1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card: Should You Apply?

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The Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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®.

Good For...Bad For...
  • Saving money on gas purchases at Kroger
People looking for a solid everyday credit card
    • Individuals who want a credit card with a welcome bonus

    Review: Our Thoughts On the Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®

    The Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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 – 18 month BT offer 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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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.

    Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® Benefits & Features

    The Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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.

    How Does the Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® Compare to Other Credit Cards?

    To better measure the value of the Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®, 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.

    Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® vs Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

    • On Citi's Secure Website
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    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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®, 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 for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. 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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®. If you shop with both stores, you should get the Costco card over the one offered by Kroger.

    Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® vs Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

    • On Citi's Secure Website
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    The Citi® Double Cash Card is a top-rated cash back credit card that lets users Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. While this isn’t enough to beat the Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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 – 18 month BT offer may be difficult to qualify for.

    Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® vs Chase Freedom®

    Chase Freedom®
    This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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    The Chase Freedom® has the potential to give consumers significantly better returns than the Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®. This card lets you Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®. Users who spend at least $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership will receive a bonus $150.

    The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

    Compare Cash Back Rewards Using Our Model

    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 Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard® 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.

    Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
    Monthly spending:
    Joe Resendiz

    Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

    These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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    How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

    Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).