacation.
Rewards members can also redeem their points for cash back or Pay Me Back℠ rewards.
The Pay Me Back℠ feature is a great feature for cardholders who may not find what they’re looking for in their credit card’s rewards catalogue. Through Pay Me Back℠, BankMiles® rewards members can make any travel or retail purchase over $100 and request a statement credit for the purchase amount once the transaction posts to their accounts. Essentially, Pay Me Back℠ gives cardholders the freedom to use their rewards points anywhere they want
As long as a cardholder is a BankMiles® rewards member, his or her points do not expire, and there is no limits on how many points a cardholder can earn. Members can also join points pools or create their own and invite other members. These pools allow members to combine their points and redeem even larger rewards. Members can only have their card in one pool at a time.
Cell Phone Protection
Choosing to buy insurance for a cell phone can present a dilemma. On the one hand, a customer may want the extra peace of mind, especially considering how delicate many smartphones are these days. On the other hand, it is an added monthly expense for something that a customer may never have to use. The Southern Bank Visa® Platinum card not only makes the decision easier for cardholders but can also save them money.
If a cardholder uses his Southern Bank card to pay for his or her monthly cell phone bill, then he or she is eligible for cell phone protection. Visa® will reimburse the cardholder up to $500 per claim for any damaged or stolen cell phone. This benefit may not cover all circumstances, such as if a cell phone is stolen from one’s luggage. Additionally, cardholders will still have to pay a $50 co-payment on each claim. While this cell phone protection may serve as a low-cost insurance option for cardholders, it is still best for cardholders to compare this program’s benefits with their carriers’ insurance terms and fees.
Additional Visa Perks
Visa® offers several benefits to all its cardholders, regardless of which bank issued the card. Many of these benefits have to do with travel protections. For instance, most Visa® cardholders can take advantage of an auto rental collision damage waiver. This is like additional rental car protection just for Visa® cardholders and reimburses cardholders for any theft or damage to vehicles that they rent in addition to whatever the insurance company pays.
Cardholders can also take advantage of Visa® travel and emergency assistance services through its 24-hour hotline. A representative can provide cardholders with emergency messages to loved ones, medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation assistance, translation services, and more.
Should You Apply for the Southern Bank Visa® Platinum Credit
The Southern Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card provides some basic benefits that make it a good no-frills credit card to have on hand. No annual fees and 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months are the most appealing features of this card, especially if you are planning to pay off that balance in 12 months.
The optional BankMiles® rewards program does have some attractive features if you want to earn points for your purchases. However, you will have to pay a $50 annual fee to participate in this program. You will also have to spend about $3,333 before you would earn enough points to qualify for a gift card or other merchandise worth $50, and balance transfers will not earn you points.
The positive is that you can use your points to pay the annual fee. Additionally, you aren’t restricted to what’s in the BankMiles® catalogue to redeem your points when you use the Pay Me Back℠ feature. The option of pooling your points with other members is also a plus.
Nevertheless, BankMiles® isn’t the most generous rewards program, and there may be better options for you if you are specifically looking for a rewards card. It is nice that Southern Bank makes it optional for cardholders instead, allowing you to decide whether the $50 annual fee is worth the rewards.
The additional Visa® perks are good to consider when deciding on this card, but they do come standard with most Visa® credit cards.