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New Synchrony Verizon VISA looks pretty good if you use Verizon Wireless

New Synchrony Verizon VISA looks pretty good if you use Verizon Wireless

Old Jun 30, 20, 12:02 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
PenFed is a CU. Not everyone is qualified to get a card. I can't comment on US Bank because I don't know the exact conversion rate for cashback.
PenFed allows you to join without any other eligibility criteria via a one-time (not recurring) donation to the National Military Family Association ($20 donation) or a one-time donation to Voice's for America's troops ($15 donation).
USBank Altitude Go is 1cpp regardless of redemption method (travel, statement credit, etc.) which makes the 4pts/$ on restaurant/bar spend equivalent to 4% cashback.

5% gas cashback at Penfed > 4% on Costco, and 4% restaurant/bar cashback on Altitude Go > 3% on Costco.

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Your premise fails because you focus entirely on Costco purchases only. If you spend wisely, for example, if your family has multiple cars and you use Costco Visa for fuel only, it has a 4% cashback that can easily to make even with the $60 membership fee (Note - the card does not have an annual fee. It is Costco charging the membership fee.)
Either way if you don't visit a Costco, it costs you $60 to hold this card. The moment your costco membership lapses, the account terminates. If you have no use to shop at a Costco in real life, it costs an effective $60/yr (plus sales tax on the membership as applicable) to continue holding the card.

Per point #1 - if you're not looking to shop at Costco, there are cards that offer superior gas/dining cashback with no annual fee as well (and without requiring you to buy a membership that you wouldn't ostensibly use in any way in this hypothetical).

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
I was told there is a way to cash out the cashback without going Costco.
The terms of the certificate is:
Originally Posted by Citi terms for Costco visa
Credit card reward certificates may be redeemed for merchandise or cash back at any U.S. Costco warehouse, including Puerto Rico. Requests to redeem the certificate for cash may be fulfilled in an alternative form (e.g., a check or electronic transfer), at Costco’s discretion.


The underlined part is key because normally these cut with the Feb statement and Costco expects you to come in to redeem them. With COVID this year, Costco generally chose to allow any member who requested a check be mailed instead to have that done, but historically (from what I have heard) this is not something they generally honor.
phltraveler is offline  
Old Jun 30, 20, 12:27 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
5% gas cashback at Penfed > 4% on Costco, and 4% restaurant/bar cashback on Altitude Go > 3% on Costco.
I don't think PenFed's points cash out at a 1:1 ratio for gift cards. Think it's closer to 0.8-0.85 cents per point. Slightly better than Costco but not by much.
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Old Jun 30, 20, 12:42 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by MASTERNC View Post
I don't think PenFed's points cash out at a 1:1 ratio for gift cards. Think it's closer to 0.8-0.85 cents per point. Slightly better than Costco but not by much.
The Penfed Cash Rewards (green) visa is still 5% flat cashback granted as an automatic monthly statement credit. If you go for the Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature, that's no longer 1cpp (and hasn't been for several years).
If you can't get the PenFed Cash Rewards, the Fort Knox FCU Platinum Visa is still available for signup and is also 5% flat cashback for gas paid at the pump as an automatic statement credit (and similarly to PenFed, donating to the American Consumer Council for $5 will make you eligible to be an FKFCU member if you have no other eligibility).

Either way my point isn't that people who earn the 4% cashback on the Costco card who actually shop at Costco are going to drop the card for 4.5-5% on another, but I doubt that there are people buying a $60 Costco membership, not shopping at Costco, and making it up in cashback in excess of the membership fee on the Citi Costco Visa on the 4% gas/3% dining.

(Similarly, even if this card awarded "Verizon dollars" like it does, I doubt even a small number of people would join to earn accessory/device purchase dollars if they were not already Verizon wireless customers [a hard requirement for this card to be eligible]).
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Old Jun 30, 20, 3:30 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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I don't see the PenFed Cash Rewards available anymore, just the Platinum Rewards. This is both when going on their public site and looking at products to apply for on the customer/member portal. The Fort Knox FCU one also seems to be more restricted now, as they've rebranded (merged?) into Abound FCU. A quick search on their website doesn't immediately show a way to donate to an organization to join, either. My guess is that offering 5% cash back on gas is too much of a loss leader to offer without having some reasonable expectation that they'll get other banking business in the future. There's also plenty of people who look for a one-card solution (or at least an, at most, 3ish-card solution,) and something that's gas-specific isn't ideal.

