About Regions Bank Life Visa Card
In a world where glamour tends to guide decisions about the best credit cards, Regions Bank’s Life Visa is a pretty boring choice … at first glance.
The credit card doesn’t offer any cash back, it doesn’t have a hotel rewards program and you can’t get free flights with it (or so it seems).
Really, the only thing the card has to offer is an introductory APR and, aside from that, some fringe benefits that you can get from almost any Visa.
So, the question at this point is, “Why even write a review on it?”
Here’s why. When you get into the actual numbers of this card and apply those numbers to the average American’s credit card debt, you start to see that this card is much more valuable than you think.
Of course, it’s going to take a little math to get there, but we’ll make it easy on you. In addition to showing you how this credit card can save you hundreds of dollars each year, we’ll cover the following areas:
- Rates and fees
- Expert and consumer opinion
We’ll move through each of these sections in order, providing you details from the Regions Bank Life Visa’s fine print as well as comparing the card’s features to other low-interest cards.
To help drive home the main benefits and drawbacks of the card, we’ll end the review with a quick section on the Life Visa’s pros and cons.
Pro tip: All Regions Bank credit cards are only available to Regions Bank customers.
The Life Visa’s Rewards: 0% APR
Usually, when we talk about rewards, we’re talking about the free stuff a credit card gives you for signing up and for using the card to make your purchases.
A good example of this is the Capital One Venture card. Capital One gives you 40,000 bonus points for signing up for their card and spending $3,000 in the first three months of owning it. Those 40,000 points are worth $400 in cash that you apply to travel purchases you make on your card.
Not only do you get the bonus points, but you’ll also get two points for every dollar you spend on your card.
Now, when it comes to the Life Visa, the “rewards” you get aren’t nearly as interesting as a cash you can put toward travel purchases, or, in the case of the Marriott Rewards Premier card, free points for hotel nights.
The reward you get with this card is 15 months of no interest on purchases and balance transfers. The 0% APR applies only to balance transfers you make in the 60 days following your approval.
Not nearly as interesting as free travel, right? We challenge you to think beyond just free travel, though, and consider how much cash value you can get out of something as boring as a 0%-interest reward.
To figure that out, we’ve created a chart based on some statistics we’ve gathered in our research of more than 100 credit cards.
According to personal finance site ValuePenguin, 41% of consumers carry a balance on their credit card – they’re the majority. That 41% has, on average, a total credit card balance of $16,000.
So, to figure out the cash value of your 15 months of 0% interest, we’ve crunched the numbers on how much a $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 and $7,000 average balance would cost you over 15 months if you had a credit cards with APRs of 15.99%, 17.99%, 19.99% and 21.99%.
Knowing how much you’ll pay in interest across these different APRs and balances will help you see the money you’d save with your Regions Bank Life Visa:
|Interest paid on $4K after 15 mths.||$788.54||$887.17||$985.80||$1,084.43|
|Interest paid on $5K after 15 mths.||$985.68||$1,108.97||$1,232.26||$1,355.54|
|Interest paid on $6K after 15 mths.||$1,182.82||$1,330.76||$1,478.71||$1,626.65|
|Interest paid on $7K after 15 mths.||$1,379.95||$1,552.56||$1,725.16||$1,897.76|
While you won’t pay any interest on these balances for 15 months if you transfer them to your new Regions Bank Life Visa card, you will pay a balance transfer fee of 4% which would be:
- $160 on a $4K balance
- $200 on a $5K balance
- $240 on a $6K balance
- $280 on a $7K balance
Considering how much interest you’d pay in any of the scenarios above, the balance transfer fee is well worth the price considering you can still save more than $1,000 in interest payments for nine of the scenarios we presented above.
A Quick Comparison of Real Rewards Value
So, let’s say that you want a new credit card and you jump on the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 50,000-point offer.
You can transfer those points to airline and hotel rewards programs like United and Hyatt. Based on our research you can get, at best, two round-trip flights on United with those points.
Cash value? Around $700 considering the average price of a domestic round-trip flight is around $350. As for hotel rooms, the average cost of one night in North America is around $120. You can get, at most, 10 free nights from your 50,000 points, which has a cash value of $1,200.
So, take a moment to think about these numbers. Yes, free nights and airline flights sound super appealing. But, the more debt you have and the higher your APR is, the more money you can save by switching to a low APR card.
Those who have bigger balances with higher APR’s stand to save, the most by our calculations. Someone who has a $7,000 balance on a card with 21.99% can save more than $1,600 simply by switching cards and paying the balance transfer fee.
While a pair of free flights is nice, they don’t stack up that well against $1,600 saved in interest payments.
The Regions Bank Life Visa’s Benefits
The Regions Bank Life credit card is part of the Visa network, which means it gives you certain benefits whenever you purchase things.
According to the Regions Bank Life Visa page, you’ll get the following benefits for certain items when you purchase those items with your Life Visa card:
- Extended warranties
- Rental car insurance
- Purchase security
Visa’s extended warranty program adds a year of warranty coverage to items you’ve purchased that have warranties of three years or less.
The rental car insurance replaces the insurance provided by the rental car company you use when renting a car.
Purchase security refers to the program through which you can be reimbursed if the price of something you bought with your Life Visa drops within 90 days. You can earn up to $500 per claim.
Each one of these benefits has its own set of restrictions, limits, and requirements, so be sure to read through your Life Visa’s benefits guide to know what you’re getting into.
The Regions Bank Life Visa’s Rates and Fees
In an ideal world, every consumer would pay their credit card in full every month so they wouldn’t get hit with interest charges.
Unfortunately, that’s not the world in which we live. As we pointed out earlier, more than 4 out of 10 of us carry a balance on our credit cards. And, when we carry a balance, each monthly payment we make includes interest.
If you pay late or have a returned payment, you can expect even more financial repercussions. Here’s a quick list of the Life Visa’s rates and fees:
- Purchase APR: 12.99-21.99%
- Cash advance APR: 25.99%
- Annual fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: 4%
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late fee: Up to $38
Keep in mind that you won’t know your APR is based on your credit scores and credit history, and you won’t know what that APR is until you’re approved for your Life Visa.
Expert and Consumer Reviews of the Life Visa
Because the Regions Bank Rewards Visa is arguably the third-best credit card of the four that Regions offers, reviews of the card are virtually non-existent.
We do know, based on our research of J.D. Power’s 2017 customer satisfaction survey, that Regions Bank ranks really highly among credit card issuers. In fact, their score was fourth place behind Discover, American Express, and USAA.
Pros of the Regions Bank Life Visa
We believe the strength of this card lies in its no-interest offer for the first 15 months. As we showed in our chart, the card can save you a tremendous amount of interest charges if you transfer a balance to it. The more you transfer and the higher the previous APR, the more you’ll save.
Also, the card’s low-end APR of 12.99% is among the best of the top low-interest credit cards of 2017.
Cons of the Regions Bank Life Visa
We believe the drawback of the card is that, among low-interest credit cards, the Life Visa’s balance transfer fee is a little too high. The standard fee is 3%, which equals out to a $150 fee on a $5,000 balance instead of a $200 fee.
Who Is the Life Visa Good For?
Based on our research of the Regions Bank Life Visa, we believe that this card is best suited for a Regions Bank customer who has high-interest balances on other credit cards and wants a no annual fee option that can save them money on interest payments.