2017 Comparison Review: Discover it® Card vs. PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card vs. Wells Fargo Cash Back Card vs. US Bank Platinum Card
Introduction: Selected Credit Card Comparison
When searching for the best credit card, it is important to consider a variety of options and compare many different cards’ strengths and weaknesses. It is very unlikely that any one credit card will ever be the perfect fit, but a good balance of advantages and disadvantages can help it be as close to perfect as possible.
The unique benefits and drawbacks of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, U.S. Bank Platinum Card, Discover it® Card, and PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card will be compared below to help every prospective credit card holder find the best fit for their own financial situation.
Image source: Pixabay
It is important to consider each card as a whole and weigh different aspects against one another for the greatest possible balance. For example, a card with a more attractive rewards program but a higher APR may be the better option for a customer specifically seeking high rewards. To help each customer find the best fit, this comparison will examine in particular:
- Rewards programs
- Introductory periods
- Card security
- Special features
Comparison Review List
The list below is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section):
- Discover it® Card
- PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card
- U.S. Bank Platinum Visa® Card
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
High-Level Comparison Table
Credit Card Names
Late Payment Penalty
|Discover it® Card||11.24% and 23.24%||5% in selected categories up to $1,500.|
1% on all other purchases
|no penalty for first late payment|
Up to $37 after first incident
|PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card||12.24% and 22.24%||4 points per qualifying dollar||29.24% Penalty APR|
|U.S. Bank Platinum Visa® Card||10.24% and 21.24%||None||Up to $37|
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card||13.24% and 25.24%,||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on net charges||Up to $37|
Discover it® Card Review
The Discover it® Card is a great option for customers looking for rewards and competitive rates. The Discover it credit card features an introductory period with a 0% APR for the first 12 months. This also includes a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. For 12 months a customer will not be charged for transfers that post to the account by February 10, 2017.
Image from Discover
After the introductory period has ended, the Discover it® Card has a variable APR and transfer balance rate between 11.24% and 23.24% depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness. Cash advances for this Discover credit card offers are subject to a variable APR of 25.24%. However, it should be noted that this card has no annual fee.
One of the biggest selling points for this Discover credit card offer is that the first time a customer makes a late payment, it will be forgiven with no penalty. A customer’s APR will not increase due to late payments. Discover it® credit card customers can be charged up to $37 for any following late payments. The Discover it® Card also has no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee, for added flexibility.
The Discover it® card rewards program is a little more complicated than some but offers steady cash back that never expires and can be redeemed at any time and in any amount. With the Discover it® Card, customers can earn 5% cash back in selected categories up to $1,500. These selected categories are subject to change each quarter.
This means that Discover it® credit card customers do need to track the category changes to earn rewards effectively, but it also means that as categories change, customers have greater options to earn rewards annually.
Discover it® Card customers are limited in that the 5% rate does have a limit. However, after this threshold has been reached, customers can earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. To further increase Discover it® card rewards, the company will automatically match all cash back earned in the first year that new card members are part of the program.
The Discover it® Card offers customers many useful features. Customers are able to access their FICO credit score online or on monthly statements for no extra cost. This is a great tool to help cardholders learn about and manage their credit score. The Discover it® Card also offers a number of security features, which includes:
- Zero Fraud Liability for unauthorized card purchases
- Overnight shipping for card replacements at no extra cost
- Instant account freezing either online or through the app to prevent new purchases
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PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card Review
The PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card is an excellent choice for those looking for competitive balance transfer options. The PNC Points® Visa has an introductory period with a 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles. This offer extends to balance transfers, which also have a 0% APR for this first 12 billing cycles as long as the transfer occurs within the first 90 days.
Image from PNC
After the introductory period, PNC Points® Visa customers will be offered a variable APR between 12.24% and 22.24% based on the cardholder’s creditworthiness. Balance transfers APRs for the PNC points® Visa® Credit Card will also be between 12.24% and 22.24% if they are made after the 90-day limit. Furthermore, all cash advances for the PNC Points® Visa will be subject to a variable APR of 22.24%.
The PNC Points® Visa features a penalty APR for late payments. In the event that a payment is late, the APR for the offending account will be changed to 29.24%. PNC Points® Visa customers will carry the penalty rates until six consecutive payments of at least the minimum required amount have been paid on time.
The PNC Points® Visa does not have an annual fee, which offers customers additional savings. However, for cardholders who travel internationally, foreign transactions made with the PNC Points® Visa will be charged 3% of their value in US dollars. This could be a setback for customers who travel frequently, and it is a factor to consider.
The PNC Points® Visa offers rewards in the form of a points program. Every qualifying dollar spent on this card results in 4 points being awarded to the account. PNC Points® Visa rewards can be redeemed in many ways including: cash, prizes, gift cards, and travel expenses.
PNC Points® Visa customers have many opportunities to earn bonus rewards. As an introductory bonus, customers can earn 50,000 bonus points when they make $750 worth of qualifying purchases during the first 3 billing cycles. Cardholders can also earn bonuses for maintaining specific minimum balance or direct deposit requirements in a qualifying checking account. PNC Points® Visa customers have the potential to earn 75%, 50%, or 25% bonuses depending on these qualification requirements.
The PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card offers customers many appealing features. These features are designed to increase the convenience and security of card membership. Customers are able to enjoy bonuses like:
- Electronic bill payment
- Online and mobile banking options
- Zero customer liability for fraudulent charges
- Travel and emergency protection
- Protection services against fraud
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers customers an opportunity to save with solid rate options. The U.S. Bank Platinum card has an introductory period for the first 12 billing cycles. During this time U.S. Bank Platinum Visa® customers can take advantage of a 0% APR on purchases and a 12-month 0% rate for balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
Image from U.S. Bank
After the introductory period has ended U.S. Bank Platinum Visa® customers will be offered a variable APR for purchases and balance transfers between 10.24% and 21.24% based on each cardholder’s creditworthiness. U.S. Bank Platinum Visa® customers will also be offered a 24.24% APR for cash advances.
