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The 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card isn’t very rewarding, even for those who frequently shop at Kroger stores. If you’re looking for a credit card to provide savings on grocery and gas purchases, you can probably do better with other offers, like the Chase Freedom®.
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|People looking for a solid everyday credit card|
The 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card can provide decent rewards to cardholders who buy their gas at Kroger’s, but doesn’t offer much beyond that. Other cash back credit cards, like the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Chase Freedom® can give their users much better returns on all-around purchases in categories the average consumer shops in every day. The saving on gas only lasts for one year, during which cardholders can get 25 cents off every gallon purchased at Kroger Family Fuel centers. To qualify, however, you must use the card to earn and redeem 100 points within a month. We explain this benefit more in the benefits section below.
Since the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card has no annual fee, there is very little risk to applying for it, if you’re looking for a card to save on gas. However, you should not apply for this card if you want to get a single card you can use everywhere else. If that’s what you’re after, we recommend looking at the top gas rewards credit cards – those tend to be a better balance between rewards you earn at the pump and at the grocery store.
While store credit cards are generally not the best, some of Kroger’s competitors (like Wal-Mart and Costco) put out significantly better offers for their customers. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is especially worth mentioning, since it is a competitive even when compared to the best credit cards on the market.
Bottom Line: The 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card doesn’t have many benefits worth writing home about. Most other credit cards can produce similar, if not better, results that give you much more flexibility. The card may be worth applying for if you are someone who frequently buys their gas from Kroger.
The 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card gives consumers reward points when used to make purchases of Kroger family brand products, at Kroger stores (excluding fuel centers) and anywhere Visa cards are accepted. When you break down the value of these points to the rate at which you earn them, that translates to a 1.5%, 1%, and 0.5% return respectively.
Additionally, cardholders can also earn 25 cents off per gallon for one year at Kroger Family of Stores Fuel Centers, when you redeem 100 fuel Rewards points. However, it should be noted that this card doesn’t earn any reward points whenever you use it to pay for purchases at Kroger Fuel Centers. The national average price of gas as of writing this article is around $2.21. Therefore, the 25-cent discount would represent roughly a 11.3% discount, which is quite substantial. It’s worth noting that the fine print on the card says that you get this discount “when you redeem at least 100 existing fuel points earned in a single month”. Therefore, you need to spend enough money using the Kroger card to qualify for it.
All the rewards you earn are automatically redeemed every quarter. Every 1,000 points you accumulate is worth $5 in groceries at Kroger.
To better measure the value of the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card, it’s best to compare it against other available options. We contrast the benefits of other popular cash back cards against the Kroger credit card below.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is one of the top store-branded credit cards, chiefly due to how good it is when used outside of Costco locations. Most other store cards, including the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card, excel at one thing, and are mediocre on everything else. This makes them a poor choice for an ‘everyday’ credit card. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi breaks that trend. It gives users 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year in gas purchases, 3% back at restaurants and travel worldwide, and 2% back on all other Costco purchases. Any Visa purchases that falls outside of those categories earns a 1% return. There are simply a lot more ways to get money back in your pocket through the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi than with the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card. If you shop with both stores, you should get the Costco card over the one offered by Kroger.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is a top-rated cash back credit card that gives consumers 1% cash back, and another 1% when that purchase is paid off, no matter the category. While this isn’t enough to beat the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card when it comes to things like gas purchases at Kroger, it is significantly better in virtually all other aspects. The only major downside to some may be the fact that the Citi® Double Cash Card may be difficult to qualify for.
The Chase Freedom® has the potential to give consumers significantly better returns than the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card. This card awards 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter, and 1% on everything else. Those 5% categories include things like gas stations, wholesale clubs, and even Amazon.com. As long as you’re comfortable with reward categories shifting around throughout the entire year, the Chase Freedom®’s reward structure is likely to give the better overall value. Keep in mind that you will need to make sure to activate your bonus categories each quarter, or else you’ll only get the 1% rate on everything.
One more thing worth noting about the Chase Freedom® is that it comes with a sign-up bonus – something that is missing on the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card. Users who spend at least $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership will receive a bonus $150.
It can be difficult to understand how many rewards you can earn with one card versus another. We build a calculator that can easily show you the expected rewards value on cards like the 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card based on how much you spend. Input your estimated monthly budget by pressing the gear icon below, and our model will do the rest. This allows you to easily compare across many options, with results that are tailored to how you spend your money.