That said, I'd generally agree that there's not a lot of people that are getting a Costco membership solely for the Citi Costco card. The Wells Fargo Propel card offers 3% back on travel, gas, and dining, along with a few categories that the Costco card doesn't (I don't think transit is considered travel with the Costco card, and streaming services get 3% on the Propel but not the Costco card.) It also slots in okay in a 2-3 card solution (along with a 2% general cash back card, and maybe one with rotating categories or a grocery card.) It's American Express-branded, but that usually isn't an issue if the vast majority of transactions are within the US; there's been maybe a handful of times where an American Express card hasn't been accepted for me in the US over the past couple years that I've been using one as a primary card. While the Costco card does earn 1% more on gas, that's only for the first $7,000, and then it drops down to 1%. If you get a Costco membership just for the card, that extra 1% only makes sense between $6,000 and $7,500 in gas each year (anything above $7,500 and the no-limit 3% is better again.)

There's probably some people that don't know about the Propel but do know about the Costco card, and think it's worthwhile enough to get the membership for that, but I doubt that's a lot of people. What is probably fairly common, though, is people who use the card to help justify the membership fee; they only go once every month or two for a bigger purchase, but they have the Costco credit card as well, and that's enough to make it worthwhile in their mind.

As to who would sign up for the Verizon VISA, I doubt there's enough there to make it worth switching cell phone providers for it. However, if you're planning on staying with Verizon anyways (and many people are, or simply don't really shop around and have kept Verizon for years,) it's still a competitive card. 4% on groceries isn't available anywhere else without an annual fee (that I'm aware of,) and the 4% gas and 3% restaurants are rather limited. Having all three of those on one card will definitely get people signing up for it, and will likely be seen as a good retention tool for Verizon (since the money has to go towards Verizon purchases, and will be closed if you cancel Verizon.)
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Old Jun 30, 20, 4:43 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by jebr View Post
That said, I'd generally agree that there's not a lot of people that are getting a Costco membership solely for the Citi Costco card. The Wells Fargo Propel card offers 3% back on travel, gas, and dining, along with a few categories that the Costco card doesn't (I don't think transit is considered travel with the Costco card, and streaming services get 3% on the Propel but not the Costco card.) It also slots in okay in a 2-3 card solution (along with a 2% general cash back card, and maybe one with rotating categories or a grocery card.) It's American Express-branded, but that usually isn't an issue if the vast majority of transactions are within the US; there's been maybe a handful of times where an American Express card hasn't been accepted for me in the US over the past couple years that I've been using one as a primary card. While the Costco card does earn 1% more on gas, that's only for the first $7,000, and then it drops down to 1%. If you get a Costco membership just for the card, that extra 1% only makes sense between $6,000 and $7,500 in gas each year (anything above $7,500 and the no-limit 3% is better again.)
I agree that the decision as to whether to have a Costco membership should be standalone decision independent of the card. But once you have the Costco membership adding the Citi Costco card is a no brainer (no incremental cost plus 2% back on your Costco purchases). The 4% back on gas is great for non grocery chain gas stations. I've also got the Wells Fargo Propel which is a nice compliment to get 3% back on gas at grocery chain gas stations where the Citi Costco gives only 1%.
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Old Jun 30, 20, 5:14 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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As far as the Costco card I don't think it would be worth getting the card just for the cash back if you do not shop at Costco otherwise, but if you do, why not? It covers gas, dining, travel (when that happens!) and a lot of Costco shoppers get a big chunk of their groceries there.

But at least with the Costco card, although they encourage you to use it at Costco (by providing it as a reward voucher and forcing you to redeem in person), you don't have to. You can cash it out and do what you want with the cash.

If you're going to use Verizon anyway, the Verizon card offers a good rate of return if you don't mind just applying it towards your bill. I prefer more flexibility but ultimately, with cash back, it's going to come out to same thing. Your bill is lower so it frees up money for you to use on other things. No different than the eternal debate about whether statement credits are just as good as direct deposits, etc. for cash back. Psychologically I like the flexibility but practically speaking there is really no difference. You either pay less on a bill or have more money in your account.
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Old Jun 30, 20, 7:58 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
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To get back to the Verizon card, I felt attracted to it because I am a Verizon customer. I agree that most non Verizon people will have little use for the card. I am on an old plan and have been able to make automatic credit card payments with no problem and have a good rate for the plsn, so that part doesn’t appeal to me. The earnings are reasonable for a no-fee card, but I already have other cards that do as well or better. For me, it isn’t worth using an application, especially with Synchrony.

On the other hand, I can see where a Verizon customer who wasn’t obsessed with points and miles, and who was allergic to fees might find the card appealing as a way to get a decent return without fees or complexity. But I think very few FT folks fit that category! Oh, I understand it has no foreign purchase fees, which is great for a no-fee card.
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