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DCU Visa Platinum Card: Low APR and No Annual Fees, if You Qualify for Membership

You won't earn rewards, but this starter card can help you start building credit.

CNET’S PICK
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
13.50% – 18.00% Variable
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points
Rewards Rate
N/A

Our take

The DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card* is a good starter card that cuts out a lot of fees that other credit card issuers charge. However, this card is only worth considering if you’re already a Digital Federal Credit Union member or if you meet the credit union’s slim criteria for membership. 

If you do qualify, you won’t have to worry about an annual fee, balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fees with this card. This card doesn’t boast any special rewards or introductory offers, but it’s a solid choice to kickstart building your credit without hidden fees or complex rewards systems. It also offers the chance to consolidate and pay off debt.

Here’s our take on the DCU Visa Platinum and other low-interest-rate credit cards to consider. 

DCU membership

You can apply for the card without becoming a member of DCU, but once you are approved, you need to become a member to get the card. While not everyone is eligible for membership, there are multiple ways to qualify. Here are the five ways you may qualify:

  1. You’re related to a current DCU member. 
  2. You work for or retired from a company in the list of participating employers. 
  3. You belong to or will join an organization that DCU serves. 
  4. You live, work, worship or attend school in any of the communities it serves. 
  5. You have a family member with any of these four qualifying factors. 

You can apply for membership online. You’ll need some basic personal information -- like your Social Security number, proof of physical address and contact information. DCU says that the application typically only takes about five minutes to complete. 

Interest rates and fees

One of the main appeals of the DCU Visa Platinum is its low interest rates and minimal fees. The average annual percentage rate on a new credit card sits around 20.09% as of March 29, 2023, according to CNET’s sister site Bankrate. The DCU Visa Platinum Credit Card offers below-average interest rates, between 13.50% APR and 18.00% APR, that can cost you less in interest if you’re ever unable to pay your balance in full.

Another major upside of the Visa Platinum card is its minimal fees. There are no annual, cash advance, transfer or foreign transaction fees. However, if you miss your monthly payment, you may be charged a late fee of up to $35, a standard fee among card issuers.

Pay off existing debt

While the DCU Visa Platinum doesn’t offer an introductory APR for balance transfers, you can transfer an existing debt onto this card without incurring a balance transfer fee. However, you won’t be able to pay down your debt with a temporary 0% APR -- instead, you’ll pay a minimum of 13.50% variable APR on your transferred balance. That may be helpful if your current debt’s APR is much higher, but we recommend turning to a balance transfer card that can help you save on interest instead.

Other perks

The Visa Platinum card doesn’t offer any welcome bonuses or 0% APR introductory offers. But there are a few extras that come with the card, including:

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Fraud text notifications
  • Easy access to see your credit score
  • No foreign transaction fees 
  • Same APR for balance transfers and new purchases

These bonuses aren’t comparable to some of the rewards or bonuses you may find with other cards, but if this is your first credit card, it’s a good option for building your credit without being enticed by rewards or perks. We like that this card has low interest rates, but it’s important to pay your balance in full and on time each month to establish and maintain good credit. 

Alternative cards

Gold Visa® Card

Another credit card with low interest rates is the PenFed Gold Visa Card. With an interest rate of 17.99% variable APR on purchases, the card’s rate isn’t quite as low as the DCU Visa Platinum Card rates. But like the Visa Platinum card, PenFed’s Gold Visa also doesn’t charge an annual fee. 

However, the Gold Visa does have a few perks that the Visa Platinum Card doesn’t. PenFed offers a 0% introductory purchase APR with this card for the first 15 months and a variable APR of 17.99% after that. Additionally, the card has a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for the first 15 months and a non-variable APR of 17.99% after that. Also, the balance transfer must be made within the first 90 days after account opening to qualify for the introductory period.

Disclosure: There’s a 0% Introductory APR on purchases made the first 15 months after account opening. After that, the APR for any unpaid purchase balance and any new purchases will be 17.99% based on your creditworthiness and will vary with the market based on the prime rate. There’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days after account opening. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be a non-variable rate of 17.99%. A 3% balance transfer fee applies to each transfer. This transaction is subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

Chase Slate Edge℠

The Chase Slate Edge* is similar to the Visa Platinum card in its lack of rewards. However, the Chase Slate Edge has a higher APR range (20.49% – 29.24% variable APR) than the Visa Platinum. This card’s real benefit is in its introductory rate, though. The 0% APR introductory period lasts for 18 months for new purchases and balance transfers (20.49% to 29.24% variable APR thereafter). 

Since the intro APR offer applies to balance transfers, you may prefer this card instead of the Visa Platinum if you need to pay off debt and avoid paying more in interest. Comparatively, the Visa Platinum lets you transfer a balance, but you’ll start paying interest when your first balance is due since there’s no 0% APR introductory offer.

How the DCU Visa Platinum Card compares to other cards

CNET’S PICK
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
13.50% – 18.00% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points
Gold Visa® Card

Gold Visa® Card

5.5/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
17.99% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases made the first 15 months after account opening
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points
Chase Slate Edge℠
Learn More

Chase Slate Edge℠

8/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
20.49% – 29.24% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 18 months
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points

FAQs

DCU has a few different credit card options, and the credit score requirements for each are different. The Visa Platinum Credit Card generally requires a good credit score, though other factors may be considered it your score is lower-than-average.

It’s not necessarily easier to get a credit card through a credit union. However, since credit unions are not-for-profit organizations working to serve their members, they may be more likely to work with you to increase your chances of approval if you are a pre-existing member.

No, you must be a DCU member to open an account with them. However, there are multiple factors that can qualify you for membership with DCU based on these eligibility requirements.

*All information about the DCU Visa Platinum Credit Card and the Chase Slate Edge was collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Dashia is a staff editor for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.
Emma Woodward is a personal finance writer with a passion for simplifying tricky financial concepts. She has covered loans, budgeting and credit cards for Bankrate, The Financial Diet, Finch, Gusto and Human Interest. When she's not helping you balance your budget, you can find her writing about real estate, food and restaurant tech.