Upfront Rewards

What is, or more aptly at this point, was the Upfront Rewards Visa Platinum card offered by Universal Savings Bank?  This credit card came with big and tempting promises, including immediate and substantial rewards.  Today, websites connected with the Upfront Rewards Visa card have all disappeared, with the cards now being serviced by a new provider.

The Upfront Rewards Visa Platinum card offered rather unusual terms in comparison to many credit cards. While the standard credit card offer may encourage balance transfers by offering no fee options, low introductory APRs and rewards points, the Upfront Rewards Visa Platinum card offered your rewards upon transferring a balance to the card. The most common reward was a Dell laptop computer, supposedly valued at $800; however, other options included a flat screen television, an Oreck vacuum cleaner or a gift card for golfing equipment. It should be noted that many of the reward options were available for much less than the claimed value, sometimes by as much as several hundred dollars.

Approval for the card did, in and of itself, require a $5000 balance transfer. If you did not have that amount to transfer, they would issue a fee free cash advance of up to $2,500. With an APR of 9.99%, 10.99% or 11.99% depending on your credit, the overall interest rates for this card were not particularly troublesome.

One of the big concerns with this card was the minimum balance policy. You were required to maintain a $3500 minimum balance for a period of 18 months or be subject to a $600 charge. Interest on the $3500 would, in and of itself, add up to around $600.  The free laptop deal in this case was really only smart if you were already carrying a balance of at least $3500 on a card with an equal or higher interest rate and had no expectation of being able to bring it down within the next 18 months.  The lesson learned with the Upfront Rewards card? Read the fine print and make sure you know what you are agreeing to when you accept a credit card.

If you had one of these cards and would like to pay down your balance, consider calling the current card servicer to see if restrictions are still in place. Do not make the assumption that the restrictions are no longer applicable and pay off your balance without checking on any possible restrictions that remain in place. While the Upfront Rewards Visa Platinum card was not a credit scam, it was a poor choice for many consumers, particularly if they did not typically carry substantial credit card debt.

This is in regards to the Universal Savings Bank credit card based in Minneapolis, MN. If you have had an experience you would like to share please write us.