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Bellwether Smart Rate Card review

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A credit-building card with potentially low-interest rates.

  • Get this card if you want to build credit while paying low APR.
  • Pick something else if you want to earn rewards.
  • Apply with a fair credit score of 630 or higher for best chances of approval.


Annual fee


Intro purchase APR

for the first 12 billing cycles (then 8.99% to 18.99% variable)


Intro balance transfer

for the first 12 billing cycles (then 8.99% to 18.99% variable)

8.99% to 18.99%

Balance transfer APR (variable)


Product NameBellwether Smart Rate Card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR1.99% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 8.99% to 18.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 8.99% to 18.99% variable)
Cash advance rate8.99% to 18.99% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR24.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee2% of the transaction value
Interest free periodUp to 25 days
Late payment feeUp to $35
Returned payment feeUp to $27

Expert review

Kliment Dukovski

Review by

Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.

Expert review

The Bellwether Smart Rate Card can help you build your credit, while paying relatively low-interest rates. There’s also a 0% balance transfer offer for the first 12 billing cycles, which can help you consolidate your debt. But other than that, there’s not much going for the card.

There are even better secured cards that can help you build credit and even earn rewards on your purchases. For example, with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Secured you can earn up to 3% cash back on your purchases.

How to apply for the Bellwether Smart Rate Card Card

You can apply for the card in person at a bank branch or online. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the BCCU website.
  2. Click Borrow at the top menu and select Bellwether VISA Cards.
  3. Find the Smart Rate Card and click Apply now.
  4. Fill out the application form.
  5. Review the application and submit.

What credit score do I need?

For best chances of approval, apply with a fair credit score of 630 or higher.

Bellwether Smart Rate Card Card benefits

  • Intro APR period on purchases. Get a 1.99% intro APR period on purchases during your first 12 billing cycles when you open your account, and a variable 8.99% to 18.99% thereafter.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers. Get 12 billing cycles of 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, and a variable 8.99% to 18.99% after that.
  • No annual fee. There’s no annual fee with this card.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfer fees. Any balance transfer you make during the 0% intro APR period will cost you 4% of the amount. After the 0% intro APR period expires, there are no balance transfer fees.
  • Foreign transaction fees. There’s a 2% foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants.

Compare secured credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
Self Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
21.74% variable
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The Bellwether Smart Rate Card Card offers potentially low-interest rates and a long 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, while helping you build credit at the same time. This isn’t bad, but you may get a better value with other credit-building cards.

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