Personal Finance

5 Things to Know About the Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard

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The Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard® is designed for consumers with fair credit (typically, those with FICO scores from 630 to 689). While you won’t earn a sign-up bonus or ongoing rewards, it does come with a coveted “triple zero” combo: a 0% intro APR period, a promotional no balance transfer fee window, and a $0 annual fee.

Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum MasterCard Credit Card

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The card faces competition from other credit cards for fair credit that offer rewards programs. But it’s a good option if your priority is getting extra time to pay down a credit card balance without incurring a fee.

Here are five things to know about the Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard®.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best no balance transfer fee credit cards

1. Credit union membership is required

As with many credit cards offered by credit unions, there’s a membership hurdle first. You must join the Aspire Federal Credit Union in order to qualify for the Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard®.

You can join if someone in your immediate family or household is already a member, or if you work for a company that offers membership to its employees. Otherwise, you can join by becoming a member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. There’s no fee to join the MMSC when you join the Aspire Federal Credit Union.

2. Pay no interest for the first six months …

The Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard® offers an intro APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 6 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 8.90% – 18.00% Variable.

Compared with other cards that offer 0% intro APR promotions, that’s a relatively short time frame. But if you know you can pay down your balance quickly, the Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard® makes it worth your while (more on that below).

3. .. While also avoiding a balance transfer fee (if you act fast)

Transfer a balance within the first six months of opening your card and you’ll pay no balance transfer fee.

After that, you’ll be charged a fee of $5 or 2% of the transferred balance, whichever is greater. That’s still lower than the typical balance transfer fee of 3-5%.

4. There is no rewards program

The Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard® keeps it simple: You make purchases with the card, and you pay your bill (ideally on time and in full so you can build a positive credit history). Its primary perk is that “triple zero” punch for balance transfers.

If you’d prefer a card for average credit that earns rewards, there are other possibilities. 

The Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card features this sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Statement Credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening. You’ll also earn 5 points per $1 on up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating bonus categories (1 point per $1 after that), and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0. Plus, it offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.65% – 24.65% Variable APR. However, there’s a balance transfer fee of 3%.

If you’d rather not keep track of bonus categories, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. But there’s no sign-up bonus or 0% intro APR period, and you’ll pay a $39 annual fee.

5. Cardholders get select Mastercard benefits

A few Mastercard benefits help round out the Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard®:

  • An extended warranty that adds extra time to a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Price protection (a perk that’s become increasingly hard to find) that can reimburse you the difference if you find the same item for a lower price within certain a period of time.

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet