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.
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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'd probably be better off elsewhere.
- One of the lowest interest rates in the country, as low as Prime + 3.00%
- Rate is variable, tiered, and is linked to Prime
- No annual fee
Pros & Cons
- No annual fee
- No rewards
- Needs excellent credit
Alternate Pick: Long 0% period
Pay off a balance without interest
This card offers an introductory APR of 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.74% - 27.24% 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
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, meaning that 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 are 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.
APR: The ongoing APR is 8.50% Variable.
Balance transfer fees: None.
Foreign transaction fee: 1%.
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 this 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 Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card offers 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.74% - 27.24% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0, and the balance transfer fee is 3% for 120 days, then 5%.
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 Discover it® Balance Transfer. It offers an intro APR of 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR. The card earns 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (activation is required). All other purchases earn 1% back. In previous quarters, bonus categories have included restaurants, gas stations, Amazon.com and more. Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. 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 are eligible if you:
Live, work or worship anywhere in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Live, work, or worship in one of 14 Southwest Florida counties.
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 against other options, visit NerdWallet's list of top credit cards to get.
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