Review: Elan Financial Credit Cards

towne-bank-credit-cardElan Financial Services is a division of US Bank. It is a “white label” credit card issuer, meaning it does not have its own Elan-branded credit cards but instead issues credit cards for banks and credit unions that want to offer credit cards but don’t want to manage the accounts. Elan manages your account but the card itself has the name of your bank or credit union.

Banks and credit unions that have cards issued by Elan almost all have the same 5 offerings (some also offers business credit cards, not covered here):

  • The Visa Signature Bonus Rewards Card is a points card that gives you essentially 1.25 points per dollar on all card purchases. (Each point generally equals 1 penny in worth.) You can use the points toward cash back, travel rewards, gift cards, etc. No annual fee. This is fairly competitive with most rewards credit cards, though you can find better deals as well.
  • There is also a Visa Signature Bonus Rewards PLUS Card that is similar to the card above but comes with a $50 annual fee, For that fee you get 1.5 points per dollar. In case you don’t want to do the math, you’d need to be putting over $20,000 on your card annually to make this card pay off better than the card above.
  • The Visa Platinum credit card offers no rewards but generally a better interest rate overall as well as a more generous 0% introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers.
  • As the name implies the College Rewards Visa is aimed at students. It’s a no annual fee card that offers 1 point per dollar charged to the card. The interest rate will be higher than the cards above due to the fact that students generally have less credit history and are thus a riskier bet.
  • The Secured Visa is for those with a bad credit history or people who want credit but have no credit history at all (and are not students). Secured credit cards require a security deposit be put down; you then get a credit card with the same credit line as your deposit. You still pay off the card each month, the initial deposit is only a safeguard for the bank. If you make on-time payments, over time you should be able to build up your credit history to a point where you can get a standard, unsecured credit card.

A partial list of banks and credit unions that use Elan Financial Services: