Fidelity Rewards vs. BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Sep 29, 2016 | Be First to Comment!

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card gets a lot of attention for its cash back program, but how does it compare to another popular choice, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® card?

We took a hard look at the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ and Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® credit cards. After breaking down the top features one-by-one, find out which cash back credit card comes out on top.

Best Cash back program: Fidelity Rewards

  • Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature®: 2% on all purchases
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas. Max of $2,500 spent in combined grocery and gas purchases each quarter.

Cash back rewards are one of the most attractive offers a credit card company can offer. However, the rate at which you can earn cash back and which purchases qualify for this reward can vary.

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® card has a flat 2% cash back program, no matter where you shop. But in order to earn that cash back, the funds must be deposited into a Fidelity account. You also must have a minimum of 5,000 points ($50) in order to redeem your cash back.

Fidelity cash back rewards must be redeemed in a Fidelity account, including a brokerage account, IRAs and 529 college savings plans.

TIP: You can redeem the Fidelity cash back into a Fidelity Cash Management account, which is very similar to a traditional checking account. From there, you can transfer the cash back to another bank if you wish.
Now, if you spend a lot on gas and groceries, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ is an excellent choice for a cash back credit card. You don’t have to be a Bank of America customer to get the cash back, but if you deposit your funds directly into a Bank of America, you get 10% bonus cash back.

Again, since this card has specific spending categories with varying cash back rates, you’ll benefit most if gas and groceries are your highest spending areas. BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ places a limit of $2,500 spent on gas and groceries, each quarter, that is eligible to more than 1% cash back. It would be wise to review your monthly spending to see if you will max out the rewards on these two categories.

While each card has it’s own merits in this category and the cash back benefits really depend on your own personal spending habits, we’re going to give this one to the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit card. With this card, you aren’t limited to certain spending categories and you’ll get full percentage point more on general purchases without worrying about rewards caps.

Annual fee: Tied

  • Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature®: $0 annual fee
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: $0 annual fee

Most cash back credit cards don’t have an annual fee – why would you earn cash back if you just have to pay it back to the credit card company? If you’re just trying to earn cash back so you can pay the annual fee, there’s no point in getting cash back in the first place.

Since both cards don’t have an annual fee, it’s a clear tie in this category.

Best Interest rates: Tied

  • Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature®: 14.24% variable rate for purchases, 3% ($5 minimum) on balance transfers
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days. Then 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR and 3% fee (minimum $10) on balance transfers.

If you want to max out your cash back rewards, avoid paying interest at all costs. Otherwise, all that cash back you earned would just go toward interest payments. If you do happen to carry a balance on your credit card, then the safest thing you can do is choose a card with a zero percent or low APR.

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® has a variable APR starting at 14.25 %. There is no introductory APR. If you want to consolidate your credit card debt or don’t always pay your balance in full each month, this is not the ideal credit card for you. However, since this card wins in the cash back category, if you can use the card for most of your purchases and pay your balance in full each month, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® card is an excellent choice.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ has a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, the APR ranges from 13.24% - 23.24%. If you want to consolidate credit card debt pay the card off within the 12-month window, then this could be a great credit card for you. (Note that there is a 3% balance transfer fee.)

TIP: Before you make that balance transfer, set a payoff date to figure out how much you need to pay each month to get back to zero.
For the interest-rate category, we’re actually going to call it a tie. While the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature offers an introductory APR, there is the potential for a relatively high regular APR. Fidelity Rewards doesn’t have an intro APR, but there’s the guarantee that the regular APR will not be too high.

Winner (interest rates): Tied

Best Perks: Tied

  • Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature®: travel and shopping discounts and concierge service through Visa Signature
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: travel and shopping discounts and concierge service through Visa Signature.

Because both of the cards carry Visa Signature benefits, they offer the same set of perks such as free personal concierge, travel and shopping discounts, and various trip insurance coverages.

Best Protections: BankAmericard Cash Rewards™

Cash back rewards and perks certainly make you feel great about whichever credit card you’re using, but being protected from fraud should not be underestimated. You want to know your identity is being protected and your credit card has your back in the event something should happen.

  • Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature®: EMV chip technology, zero fraud liability, digital wallet compatibility for Apple or iPhone
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: EMV chip technology, $0 liability guaranteed, digital wallet compatibility for Apple or iPhone, overdraft protection, text banking, ShopSafe feature.

Both credit cards offer a safe and secure way for customers to use their credit cards, however, BankAmericard Cash Rewards™takes the prize in this category because of its extended protections like overdraft protection, text banking and the ShopSafe feature, which gives customers a temporary credit card number just to use for online shopping.

TIP: Having your credit card bills sent to you electronically and paying bills online actually helps prevent identity theft. Fraudsters won’t be able to intercept your mail and you’ll help cut down on paper waste.

The Final Verdict

Based on the features above, the Fidelity® Reward Visa Signature® and BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card are tied. The cards have such different cash back structures that it’s impossible to declare a clear winner without knowing each person’s spending patterns.

So, if you really want to maximize your cash back and other rewards, it would be a smart strategy to use both cards. You would use the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™to earn the 3% cash back on gas and use the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® card to get 2% cash back on all other purchases. In this way, the cards actually complement each other and your bank account.

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