KeyBank is a subsidiary of KeyCorp, one of the largest bank-based financial services companies in the U.S. KeyCorp is a result of the merger of two of its predecessors – Albany, New York-based KeyCorp and Cleveland-based Society Corporation in 1994. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp has approximately $93.8 billion in assets. As of this writing, KeyCorp is completing an estimated $3.6 billion acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group.

 

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
8.24 - 18.0%
8.3
#2
11.24 - 23.24%
8.0
#3
11.24 - 23.24%
7.9
#10
key_bank
10.24 - 22.24%
7.5

The Good

APR Range

Key Bank’s cards have an introductory 0% APR for the first 6-15 billing cycles (six months to 15 months). This is the range we found across the board with cards offered by credit companies. Ongoing APRs with Key Bank are variable, ranging from 10.24% to 22.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. This also was found to be the typical APR range for credit card companies, making KeyBank both competitive and average at the same time.

Annual fee range

Exemplary are KeyBank’s annual fees. None of their cards charge annual fees. When compared with competing credit card companies, we found these companies to only offer certain cards without annual fees; all the other cards had annual fees. For example, the majority of Chase’s credit cards carry an annual fee of $95 or $99 per year. This is especially noteworthy because many companies have several cards (5 or more) so they can “afford” to offer at least one or two cards without annual fees. Key Bank, on the other hand, only offers 2 cards, which doesn’t leave room for variety. The fact that they offer zero annual fees for both cards is indeed exemplary.

Foreign Transaction Fees

If you plan on using your KeyBank card overseas, KeyBank charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each foreign transaction after its conversion into U.S. Dollars. So if you spend $30 in Euros, you will be charged 3% of the amount of $30 in US dollars. A 3% fee seems to be the standard foreign transaction fee among credit card companies, since that’s the percentage we found to be most prevalent.

Cards Offered

KeyBank offers customers two MasterCard credit cards:

  • Key2More Rewards® Credit Card
  • KeyBank LatitudeSM Credit Card

As a regional banking institution, KeyBank only offers its credit cards to consumers in the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. This is less than the major credit card companies and banks (i.e. Bank of America) which offer cards to consumers in all 50 States. Also, we found 2 credit cards to be minimal compared to other banks and companies offering an average of 5 or more—some offer as many as 21 cards. This gives consumers variety and a greater chance of finding a card that meets their specific needs.

Options for Rewards

Both of KeyBank’s cards offer a rewards program where cardholders earn points for purchases that can be used for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and cash back. Here are the rewards we thought were the best:

Key2More Rewards® Credit Card:

  • No cap on rewards points earned
  • Earn up to 10,000 rewards points after 5 purchase transactions in the first 60 days of opening your account
  • Earn five KeyBank Relationship Rewards® points for every $1 in “eligible” credit card purchases with no monthly maximum.
Security

When it comes to security features, KeyBank doesn’t disappoint. We found both of their cards to offer customers the following features:

  • Identity Theft Resolution Services: KeyBank provides credit bureau notification, credit card replacement, an ID Theft Affidavit and additional resolution services to customers experiencing identity theft.
  • Regarding customer liability, both of KeyBank’s cards offer Zero Liability Fraud Protection. As a MasterCard cardholder, zero liability applies to your purchases made in the store, over the telephone, online, or via a mobile device. Since KeyBank offers 2 MasterCards, they’re partnered with CSID, an industry leader in identity protection and fraud detection, to help keep your information safe.

We did find a drawback to KeyBank’s fraud services. Their 800 number to report fraud or identity theft has hours limited to Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET
Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET. Almost all credit card companies we reviewed had an 800 number available 24/7.

Unique Features

KeyBank offers a unique feature for cardholders: they can choose their own payment date. This means you can decide what day of the month is best for you to have as a due date. For example, if you get paid bi-weekly, you can choose a date that coincides with your paycheck/direct deposit. We did not find this feature with other credit card companies with cards currently on the market.

The Bad

Customer support

If you have a question, KeyBank offers three modes of customer service – phone, email and chat. The chat feature is really attractive, as a pop up window on their site invites you to instant message a customer service rep in real time. This makes asking a question faster and easier than calling on the phone. Most companies offering credit cards were not found to offer live chat and email.

The downside to phone and email is that they have limited hours. KeyBank’s credit card customer service hours for personal cards are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET and Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET. The hours for business credit cards are Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 12 a.m and Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. These hours are not conducive for emergency situations that may fall outside of these hours. They do offer an automated phone service 24-7, but this is not the same as a live representative. The same goes for email. If you email KeyBank, you can expect to get a response to your email question within 24 to 48 hours. Depending on the level of urgency of your question, this is a long wait time.

Late Payment

KeyBank charges cardholders late fees of up to $37.00. This is on the high end of late fees but after reviewing other companies, we found that this fee range is the norm, not the exception. If you try and avoid KeyBank’s fees by trying other cards offered by the competition, prepare to find the most competitive rate being late fees of up to $35.

Building Credit/Student Cards

KeyBank does not offer any opportunities for consumers to build their credit. If you live in the states where KeyBank offers credit cards and need a student card, a secured card or even a prepaid card, KeyBank is not the credit card provider for you. This is a loss when compared to several credit card companies who offer either a card for college students or a secured card for those needing to build or rebuild their credit—or both. We found a number of companies offering an average of one card dedicated to these types of needs.

The Bottom Line

KeyBank’s credit cards offer average APRs and rewards. They are excellent when it comes to annual fees, which neither of their cards charge customers. Also attractive is KeyBank’s “Zero Liability” policy and Identity Theft Resolution Services that protects cardholders from fraudulent purchases and identity theft. We only disapprove of KeyBank’s limited phone hours for customer support. Their late fees are high, but the same as most credit card companies on the market. Lastly, as a regional bank, KeyBank is only available to customers in certain states and does not offer cards for those needing to build/rebuild their credit or for college students just starting out.

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