The Lowdown on the Universal MasterCard

by : Eric Wasselman

The Universal Entertainment Platinum MasterCard is a reward program credit card that awards members a point for every dollar spent on general purchases, and two points for purchases made at Universal properties.

The points, worth a dollar each can be redeemed for movie and concert tickets, private movie screenings, CDs, DVDs and all sorts of other entertainment related goods and services. Earned points expire in five years if not redeemed, while the total amount of points accrued within the billing period must not exceed the credit limit. Therefore there's no point in maxing out your limit at Universal Theme Park because you won't be able to acquire reward points double that of your credit limit value.

Nonetheless the card does have unique benefits for cardholders. Through the Universal MasterCard, cardholders are granted access to exclusive opportunities and the chance to win tickets for various entertainment award events, backstage passes and a customized entertainment library. The card also comes with no annual fees and features a 0% introductory APR for the first six months of membership. After that, the APR is calculated through the applicant's credit history, although the APR for the Universal Mastercard can be considered quite reasonable.

However, the method for determining finance charges for this card kind of dulls the shine of its Platinum status. Calculated with the "Two Cycles Average Daily Balance" method, finance charges for balances on the Universal MasterCard is somewhat higher than if it was calculated using the regular "Average Daily Balance" method.

In conclusion, the Universal MasterCard would be ideal if you plan to take a trip to Universal Studios or if you are generally into the entertainment scene. What's more, benefits would be even greater if your credit history qualifies you for the lowest APR. Of course, this is as long as you plan not to carry forward your outstanding balances and let the high interest charges nip at your ankles.