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The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature is an excellent 2% cash back credit card. This new product, which launched on January 4th, 2016 and will replace the existing Fidelity® Investment Rewards® American Express® Card, is mostly an improvement for Fidelity customers. Switching over to the VISA network from Amex makes the Fidelity Rewards credit card much more usable, since the former is accepted by a greater number of merchants worldwide.
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Current Fidelity® Investment Rewards® American Express® cardholders may continue to use their credit card as normal – the card will continue to be fully supported, including customer service and reward redemptions. By some point in mid-2016, however, these consumers will be contacted by Elan Financial Services – a division of U.S. Bank – and will be issued their new Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. No reward points will be lost in the process. Any outstanding credit card balances will be transferred to the new card automatically.
Review: Is The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card Any Good?
We consider the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card to be one of the best cash back offers. While other credit cards, such as the Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® Cash Back, can produce higher rewards rates, they only do so in select categories. The Fidelity Visa credit card is a much more well-rounded option, ideal for users who don't want to keep track of changing categories, or whose expenditures are varied.
Fidelity recently signed on with U.S. Bank and VISA, parting ways with FIA Card Services who issued cards through various networks, including American Express. As the name suggests, the new version of Fidelity's 2% cash back product is now on the VISA network, which we see as a significant improvement in many ways. VISA controls the largest market share of any credit card network, and is accepted by a greater number of merchants than American Express. That should make using this card far easier. However, there may be some downsides, such as more frequent account-freezes on suspicious transactions. We explore this in greater detail below.
There is no welcome bonus on this credit card, hurting its short-term value. Most of the best credit card offers typically come with a sign-up bonus to incentivize consumers to apply. Unfortunately, the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card comes with no such thing. If you're looking to maximize your immediate short-term rewards, a card like the Chase Freedom® may suit you better. It offers a $150 welcome bonus to any cardmember who spends at least $500 within the first 3 months their account is opened.
Bottom Line: The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature remains a great credit card, and doesn't suffer from parting ways with FIA Card Services or American Express. Customers who will be receiving this card in the mail as a replacement for their old Fidelity Amex card have nothing to worry about. The value of this card holds up.
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card Benefits & Features
The Fidelity Visa Signature earns users 2% cash back on all purchases. No matter where purchases are made, users will earn this cash back reward, which will then be deposited back into their Fidelity account. The rewards are not directly earned as cash back, but points. Every dollar spent earns users 2 reward points, which can then be redeemed for cash back. You need a minimum of 5,000 points ($2,500 in spending) in order to redeem. In this case, those 5,000 points would equate to $50 in cash back.
Only net purchases earn reward points. Transactions such as balance transfers and cash advances will not contribute towards cash back.
Rewards may be deposited directly into a cardholder's Fidelity account. Alternatively, reward points may also be exchanged for booking flights, hotel stays or car rentals, merchandise, gift cards, and statement credit.
How Does The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?
It's impossible to determine the value of a credit card absent context. For that reason we compared the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card against similar credit card offers, in order to see how it preforms.
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card vs Fidelity® Investment Rewards® American Express®
The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card is mostly an improvement over the Amex version. Both cards have the same exact reward program – giving users 2% cash back on all purchases. The major difference between the two comes from their networks. As mentioned previously, VISA is much more widely accepted by merchants than American Express – both domestically and globally.
In our experience, American Express transactions are less frequently incorrectly tagged as “fraudulent” than VISA and Mastercard. A possible reason for this is the way each network handles money transfers to merchants. American Express waits several days until it deposits funds into a merchant's account –- giving them more time to verify a charge.
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card is another card with a 2% rewards rate. It operates slightly differently from the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. The Citi card gives users 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% back when that purchase is paid off. While this effectively works out to a rewards rate of 2%, it can be a significant difference to users who don't always pay off their credit card bill in full each month. We generally discourage this behavior, however, since not paying off your credit card bill completely at the end of each month will cause interest to eat away at any rewards you earn, and in the end cost you more money.
While the Fidelity Rewards card comes on the VISA network, the Citi® Double Cash Card operates through Mastercard. There are not any significant differences between the two networks in terms of merchant acceptance. The major differences come into play when examining secondary features, such as auto rental insurance benefits. If you care about these, we suggest looking into VISA Signature and Mastercard benefits, to see which better suits your needs.
If you are still unsure of how the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card compares against other options, we suggest using our comparison tool below. By inputting your estimated monthly spending, our tool will calculate the approximate rewards you can expect out of each credit card on the list, over a two year period.