U.S. Bank Platinum credit card applicants should keep in mind that foreign transactions are subject to a fee of 2% of the value of the transaction in US dollars and 3% of the value of the transaction in a foreign currency. However, the U.S. Bank Platinum card offers no penalty APRs, no annual fees, and no overlimit fees. There is a balance of cost and savings with the U.S. Bank Platinum credit card depending on individual customer needs and expectations.
The U.S. Bank Platinum credit card does not offer a rewards program. This might be a drawback to customers specifically seeking rewards credit cards. However, the U.S. Bank Platinum card does offer savings in the form of low rates and limited fees. These savings can compensate for the lack of a rewards program for the right customers.
The U.S. Bank Platinum card includes many features to help customers use the card most effectively. These features offer insurance, security, convenience, and finance management options that help make the U.S. Bank Platinum card competitive and attractive. These special features include:
- Online banking options
- Customers can choose their own credit bill due dates
- Each account is monitored for fraudulent activity
- Account holders are notified when fraudulent activity is detected
- Customers have the option of setting up automatic payments to avoid interest and late fees
- This card can be linked to a smartphone to allow payments through a mobile app
- Overdraft protection to transfer funds from the card into a U.S. Bank account as needed
- The U.S Bank Platinum card offers auto rental coverage when the cost of a rental car is covered with the card
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is an excellent option with a simple rewards program. The Wells Fargo cash back card offers an introductory period of 12 months. During this time customers are offered a 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers.
Image from Wells Fargo
After the introductory period, Wells Fargo cash back card customers will be offered a variable purchase and balance transfer APR between 13.24% and 25.24%, depending on their creditworthiness. The Wells Fargo cash back card APR for cash advances has a much smaller range and will be between 24.24% and 26.24%. This Wells Fargo credit card offer does have a 3% charge for all foreign transactions, but also has no annual fee.
Wells Fargo cash back card has an uncomplicated rewards program. Customers can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on net Wells Fargo cash back card purchases. These rewards never expire and can be used on purchases without category restrictions or quarterly limits.
Wells Fargo cash back card rewards gives customers the freedom to collect their cash back in a variety of ways. Rewards can be redeemed at Wells Fargo ATMs in $20 increments, deposited directly into a Wells Fargo checking account, or applied to qualified mortgages as principle. The Wells Fargo cash back card also offers an introductory rewards bonus; customers can earn $150 when they spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Along with its lucrative rewards program, the Wells Fargo cash back card also offers customers a wide range of features. Wells Fargo cash back card features help keep the card secure, easy to use, and offer customers exclusive insurance bonuses. Wells Fargo cash back card features include:
- Fraud monitoring
- Customers are not liable for unauthorized transactions reported quickly
- Chip technology
- Notifications about suspicious activity
- Mobile phone insurance available when the bill is paid with the card
- Rental card insurance options when rental is paid with the card
- Emergency cash advance or replacement card in the event that a card is stolen.
The Wells Fargo credit card offers for rewards are uncomplicated and have very few restrictions. Customers can use their card for necessary, everyday spending and still earn useful cash back.
To compare, the Discover it® card rewards program is slightly more complicated because there are special restrictions, and qualifying categories are subject to change. Discover it® credit card customers are not guaranteed to earn rewards on categories that fit their spending habits each quarter.
The PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card offers customers something a little different in their rewards program. Cardholders must keep track of a points system in order to use this program. Despite this complication, customers are able to earn points simply by having a certain balance in qualifying checking accounts, which would make this system very attractive to established PNC customers.
The PNC Points® Visa® charges foreign transactions 3% of their value in US dollar, U.S. Bank Platinum charges 2% of the transaction value in US dollars and 3% of the transaction valued in a foreign currency, and the Wells Fargo cash back card charges 3% per foreign transactions. It is only through the Discover credit card offers that customers can avoid foreign transaction fees completely.
The PNC Points® Visa® responds to late payments with an increased APR that will last until the customer has made six consecutive payments on time.
Through the Wells Fargo credit card offer customers can have a late payment fee as high as $37 and with the U.S Bank Platinum card customers can expect the same late payment fee as high as $37. With the Discover credit card offer, customers are offered no penalty for their first late payment, but following slip ups can be fined up to $37.
The U.S. Bank Platinum card offers the lowest overall APR with a range between 10.24% and 21.24%. This does not necessarily mean that the U.S. Bank Platinum card is the best card from the list because each customer will have different needs that might outweigh a low APR. To compare, the Wells Fargo credit card offer being considered offers the highest APR with a range between 13.24% and 25.24%.
Conclusion—Credit Card Comparison
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card, U.S. Bank Platinum card, Discover it® Card, and PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card each have positive and negative aspects. Each card is a solid choice, depending on the needs of the individual customer. Each is backed by a reputable company, and there is no wrong choice.
Keep in mind the highlights from our comparison:
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card—straightforward rewards program
- U.S. Bank Platinum Card—Lowest overall APR
- Discover it® Card—no penalty for first late payment
- PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card—point-based rewards program
To choose the best card for you, it is important to focus on the aspects that are most important to your own finances.
You may want to consider your credit score, financial needs, and expectations for a credit card. With the information provided in our comparison, you can weigh the best aspects of each card against their potential drawbacks to find the best fit for you.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.