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LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021

GTE Financial is a not-for-profit cooperative that was founded in 1935 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The financial services company offer its customers a choice of either a Visa Platinum or a Visa Secured credit card, along with many other financial products and services. Members are able to manage their finances anytime with the company's CURewards mobile app on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. The financial services company accepts and serves members from anywhere in the United States. GTE Financial is an equal housing lender and is federally-insured by the National Credit Union Association.

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The Good

  • Reward benefits
  • Limited interest fees
  • Financial education and resources

Reward Benefits

Both of GTE Financial's Visa card options come with several benefits and features. Cardholders can track all their spending using customizable Visa Alerts; Verified by Visa service ensures secure purchase transactions. Customers can earn 1 percent back on eligible purchases, which can be redeemed for a choice of over 3,000 available rewards through an optional CURewards program. Cardholders are automatically enrolled to receive travel accident and baggage delay insurance. Additional benefits include purchase replacement protection, automobile rental discounts, and a 24-hour travel center.

Limited Interest Fees

The APRs for purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers range between 8.24 to 17.99 percent. There are no annual fees for most cards except for a $25 charge on the Visa Platinum with CURewards. However, this fee can also be waived if a cardholder enrolls in the company's Member Advantage Program. The APRs are good for consumers with less-than-perfect credit provided they can meet certain credit history requirements for approval. The minimal fees makes the cards an excellent choice for consumers who make frequent travel purchases or want to consolidate moderate amounts of debt from multiple cards. There are no balance transfer or cash advance transaction fees. A $25 fee will be assessed on the first payment and $35 will be charged for each offense thereafter. There is also a $25 charge for returned payments.

Financial Education and Resources

The company offers a wide variety of financial education resources on its corporate website. GTE Financial provides a number of publications, video podcasts, and financial toolkits for its members. There are various calculators for members to use in calculating estimated monthly payments. Customers can also connect with a live financial counselor directly on the website to get answers for their unique financial situations. In addition, the company conducts free financial literacy workshops in its local service area.

The Bad

  • Service limitations
  • Administrative fees
  • Reward redemption limitations

Service Limitations

In order to receive credit card approval, customers must become members. This requires a $5 fee to open a Member Owner Share account. Customers will also need to open a personal bank account, which may require a minimum deposit. Cardholders must deposit a minimum of $500 in order to obtain the GTE Financial Visa Secured credit card. Certain other eligibility requirements and restrictions may apply which are not fully disclosed on the corporate website. The company does not appear to offer FICO credit scores for its members.

Administrative Fees

The financial services company charges several administrative fees for additional services. The fee for card replacement is $6.95 and statement copies will cost $1 each. The company charges a $5 fee for payment processor transactions and up to $29 for returned and stopped payment fees. There are also various membership fees as well as additional administrative fees that customers may be surprised with if they do not read all terms and conditions carefully. Full disclosure on all fees can be found directly on the corporate website.

Reward Redemption Limitations

Earned rewards are set to expire four years after the date in which they are awarded. Cash reward points can take up to five days to post to a cardholder' account and merchandise can take over six weeks to arrive by mail. The financial services company does not offer 24/7 customer service for its members.

The Bottom Line

GTE Financial offers a couple choices of Visa credit card options for members. These credit cards feature numerous benefits and features with minimal interest and fees. The cards are suitable for consumers with all types of credit histories. Membership applications are accepted from anywhere in the United States. The company provides numerous other financial products and services, as well as free financial resources and tools on its corporate website. The biggest downside to GTE Financial is the various administrative and membership fees it charges to its members. Consumers are required to enroll as members and open a personal banking account in order to receive credit eligibility approval. There are also several restrictions on rewards redemption. Consumers should carefully review all disclosures before applying for membership and submitting a credit application.
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