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Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard — Rewards Worth It?

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Founded in 1874 and headquartered in San Francisco, Bank of the West predominantly serves the Midwest and western portions of the United States, with nearly 700 branched located within these regions. The financial institution provides an assortment of services for personal banking, as well as wealth management, small business and commercial services and benefits. For bank members looking for a rewards credit card, the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard provides various perks and services to cardholders that aren’t found with other major credit cards.

There are three cards offered through Bank of the West, including the Platinum Rewards, Platinum and Standard. Depending on desires or spending habits, any of these card options can be helpful with financing and provide a range of benefits depending on what the cardholder is looking for when it comes to using the card. What’s the difference between the Platinum card and Platinum Rewards? While the Platinum card has its own set of appealing terms and conditions, it does not offer reward points – so it’s essential to decide whether the points are an important aspect of having a credit card or not.

Benefits of the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard

The benefits associated with the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard are simple – but ideal for those just starting out with a rewards card or credit card in general, and the terms and conditions are appealing as well. Here are some of the rewards offered with the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard:

  • No annual fee
  • 1 point earned for every $1 spent
  • Ability to earn unlimited points, with no annual restrictions or expiration dates
  • Rewards include travel accommodations, cash rebates, gift cards and merchandise
  • Ability to use points on domestic and international flights without worrying about blackout dates

Having a MasterCard also provides freedom and flexibility when it comes to using a credit card anywhere. Worldwide merchants and establishments take MasterCard, but it’s important to consider the foreign transaction fee when using this as an advantage or disadvantage. Cardholders also have access to credit card accounts online with the Online Banking feature with Bank of the West. The online banking provides members with account summaries, payment options and access 24/7. Additional benefits of holding the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard include:

  • Identity Theft Protection and Resolution
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Extended Warranty

Upon accruing reward points, cardholders have a variety of awards to take advantage of including travel accommodations, gift cards and even cash. The Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard catalog offers an in-depth look at the various award one might earn and feature merchandise from top name brands such as Apple, Bose, Panasonic and Seiko. When it comes to travel, rewards points may be applied toward:

  • Cruises
  • Recreational activities – such as snorkeling or hot air balloon rides. Activities are found in countless destinations worldwide.
  • Vacation getaways
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Flights

If gift cards are an ideal way to redeem points, there are a variety of stores to redeem reward points from including Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Staples, Regal Entertainment and The Home Depot. Rewards point redemption begins at 2,500 points of a $10 gift card to any number of stores, ranging all the way up to 50,000 points for a $500 gift card. Cash rewards are also available and range from 5,000 points for $25 cash rewards, up to 25,000 points for $200 cash rewards.

Terms and Conditions for the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard

Before signing up for a credit card, check out the terms and conditions to compare different offers. Determine what’s important – such as having rewards points or not, which can be a major factor in choosing a card. Introductory rates, such as what is offered with the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard are nice, but they don’t last more than a certain amount of time – so take advantage of them, but don’t depend on the low interest rate for more than the designated number of months associated with the offer. For the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard, there is an introductory annual percentage rate of 0% for the first six months on purchases, but after the six months, it jumps to 18.99% — which is also the same APR for balance transfers. The APR for cash advances is 24.99%, as is the penalty APR for any late or missed payment. A penalty interest rate is usually steep, and stays for the life of the loan – so try never to miss a payment or get one in late!

MasterCard is a great, versatile card to take on vacations around the world – but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee to be aware of when traveling. This fee is applied to each transaction, which could add up over time. There is no annual fee, which is ideal for any rewards credit card. The Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard offers a good number of benefits without the annual fee, so new credit card users will appreciate that benefit.

Overall, the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard is a good card with a decent annual percentage rate after the introductory offer. While these perks make the card ideal for some, there are still a range of rewards credit cards out there that offer longer introductory rates and no annual fees. Another thing to consider is the low rewarding system. For new users, the rewards might seem ample – but for those who want an aggressive earning system or plan to use the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard on a wide range of purchases, it could take a while to earn any worthwhile points. Many credit cards out there offer two or three times the number of points for each dollar spent. Take time comparing pros and cons to determine if the Bank of the West Platinum Rewards MasterCard is the way to go!

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