Are you looking for an easy way to boost your investment or retirement account? The Fidelity Rewards credit card may be just what you’re looking for.
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers the chance to earn unlimited cash back on everyday purchases and have that money sent directly to your Fidelity investment account.
This card rewards you with 2% back on every purchase you make, so it fits the bill exactly for money expert Clark Howard recommendation to most consumers who are looking for their first rewards credit card.
In this article, Team Clark will take a deep dive into the Fidelity offering and compare it to the top competitors in the category.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card?
- Card Specs and Perks
- Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature vs. Other 2% Cash Back Cards
- Final Thoughts
Team Clark has spent time evaluating the credit card market in several categories including the best cash back credit cards. We’ve compared the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card to the best cards in this segment of the market. And we’ve determined that it’s a viable choice — thanks to its steady cash back rewards and the fact that it doesn’t have an annual fee.
As you’re deciding whether this card is a fit for you, please use this review in conjunction with Clark Howard’s 7 Rules for Using Credit Cards.
What Is the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card?
The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card is a no annual fee card that offers unlimited 2% cash back on all transactions.
It’s similar to popular fixed-rate cash back cards like the Citi Double Cash and Paypal Cashback Mastercard, but the draw is that it automatically deposits your cash back rewards into your linked Fidelity investment account. So while you’re spending money on everyday purchases, you could also be socking away 2% of the purchase price into your IRA (Individual Retirement Account).
You don’t have to have a Fidelity investment account to apply for this card, which is backed by Elan Financial Services, but you’d probably be best served by the rewards structure if you did open one in conjunction with this card.
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card: Specs and Perks
Let’s take a look at the fine print to examine some of the card’s perks and drawbacks.
Cash Back Rewards
This cash back rewards program is one of the simplest on the market: You get 2% back on everything you purchase with the card. There are no spending categories or rewards limits, and the rewards you earn never expire.
So if you spend $1,000 in one billing period, you’ll earn 2,000 rewards points: a $20 value in cash back rewards.
This rate of return is among the industry’s best for cash back cards that don’t carry an annual fee, impose a spending limit or require that you spend within certain categories.
Cash Back Redemption
Where this card differs from some of the other 2% cash back cards on the market is the ability to connect it to an investment account.
Fidelity does not require you to use your cash back rewards in this way, but it certainly promotes the card as an easy way to increase your investment capital.
Here are the different types of Fidelity accounts where you can deposit your credit card rewards:
- Brokerage account
- Fidelity® Cash Management Account
- Fidelity®-managed 529 College Savings plan
- Retirement account (IRA, Roth IRA, etc.)
- Fidelity Go® account
- Fidelity Charitable® Giving Account®
If you decide that investment rewards aren’t your style, there are other ways to redeem the points you earn with this card. They include:
- Gift cards
- Credit card statement credits
Other Cardholder Benefits
- Zero Liability Fraud Protection: If your card is lost or stolen, you will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
- Warranty Manager Service: You can double the time period of the manufacturer warranty (up to an additional year) on purchases made with this credit card. (No longer available after 3/31/21)
- Auto Rental Damage Waiver: This card will cover damage due to collision or theft on a rental car that is both secured with and charged to the credit card. So you’ll be able to decline the insurance offered at the car rental counter. (No longer available after 3/31/21)
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Through the Visa Signature program, you can contact the number on your card for help coordinating medical, legal or travel services. You’ll also have access to Roadside Dispatch, Travel Accident Insurance and Lost Luggage Reimbursement programs as part of this card’s travel perks.
- More Visa Signature Perks: You can access shopping discounts (specialoffers.visa.com) and complimentary food and beverage discounts while staying at a hotel in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. You’ll also have access to the 24-hour Visa Signature concierge (800-953-7392) and can gain special access to sporting, entertainment and dining events (visa.com/signature).
Here’s a quick look at some of the fees with the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card:
- Annual Fee: None
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the amount of the transfer with a $5 minimum
- Cash Advance Fee: 3% of the amount of each advance with a $5 minimum
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of each transaction
- Late Payment Fee: $29 for the first late fee with a penalty of up to $40 for a second within a six-month period
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card vs. Other 2% Cash Back Cards
If you’re considering applying for the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card, it’s probably because of the 2% cash back reward.
You have the right idea. Money expert Clark Howard has two 2% cash back cards in his wallet right now: the Citi Double Cash and the Navy Federal cashRewards card. (Clark earns 2% on the Navy Federal card through a special promotion. It is only 1.5% cash back to new customers.)
“It means everything you buy is essentially discounted 2%,” Clark says.
Let’s take a look at all of them with this side-by-side comparison:
|Card Characteristic||Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature||Citi Double Cash||PayPal Cashback Mastercard||Fifth Third Preferred|
|Standard Cash Back Rate||2%||2% (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay your bill)||2%||2%|
|Cash Back Redemption Options||Investment account credit, travel, merchandise, gift cards, statement credit||Check, statement credit or credit for linked Citi bank account||PayPal balance credit||Check, statement credit, credit for a connected Fifth Third account or loan|
|Intro APR Offer for New Purchases||None||None||None||None|
|Intro APR Offer for Balance Transfers||None||0% for 18 months||None||None|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||1%||3% in U.S. dollars per transaction||None||None|
|Cell Phone Protection||No||No||No||Yes|
|Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver||Yes||No||No||No|
The Big Takeaways
Here are some things to consider coming out of that comparison:
- As you can see, flashy welcome bonuses and APR offers are hard to find in this card category. If you’re looking for that type of reward, you should read our roundups of the best credit card welcome bonuses or best 0% credit cards.
- If the auto rental damage insurance is something that is important to you, this card is your best option among the 2% cash back cards. Fidelity is the only card to offer it as a standard benefit.
- If cell phone protection is important to you, note that this card does not have it. The Fifth Third card is the only 2% cash back card that offers it. (Clark says this is a better way to protect your cell phone than paying for insurance through your wireless provider.)
- The 1% foreign transaction fee attached to this card is not great but also not the worst in the category. You could end up paying 3% with the popular Citi Double Cash card.
- Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this chart is that these cards are more alike than they are different. That means there’s not much incentive to carry more than one or two of them in your wallet. Instead of duplicates from this chart, you may want to consider carrying one of the 2% cards and one other rewards card that gives you more than 2% in categories in which you frequently spend.
Are you considering adding the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card to your wallet? Let’s review some of the major pros and cons of the card before you make your final decision:
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card: Pros and Cons
|Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases||No welcome bonus offer|
|No annual fee||There is no introductory 0% APR offer for new purchases or balance transfers|
|Can use rewards to contribute directly to investment accounts||May require some work to set up a Fidelity investment account for automatic reward deposits|
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a passive way to increase the amount of money you’re investing, this card could be a great fit in your wallet.
For example, I added this card to my personal wallet in an effort to increase my annual Roth IRA contributions. That 2% can add up quickly over the course of a year.
In general, Clark recommends carrying an unlimited 2% cash back card because they don’t put categorical limits on the rewards you can earn. So if you don’t already have one in your wallet, this is a perfectly good option.
Do you have experience with the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card? Let us know how you like it in the comments below!