About Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature Card
The Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature Card is an anomaly.
We’ve done dozens of credit card reviews and very few of them combine the Regions Premium Visa Signature’s annual fee and cash rewards rate.
Also, the fact that this is a card that’s only available to Regions Bank clients makes it an even more interesting card. Regions currently serves customers in the South and Midwest.
Because of the peculiar nature of this card, most consumers haven’t heard of it. That’s not stopping us from reviewing it because we think it’s a test case in determining a credit card’s true value.
So, we’re going to take our usual approach to reviewing credit cards but also infuse some overall principles of how to choose the right credit card.
On that note, here are the general topics we’ll cover:
- Rewards and benefits
- Rates and fees
- Expert and consumer opinions and reviews
Once we finish up with those sections, we’ll end the review with a three-part conclusion that includes the card’s pros and cons, and who we think the card is good for.
The Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature’s Rewards
The main reward you get with the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature is cash back, which is given to you in the form of points that have a cash value of $10 for every 1,000 points.
How do you get those points? By making purchases, which is something that is common to all cash back cards. Nearly all purchases you make will earn 1.5% in rewards points.
So, if you buy a TV and the final bill is $1,000, you can earn $15 worth of points if you use your Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature Card
Now, here’s the awesome part about this card – you get a 3% rewards rate on any purchases you make in the first 90 days of owning the card.
The reason why we use the word “awesome” is that no mainstream credit card offers a flat rewards rate like that. Even the USAA Limitless card, which is only offered to USAA customers, tops out at 2.5%.
The big difference, however, is that the Premium Visa Signature’s 3% rate is only good for 90 days. After that, it drops down to 1.5%, which is equal to the cash rewards rate you get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Quicksilver from Capital One.
We’ve created a chart to help you understand exactly how much cash back you can earn on this card in the first year. The chart is based on how much you think you can spend every month. The more you spend, the greater your rewards will be:
|Monthly Spending||3% for 90 days||1.5% for 9 months||Total 1st Year Rewards|
Whenever you look at this chart, it’s good to wonder at which point you think this card is worth having. For example, is it worth getting this card if you spend $1,500 a month?
To answer that question, we’ll compare this card to three other cash back cards: Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5%), Quicksilver from Capital One (1.5%) and Citi Double Cash (2%).
In our comparison, we’ll calculate how much you can earn in the first year of owning the card, intro cash bonuses and annual fees included. The columns with dollar amounts represent how much you’d earn in one year if you spent that dollar amount each month:
|Card Name||Annual Fee||Intro Cash Bonus||$1,500 monthly spending||$2,000 monthly spending||$2,500 monthly spending|
|Regions Bank Premium Visa||$125||$0||$212.50||$325||$437.50|
|Capital One Quicksilver||$0||$150||$420||$510||$600|
|Citi Double Cash||$0||$150||$510||$630||$750|
As you can see, the Regions Bank Premium’s $125 annual fee really cuts into the value of the card compared to competitors. Without the annual fee, the card would still lag behind because it doesn’t offer an up-front cash bonus like the other cards do.
If you’re thinking about keeping this card for more than a year, you may think it doesn’t make sense to own the Premium Visa Signature because the Quicksilver and Freedom Unlimited cards have the same cash-back rate: 1.5%.
Before you run off to read our reviews of the Quicksilver, Freedom Unlimited and Double Cash, read the rest of this review. We’re going to bring up a few key points later in this review that might bring you back to the Regions card.
Pro tip: Minimum cash redemption amount is 2,500 points, or $25.
0% APR for 12 Months
In addition to offering the 3% cash back for the first 90 days and 1.5% thereafter, the Premium Visa Signature comes with 0% interest on any purchases you make in the first 12 months and on any balance transfers you make within 60 days of being approved for the card.
Just keep in mind that any balance transfers you make will have a 4% fee attached to them. If you transfer $3,000, you’ll pay a $120 fee.
Also, once your intro APR period runs out, then any balances on the card will be subject to the card’s regular APR, which we’ll get to in the Rates and Fees Section.
The Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature’s Benefits
Benefits, as we define them, are the ongoing, non-rewards features of the card that you can take advantage of the entire time you own the card.
Based on this definition, we don’t consider the Premium Visa Signature’s 1.5% cash back rate as a benefit, but as a reward.
Visa Signature Program
Based on our research of the Regions Bank Premium card, we believe the strongest ongoing benefit is the fact that the card is part of the Visa Signature program.
