Arrowhead Credit Union was founded in 1949 by employees of San Bernardino County. The credit union now serves the needs of individuals in the Inland Empire, which covers San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Arrowhead offers two credit cards: the Visa Credit Card and the Share-Secured Visa. The first card has a variable APR ranging from 10.24 to 25.24 percent, dependent upon creditworthiness. The latter option offers a fixed APR of 18.24 percent.
Arrowhead provides its cardholders with a free Experian credit score report each month. Few credit card companies offer this helpful feature.
No Annual Fees
The credit cards offered through Arrowhead Credit Union do not require any annual or startup fees, which keeps more money in the pockets of the members.
No Balance Transfer Fees
Oftentimes, consumers will transfer their credit card balances from an account with a higher APR to an account with a lower APR. Credit card providers sometimes charge a fee in the form of a percentage of the balance transferred or a minimum charge, whichever is smaller. However, Arrowhead Credit Union does not charge any fees for balance transfers. Additionally, Arrowhead does not require open account term limits on free balance transfers.
No Cash Advance Fees
When a credit card customer needs cash from a credit card account, this is called a cash advance. Credit card providers sometimes charge a fee on cash advances in the form of a percentage of the amount or a fixed rate, but Arrowhead Credit Union does not charge any fees for cash advances.
Arrowhead Credit Union members can use their credit card as overdraft protection for their checking accounts. This can be set up online, over the phone, or in a branch office.
Late payment penalties
Foreign transaction fees
Unknown fraud safeguards
No introductory APRs
Limited customer service
Credit cards often have some sort of rewards program attached that offers points for qualified purchases that can then be used toward merchandise, travel, cash back, or an account balance. Unfortunately, Arrowhead Credit Union does not offer a rewards program, which can be a major deterrent to some consumers.
Late Payment Penalties
Every late credit card payment with Arrowhead accrues a $25 fee added to the next month's bill. Returned payments accrue a $10 fee.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign transaction fees are typically charged as a percentage of the total charge when customers make a purchase internationally. For those who travel abroad often, foreign transaction fees may be an issue. Arrowhead applies a 1 percent fee to all foreign transactions.
Unknown Fraud Safeguards
Many credit card companies have safeguards in place to protect their customers from fraud and theft. Typical safeguards include alert systems, password protection, and verification programs. However, it is unclear whether or not Arrowhead offers any of these features.
No Introductory APRs
Credit card providers often offer a low introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for a certain term. This is especially helpful for individuals who make a card balance transfer to pay off debts. These consumers will probably have better luck with a different company, as Arrowhead does not offer an introductory period.
Limited Customer Service
Arrowhead customer service is only available from 8 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and 8 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays. If a customer needs emergency service outside of these hours, they must contact Visa directly.
The Bottom Line
Arrowhead credit card accounts are an excellent choice for individuals who would like to monitor and improve their credit or who may need to use their credit card for emergency or backup funds during times of hardship. The free balance transfer is a nice perk, but the lack of an introductory APR period may be a deterrent. Further, the fact that Arrowhead Credit Union does not offer a rewards program may lead consumers to consider other options.