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

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

Poor all-around returns on everyday spending, including Kroger. Decent if you can qualify for the gas discount, though it only lasts a year.
Editor's Rating: 4.0/5.0

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

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®.

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 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® 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 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.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card Benefits & Features

    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.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card
    Annual Fee
    No Annual Fee
    Purchase APR
    14.24% to 24.24% Variable
    Credit Needed N/A
    Details
    • No Annual Fee
    • 1 point anywhere Visa Cards are accepted
    • 2 points in the Kroger® family of stores (excluding fuel centers)
    • 3 points on the Kroger family of quality brands
    • Rewards are sent automatically every quarter. Every 1,000 points you earn gets you $5 in free groceries
    • An additional 25 cents off per gallon for ONE YEAR at Kroger Family of Stores Fuel Centers2 when you redeem 100 fuel Rewards points

    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 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

    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.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card vs Costco Anywhere Visa® Card

    The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card 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 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 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.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card

    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.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card vs Chase Freedom®

    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.

    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 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.

    Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
    General:
    U.S. Gas Stations:
    U.S. Supermarkets:
    Airlines:
    Hotel:
    U.S. Restaurants:
    Office:
    Utilities:
    Computing:
    Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

    The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

    The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

    Bonus Value

    The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

    The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

    2-yr Rewards Value

    The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

    The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

    Citi® Double Cash Card
    $0* 2.00%
    $0
    $686
    Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 686 x $1 = $686
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 686

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee $0*
    APR 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)

    Card Details

    • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based on your creditworthiness*
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
    • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
    Capital One® Quicksilver® Card
    $0 1.94%
    $150
    Get $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months
    $665
    Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
    Bonuses
    0 x $1 = $150
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee $0
    APR 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

    Card Details

    • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that
    • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
    • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

    Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

    Costco Anywhere Visa® Card
    $0 1.74%
    $0
    $598
    Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 598 x $1 = $598
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 598

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee $0
    APR 16.99%* (Variable)

    Card Details

    • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
    • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
    • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
    • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
    Chase Freedom®
    $0 1.44%
    $150
    Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    $493
    Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
    Bonuses
    0 x $1 = $150
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 493

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee $0
    APR 16.74% - 25.49% Variable

    Card Details

    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
    • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
    • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
    • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
    • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
    • No annual fee
    Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
    $39 1.27%
    $0
    $437
    Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
    Less Annual Fees -$78
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 437

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee $39
    APR 24.99% (Variable)

    Card Details

    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
    • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
    • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
    • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
    • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

    Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

    1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card
    No Annual Fee 0.62%
    $0
    $211
    Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

    Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

    Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
    Spending Rewards 42,240 x $0.005 = $211
    Bonuses
    0 x $0.005 = $0
    0 x $0.005 = $0
    Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 211

    *The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

    Annual Fee No Annual Fee
    APR 14.24% to 24.24% Variable

    Card Details

    • No Annual Fee
    • 1 point anywhere Visa Cards are accepted
    • 2 points in the Kroger® family of stores (excluding fuel centers)
    • 3 points on the Kroger family of quality brands
    • Rewards are sent automatically every quarter. Every 1,000 points you earn gets you $5 in free groceries
    • An additional 25 cents off per gallon for ONE YEAR at Kroger Family of Stores Fuel Centers2 when you redeem 100 fuel Rewards points

    Comments and Questions

    Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

    * See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

    Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

    Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

    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.

    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.

    Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.