Golden 1 Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that was founded in 1933 in California. The financial services company has over 800,00 members located in 38 counties across California. Golden 1 offers three main Visa card selections for consumers that are designed to meet specific credit needs. Cards are available for established members who want cash back rewards for frequent purchases and for consumers that either need to start or rebuild personal credit histories. Golden 1 Credit Union also provides a selection of various additional financial products and services as well as well as online and mobile banking services.

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
6.99 - 10.5%
Yes
6.2
#2
0 - 18.15%
Yes
6.2
#3
5.99 - 18%
Yes
6.1
#5
Golden1
7.79 - 13.79%
Yes
6.1

The Good

  • Numerous benefits
  • Minimal rates and fees
  • Online banking and bill pay

Numerous Benefits

All of the company’s credit cards offer low interest rates and a 25-day grace period for all eligible purchases. Cardholders are able to earn 3 percent back on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases and 1 percent back on all other eligible purchases. There are no limits to the amount of cash back that may be earned and rewards are automatically deposited into the cardholder’s banking account. Available credit limits range from $2,000 to $50,000 depending on credit card selection.

Minimal Rates and Fees

APRs on purchases range from 7.79 to 13.79 percent. There are no annual fees or balance transfer fees charged on any of the credit cards. Cash advance transaction fees are the greater amount of $5 or 3 percent of the total transaction. The company charges a $15 fee for late payments and $5 for returned payments. Foreign transaction fees are 1 percent of the total transaction amount. These annual percentage rates and fees are much lower than most other industry competitors.

Online Banking and Bill Pay

Golden 1 provides both mobile and online banking services with bill pay services for its members. Cardholders can view account statements, transfer funds, set up automatic recurring payments, and transfer money to anyone in the world. Customers can customize alerts for transaction activities and reminders for bill due dates. Account holders are also given access to financial tools that can assist them with creating a household budget, prepare tax information, and categorize transaction spending. With the company’s mobile app, account holders can deposit checks electronically with a snapshot image and access all online banking services at their convenience from any location.

The Bad

  • Service limitations
  • Reward redemption restrictions
  • No 24/7 customer service

Service Limitations

The financial services company only provides credit card service to California residents. Consumers must enroll as members and open a saving account with the credit union. Cardholders must place and maintain a minimum balance in the saving accounts in order to qualify for credit card eligibility. However, this requirement is not all that bad since only $1 is required to maintain the minimum balance. All accounts must be in good standing to receive earned cash back rewards.

Reward Redemption Restrictions

Rewards cannot be redeemed for anything other than cash back. There are no travel perks or other non-cash items that are typically offered by many other similar industry competitors. Earned rewards are posted at the end of an account holder’s monthly billing cycle rather than immediately after an eligible purchase is made. Other reward redemption restrictions may apply and consumers should read all terms and conditions provided in the service agreement before signing.

No 24/7 Customer Service

Golden 1 does not offer 24/7 customer service for its members. There is no live chat feature available either on the website in order to speak with a customer service representative about any questions or issues that may arise. Customers can contact the company through a toll-free number during normal business hours or by email with response in less than one business day. Company contact information is disclosed on its website.

The Bottom Line

Golden 1 Credit Union provides a comprehensive selection of financial products and services to California residents. The company offers multiple credit card options that feature cash back rewards on a variety of everyday purchases. Customer may earn 3 percent cash back on gas, grocery, and dining purchases and a 1 percent reward for all other eligible purchases. The credit cards feature minimal interest rates and surcharges which can make them a good choice for consolidating small amounts of debt. The company also provides online and mobile banking services for customers to manage their accounts at their convenience.

Consumers must be located in California and become a member in order to be eligible for credit card approval. Consumers must also open a checking account and maintain a minimum balance. Redemption options are limited to cash back only and there are restrictions on how the rewards may be redeemed. Frequent travelers will want to consider another industry competitor’s credit card offer that includes the travel perks and other incentives that these credit cards lack.

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