Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card review: Earn 2 percent cash back with a catch

Smiling man handing server a Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card to pay his bill. Smiling man handing server a Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card to pay his bill. Image:

In a Nutshell

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers 2 percent cash back with a catch. You must redeem your rewards points in a qualifying Fidelity® account to get the full value.

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Maximizing your cash back can mean juggling multiple cards with different cash back rates for different spending categories. That can be overwhelming.

To make things even more difficult, there are cards with rotating bonus categories that change quarterly, such as Chase Freedom®. It doesn’t stop there. One card may limit bonus cash back to $1,500 per quarter while another limits bonus cash back to $6,000 per year.

The calculations could give anyone a headache. Luckily, there’s one simple cash back card that could make that headache go away: The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card.

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers the simplicity of 2 percent cash back on all your purchases — but there’s a catch. You’ll have to redeem the two points per dollar you earn on net purchases into a qualifying Fidelity® account.

You can choose to deposit your rewards in up to five qualifying accounts with Fidelity, and many of the accounts allow you to invest in your future for goals like retirement or future college costs.

What we like Heads up
  • Earn two points per net dollar spent on purchases
  • No limit on total rewards points you can earn, no restrictive categories and no expiration date on points
  • No annual fee
  • Must redeem points in a Fidelity® account to earn 2 percent cash back
  • Other redemption options may have lower values
  • 1 percent foreign transaction fee

 

  1. The rundown: Everything we like about the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  2. Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  3. Do the math: How to get the most out of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  4. The competition: How the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card stacks up against similar cards
  5. Bottom line: Is the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card right for you?

The rundown: Everything we like about the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a dream come true for people that love earning cash back on their purchases in a relatively straightforward way.

Here’s what we like most about it:

Earn 2 percent cash back

You don’t have to worry about remembering which spending categories to use the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card for, because you earn two points per net dollar spent on all purchases.

Points can be used for a variety of rewards, including cash back at a value of one cent per point. Essentially, you can earn 2 percent cash back, but only if you redeem your points in a particular way. More on that later.

No cap or expiration date on rewards points

If earning two points per dollar spent wasn’t good enough, you can use the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card for all of your purchases without worrying about limits on the total rewards points you can earn or about losing your points to an expiration date.

Visa Signature® Benefits

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card also comes with other benefits that can help give you peace of mind, including:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Visa Signature® Concierge service

While the card offers these benefits and services, you may have to pay fees to use them. For instance, roadside dispatch requires a charge per service call.

24/7 U.S. based customer service

Finally, if you ever have any issues you need addressed, you can contact a United States based customer service team that is open 24/7.

Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card isn’t perfect for everyone. Here are a few things to consider.

You must have a qualifying Fidelity® account for maximum point value

In order to get the full 2 percent cash back value, you must redeem your rewards points into a qualifying Fidelity® account. You have to have a minimum of 5,000 points to redeem points for a cash deposit into your eligible Fidelity® account.

You can choose to redeem your rewards points in one or several (up to five) Fidelity® accounts, including:

  • Brokerage accounts
  • Fidelity Cash Management Accounts
  • Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plans
  • Retirement accounts
  • Fidelity Go ® accounts
  • Fidelity Charitable® Giving Account®

While redeeming your rewards in a Fidelity® account may help you save for retirement or future college costs, not everyone wants to save or invest their credit card rewards.

If you don’t have one of the above accounts, you can always open one with Fidelity to deposit your cash back. However, the hassle of managing an additional account may not be worth it, so you may want to consider cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offer similar rewards but with less fuss.

Other redemption options have lower point valuations

While you don’t have to redeem your rewards in a qualifying Fidelity® account, you might not get as much value using other redemption options. “I do not recommend utilizing merchandise or gift cards as you lose value on the point conversion,” says Quentara Costa, owner of the financial planning firm POWWOW, LLC.

Merchandise redemption values vary, but require a minimum of 2,500 points. You can also redeem your points for travel or a statement credit, but they could also provide a lower value per point.

14.99 percent variable APR isn’t bad for a rewards card, but you might consider a different card if you’re going to carry a balance

Like many rewards credit cards, this card doesn’t have a rock bottom APR on purchases. Currently, the card offers a variable APR for purchases and balance transfers of 14.99 percent.

While the 14.99 percent variable APR on purchases and balance transfers is competitive for a rewards card, if you’re going to carry a balance you may be better off applying for a lower interest rate credit card that doesn’t offer rewards to get the most bang for your buck.

For instance, USAA Rate Advantage Platinum Visa® offers a variable APR as low as 7.9 percent on purchases.

Do the math: Is the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card right for you?

Getting the most out of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card rewards program can be a straightforward process. Charge your purchases to your card, redeem your rewards in a qualifying Fidelity® account and make sure you pay your balance off in full and on time every month.

To make life easier on yourself, Costa suggests cardholders may want to “connect your rewards to your preferred account right away.” That way you can receive automatic deposits without remembering to manually redeem your points.

Even though it may be tempting, avoid redeeming your points for merchandise, travel, gift cards or a statement credit. These options can result in a value lower than redeeming directly into a qualifying Fidelity® account.

However, don’t solely focus on your rewards points. Make sure you remember to take advantage of the Visa Signature® benefits that come with the card. The benefits are especially useful if you like to travel, and they can save you money from purchasing the same protection elsewhere.

Don’t forget the card has a 1 percent foreign transaction fee, though, so if you have a card that earns more than 1 percent cash back with no foreign transaction fees, you may want to use that card abroad instead.

The competition: How the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card stacks up against similar cards

Citi® Double Cash Card Unlimited 1 percent cash back on purchases and an additional 1 percent cash back on payments for purchases.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1 percent).
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back with no foreign transaction fees.

**Rewards mentioned in table are not exhaustive.

Citi® Double Cash Card

From our partner

Citi® Double Cash Card

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

The Citi® Double Cash Card offers unlimited 1 percent cash back on purchases and an additional 1 percent cash back on payments for purchases.

Essentially, this card offers a great cash back rate with no annual fee. And unlike the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, you don’t need a Fidelity® account or any other account to redeem your rewards.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

From our partner
See Details, Rates & Fees

If you’re looking to truly maximize your cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may be the card you need. It offers 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 percent).

In addition, it offers 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores as well as 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. However, these great rewards come at a cost: a $95 annual fee.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

From our partner
See Details, Rates & Fees

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you unlimited 1.5 percent cash back with no annual fee. The card also offers no foreign transaction fees, which may make this a better card for those that travel overseas on a regular basis.

The rewards can be redeemed for any amount as a statement credit or check and don’t require a special account to get the full value of the rewards.


Bottom line: Is the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card right for you?

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card makes sense if you already have a qualifying Fidelity® account to deposit your 2 percent cash back into.

If you don’t have a qualifying Fidelity® account, it would be much easier to use a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which essentially offers the same cash back rate with none of the hassle of opening a qualifying Fidelity® account.


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