This program provides you a pretty extensive list of insurance-style coverages that will reimburse you if:
- Your airline loses your luggage
- You’re injured during travel
- A trip is canceled due to illness
- Your rental car sustains damage
- An item you bought is stolen or damaged
Much of what’s excluded and included in these various coverages is listed in the Visa Signature benefits guide. The key point is that you only get the benefits if you make the purchase with your Regions Bank Premium card.
It would take us many, many words to break all the details down for you, which is why we’ve given you bullet points of the more significant coverages.
If you want to read through the benefits guide yourself, here’s the link to get a PDF version of the guide.
Another advantage to the Regions Bank Premium card is that you can manage it in conjunction with your Regions Bank checking or savings account. However, this isn’t a feature unique to Regions; Chase and Bank of America allow you to access your credit cards and checking/savings accounts from one page.
The Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature’s Rates and Fees
Earlier we mentioned that the Premium Visa Signature is a unique card. Part of that proclamation has to do with the fact that it’s a cash-back card with an annual fee, which does not exist among the mainstream cash rewards cards.
Another factor? The Premium Visa Signature has just one APR – 12.99% – while the Capital One Quicksilver, Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Bank of America Cash Rewards have a range of APRs whose high-end interest rate pushes past 20%.
This presents an interesting scenario. Say you’re one of the 41% of credit card customers who carries a balance every month. There’s a good chance your combined balances will be north of $10,000, as personal finance site ValuePenguin estimates the average balance on those cards to be around $16,000.
Let’s say half of that balance was on your Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature card: $8,000. How much of a difference would its 12.99% APR make compared to what you’d pay on the other cash rewards cards we’ve mentioned? Great question. Here’s a quick list of how much interest you’d pay on an $8,000 balance for one year based on each card’s lowest APR:
- Regions Bank Visa Signature (12.99%): $1,039.20
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (15.99%): $1,279.20
- Capital One Quicksilver (13.99%): $1,119.20
- Citi Double Cash (14.49%): $1,159.20
Do you see how just a few percentage points can make a big difference if you’re carrying a big balance? The difference is so great, in fact, that the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature would be a better cash back card in year two than the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Why? Well, both cards have the same cash back rate, so the cash rewards you’d earn is the same. The difference is that, while the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature’s annual fee is $125 higher than the Freedom Unlimited, you’re paying $240 less than you would on an $8K balance with the Freedom Unlimited.
Pretty astonishing, right? This is a key example in understanding the full picture of a card and how it can help you or hurt you based on your financial situation. If you’re carrying a big balance, the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature is the wiser choice.
If you don’t carry a balance, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the two other cards we mentioned will bring bigger returns.
We’ll end this section with a quick review of the other interest rates and fees you might pay:
- Balance transfer fee: 4% or $10, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: 4% or $10, whichever is greater
- Cash advance APR: 17.99%
- Late fee: Up to $38
- Foreign transaction fee: None
Expert and Consumer Reviews of the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature
Expert sites other than Highya give the Premium Visa Signature low scores. Much of that criticism has to do with the card’s high annual fee – most cash rewards cards don’t have an annual fee. They also knock the card for its cash back rate.
We think they’re missing the point, considering many consumers carry credit card debt. Those who do will enjoy the 12.99% APR and, between how much cash they’re saving on interest and earning from rewards, may come out ahead of what they’d get from the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
As for customer opinions about the Regions Bank Premium card, individual reviews were thin but, according to a 2017 survey by consumer-focused J.D. Power, Regions Bank credit card customers are happier than customers of all but three other credit card issuers: American Express, Discover and USAA.
The Pros of the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature
We’d say the Premium Visa Signature’s best trait is its low APR. If you carry a balance more often than not, the 12.99% interest rate will save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year as compared to the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Cons of the Regions Bank Premium Visa Signature
The biggest drawback to this card is its annual fee, which cuts into the overall value even when you take into account the 3% rewards bonus the first 90 days and the permanent 1.5% rewards rate.
The Capital One Quicksilver offers the same rewards rate without an annual fee and the Citi Double Cash has a better rewards rate and no annual fee.
Who Would Enjoy This Card the Most?
We believe you’ll enjoy this card if you’re a Regions customer who plans on carrying a balance of at least $5,000 and wants cash back rewards.
We say $5,000 because that’s the point at which this card becomes more valuable than the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The money you’d save with your lower APR ($150) exceeds the Premium Visa Signature’s annual fee ($125), resulting in $25 of savings since the two cards have the same permanent cash-back rate of 1.5%.
Related: The Best Rewards Credit Card of 2017