Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Review: All About the Low APR

This card has no bells or whistles, but people with excellent credit are unlikely to find a lower ongoing interest rate. It goes easy on the fees, too.
Apr 1, 2022

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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

This card's value comes from its super-low interest rate. If you always carry a balance from month to month, give it a look. If you rarely or never do, you're probably better off elsewhere.

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Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Visa Credit Card
Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
8.50%, Variable
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
720-850 (Excellent)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No rewards

  • Needs excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Long 0% period
US Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Pay off a balance without interest

This card offers 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR. If you plan to carry a balance for a while, but not indefinitely, it will save you money even compared with a low-interest card like the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

15.99%-25.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.74%-26.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.49%-25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

The Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card is ideal for a specific type of credit card user: those who know they'll consistently carry a balance. That's because the card offers one of the lowest interest rates available.

The card has a $0 annual fee and charges no balance transfer fee. However, unlike some other cards, there's no 0% intro APR period for either purchases or balance transfers, so you won't get any upfront, immediate break on interest charges. And the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card won't earn you any rewards. Of course, if you're carrying a balance month to month, the interest you're charged would eat into any rewards you'd earn with another card anyway.

It's best to pay your balance in full each month, but if you're unable to do so, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card could save you money compared with other cards.

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card: Basics

Card type: Low interest.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: None.

APR: The ongoing APR is 8.50%, Variable.

Balance transfer fees: None.

Foreign transaction fee: 1%.

Other benefits:

  • Zero-liability fraud protection.

  • Free car rental insurance.

  • Emergency card replacement.

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card: Benefits

A low ongoing APR

This card is truly meant to benefit someone who will carry a balance from month to month. It's rare to see a credit card with an APR in the single digits.

No annual fee or balance transfer fee

Why pay more when you're already making interest payments? The lack of a balance transfer fee could be helpful for someone who wants to move a balance from a higher-interest card — and especially helpful for someone who wants to do so repeatedly. With typical balance transfer fees ranging from 3% to 5%, this feature could save you $30 to $50 for every $1,000 you transfer.

Drawbacks and alternatives

The lowest rate is only for those with excellent credit

The 8.50%, Variable ongoing APR is the lowest you may be eligible for, but that's based on a card applicant with excellent credit. Depending on your personal situation, you may not qualify for this rate.

No introductory 0% APR period

You'll begin paying interest on balances immediately. If you plan to pay off your balance eventually, a card with a lengthy 0% intro APR period may be a better fit. The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0, and the balance transfer fee is Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

No rewards

The Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card is truly a no-frills card. You won't earn any points, miles or cash back, and there's no sign-up bonus. If you're looking for rewards plus a 0% intro APR period, consider the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. It offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR. The card earns 2% cash back on all purchases. Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.. The annual fee is $0.

There's an extra hurdle to eligibility

Unlike banks that will issue you a credit card even if you don't have an account there, credit unions have membership requirements. Lake Michigan Credit Union is no different, but there's a shortcut to membership for those who don't meet the usual criteria: Donate $5 to the ALS Association, and you're in. Otherwise, you're eligible if you:

  • Live, work or worship anywhere in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

  • Live, work or worship in Florida.

  • Are an immediate family member of a current member of the credit union, in which case you can live anywhere in the U.S.

Should you get the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card?

While its list of drawbacks seems long, keep in mind that the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card serves a very specific purpose: providing a low interest rate to cardholders who plan to carry a credit card balance indefinitely. If you qualify for the card's best rate, you likely won't find another option with such a low APR.

However, if you plan to pay off your credit card balance within a set period of time, you may want to weigh the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card against other options. To see how it stacks up, visit NerdWallet's list of best credit cards with 0% APR promotions.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions
Does the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card earn rewards?

No, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card doesn’t earn rewards, nor does it offer a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. The card’s main benefit is its low ongoing interest rate.

What interest rate would I pay with the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card?

The ongoing APR is 8.50%, Variable. However, you may pay a higher interest rate depending on your financial situation and credit history.

Is there a 0% interest rate promotion with the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card?

No, there’s no promotional 0% APR period with the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card. The ongoing APR is 8.50%, Variable.

Do I need to join the Lake Michigan Credit Union to be eligible for the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card?

Yes. To join the Lake Michigan Credit Union, you must live, work or worship in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula or in Florida. If you have an immediate family member who's a current member of the credit union, you may join from anywhere in the U.S. Otherwise, you may join by making a $5 donation to the ALS Association.