Regions Preferred Visa Review

Regions Signature Preferred VisaThe Regions Preferred Visa allows members to earn Regions Relationship Rewards and also offers an introductory APR on balance transfers to new account holders.  It comes with a hefty annual fee of $125.  The membership fee is not waived for the first year.  This card is issued by Regions Financial Corporation.

New members receive a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers through the end of the seventh month billing cycle after your account is activated.  This promotional APR does not apply to purchases made with the card.  To qualify for the 0% rate, balance transfer requests must be submitted and post to your account within 60 days from the date your account is opened.  Note: Transfers may take up to four weeks to process.  After this promotional time period ends, the APR on both purchases and balance transfers will be 11.99%.  A balance transfer fee of $10 or 4% of the total transfer amount is applied to all balance transfers.  The $10 fee is double what most credit cards charge.  Additionally, this fee is not waived during the promotional time period.

Cardholders earn one and half points for every dollar spent in eligible purchases with the Regions Signature Preferred Visa.  Additionally, the more products and services you use with Regions Bank the more points you can earn.  For example:

Sign up for this: Earn this:
Mobile Banking 250 points
Savings 500 points
Consumer Loans 500 points
Mortgages 500 points
Money Market 500 points
Online Banking 250 points

Relationship Rewards points may be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or credited directly to a Regions checking account.  A word of warning- Regions does not disclose the actual value of redemption points to prospective applicants.  The online catalog is only available to existing customers.  Many times this is an indication that points do not have much value.  Any time a card offers rewards in the form of “points” rather than “cash back” your overall return on rewards may be much less- close inspection is definitely warranted before signing on.

Members receive additional Visa Signature Preferred benefits:

  • Purchase Security- Provides replacement, repair, or reimbursement for eligible items purchased with the Regions Signature Preferred Visa within 90 days of date of sale. Exclusions and limitations apply.
  • Visa Signature Concierge- Assists in finding tickets to sporting and entertainment events as well as booking travel and making dinner reservations.
  • Price Protection- If you find a lower advertised price on an item you purchased with the card within 60 days of purchase, you will receive a price difference reimbursement. Limitations and restrictions apply.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption- In the event your travel booking was paid for with the card and it is either cancelled or interrupted, you may be reimbursed for up to the maximum benefit of $5,000.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement- If your checked or carry-on luggage is ever lost or stolen, you may be entitled to reimbursement. Restrictions and exclusions apply.  To be eligible, your entire common carrier ticket must be paid for with your card.

Members are charged a 1% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made with the card while traveling internationally.  This is a lower rate than both the Regions Platinum Visa and Regions Signature Visa which both charge a 3% fee.

The Facts

Below we have broken down the specifics of the Regions Preferred Visa to help when deciding if it’s the right card for you.

The Good:

Introductory APR:    

This card does offer a promotional APR to new members (but just barely).  New cardholders receive a 0% APR on balance transfers for seven billing cycles from the time your account is opened.  Note: This promotional offer only applies to balance transfers- not purchases.  With many cards offering at least a 12-month introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, this one is a bit skimpy.  The balance transfer fee of $10 or 4% of the total transfer amount is not waived.  After this time, the APR will be 11.99%.

Simple rewards program:

Card members earn points in the form of Relationship Rewards at the rate of one and half points per eligible $1 spent on the card.  The more Regions Bank services and products you use, the more points you can earn.

Easy to redeem:

Points can be redeemed online for the latest merchandise, gift cards, or credited to a Regions checking account.

Good standard APR:

This card offers all members an annual percentage rate of 11.99%.  For a rewards credit card this is a very competitive rate.

Additional Visa Signature Preferred benefits:

Cardholders receive these benefits as well:

  • Purchase Security
  • Visa Signature Concierge
  • Price Protection
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

The Bad:

Points versus cash back:

Members earn points rather than cash back with this card.  Often this is an indication that points do not have much redemption value.  Regions does not disclose any redemption amounts on its website so prospective applicants have no way of viewing the catalog and seeing the actual points needed for a specific reward item.  This might be a red flag that your overall return on rewards is much less than originally thought.

Excellent credit needed:

Generally, an excellent credit score is needed (750+ FICO) to qualify for this card.

The Ugly:

High annual fee:

The annual fee for the Regions Signature Preferred Visa is $125.  This fee is not waived for the first year of membership.

When you take into account the high annual fee and the excellent credit score needed to be approved for this card- the rewards just don’t measure up.  Members do receive a competitive APR of 11.99% but earning points instead of actual cash back can minimize the rate of return you receive when redeeming rewards.