Posted by William Charles on January 30, 2019
Credit Card Offers

Published on January 30th, 2019 | by William Charles

29

ABOC Platinum Rewards – 5x Rewards On Rotating Categories

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago offers the Platinum Rewards credit card, is it of interest to us due to the 5x rotating categories and $150 sign up bonus. Let’s take a look in this quick review

Card Basics

  • Card earns 5x rewards points on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in rotating categories (similar to the Discover it & Chase Freedom cards). 1x points on all other purchases.
  • $0 annual fee
  • Sign up bonus of $150 statement credit after making $1,200 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whatever is higher)

How Much Are Points Worth?

Points are worth 0.75¢ to 1¢ per point, this varies based on what you redeem them for.

  • Travel portal: 1¢ per point
  • Gift cards: 0.77 – 0.93¢ per point
  • Statement credit: 0.75¢ per point

Rotating Categories

The 5x rotating categories for 2019 are as follows:

  • Q1 (January – March): Dining, Grocery, and Pharmacy
  • Q2 (April – June): Home Improvement & Wholesale/Warehouse Clubs
  • Q3 (July – September): Travel (airline, cruise, car rental, hotel, and travel agency purchases)
  • Q4 (October – December): Automotive parts, service, and repair purchases

The card was launched in 2017, but they added the 5x categories in 2019 so this is the first year they have been offered.

Our Verdict

Basically a 3.75-5% back card depending on what you use the points for. The sign up bonus of $150 is in line with what is usually offered on the Chase Freedom, obviously the points aren’t as valuable and the minimum spend requirement requires more spend. I have no experience with this bank and can’t really seem to find much information so if anybody goes for this card please share your experiences in the comments below.

Hat tip to MtM



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TomJ
TomJ

Not a bad deal in many ways. Just applied but no instant approval or rejection. They will let me know within 14 days.

Hari
Hari

Is this nationwide available or only to Chicago/Illinois residents?

TomJ
TomJ

I live in PA and the application went through.

Sam
Sam

this bank is interesting… their values read like a bernie sanders campaign platform. I wonder if they stop accepting deposits past a certain point cause excessive wealth is immoral (unless you are bernie sanders and your excessive wealth is tied up in 3 houses). i guess i’ll be a money-losing customer of theirs. https://www.amalgamatedbank.com/mission-values

Midnight
Midnight

That bank in the link is a completely different bank.

Gerald
Gerald

It’s a different bank, but the two banks have common roots, if you can believe Wikipedia. Both were started by a union (Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America) in the 1920’s. The NY-based Amalgamated that Sam refers to is still majority owned by a union. The Chicago bank isn’t, but it still has union leanings. My first checking account back in the early 1970’s was with the Amalgamated Bank (NY), which was one of very few banks that had free checking accounts back then.

Sam
Sam

ahh thanks for the clarification gerald and midnight. you are right, even the wikipedia mentions a court case in which the judge decided that they could both use the “amalgamated bank” trade name. the NY one seems to be a little more aggressive in its promotion of progressive values

Willy
Willy

Isn’t excessive wealth like owning a 50M yacht, not being a 80 year old with a few houses?

Krista B
Krista B

It’s a 3.75% rotating categories Card. Maybe could be considered higher if they had a statement credit option rather than just the portal option.

Despite going on vacation several times per year, I’ve always found the portals lacking compared to cash.

1. Lack of ‘special’ discounts. – Portals usually have something pretty similar to retail or even the ‘public’ sale price. The issue is there are often other discounts available without too much trouble. The obvious being things like AAA or AARP. Of course not everyone pays those memberships, but many hotels, car rentals, etc sometime have “member pricing” which is basically available to anyone (That signs up for their free program.) So you’re already starting out at a higher price before your “Extra money” is taken into account.

2. Loss of Loyalty rewards. – This varies by company, but I’ve mainly noticed this on hotels. I’ve been told several times. “Sorry, you booked with a travel agency. You can’t earn points or benefits on that booking.” Hotels often run very competitive offers, so this could be a huge loss.

3. Loss of flexability. Want to fly from a discount airline, rent from a discount rental car company, or stay at Air BNB, etc? I’ve often rented from car rental companies like Fox, Economy, etc. While they aren’t perfect*, I usually save more than enough money (IMO) to make it worth the hassle of using a shuttle.** These types of options are limited when using a travel portal. If something costs $300 at the travel portal, and you can get it for $150 elsewhere, then you’re best off redeeming 20,000 of your points in cash, and paying for the $150 option in cash. Thus the earning rate assuming a cash redemption is the main thing that matters. – 3.75%

* Often have larger deposits, stricter proof of insurance requirements, very strict debit card requirements, and very strict rules for in state residents.
** People put up with all sorts of Timeshare nonsense for a smallish payout. This is sometimes just as much a savings (I.e. Saving $200 is the same as being given $200.) and all I have to do is take an extra 15-30 minutes for a shuttle to drive me to the location.

Harrison
Harrison

The post says there is a statement credit option.

Matthew
Matthew

Does Costco online typically post as wholesale club?

Skor
Skor

yes, it does

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

sam.. you linked to Amalgamated bank of NY..not Chicago

Katie
Katie

I applied for this card for both myself and my SO on Jan 25 and received our replies by mail and email today. My SO got his card as well. He was approved with lower credit than me (I am currently around 750 and he is about 690). I was declined for too many recently inquiries (10 on TU report, 9 on Equifax). He has 7 TU/ 9 Eq in last 24 mo for comparison, but more of them are also older than mine. They pulled Experian reports, which I can’t access current copies of, so I don’t know the exact number of Experian inquiries stood or how mine differed from his.

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

applied on Jan 29..rec card today with 5k CL. Will test out the first Q. cat (groceries/drugs )starting tomorrow. If it works for what we do in certain stores then a sure winner. I can max out 3 quarterly cats easily plus the 150.. CB makes it a hit. Ill report back.

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

must register for rewards at abocrewards.com. CC home page makes no mention of rewards but found a link online to get to it. Both phone reps I wasted time with had no idea what I was talking about. And you need a different log in for that page. a bit confusing but the rewards info with the 5%quarters is there. And got an email 20 minutes latter stating I am registered on rewards site. This seems to be only way to get rewards..by just registering on that site. BTW I live in upstate NY.

Katie
Katie

Bonus already paid. Points posted to rewards website within a week of meeting spending requirements… perhaps earlier but yesterday was the first time I checked.

One negative to keep in mind for Mint users – this card and Mint do not play nicely (although ABOC says Quicken can be set up to work). Mint’s security question setup doesn’t work well with ABOS and may trigger multiple security locks preventing website access.

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

i received the letter telling me of the aboc rewards site and how to sign on. Nice if letter came with card.. but it came 4 days later..after I investigated myself and found site. So far so good. We will have to see how much scrutiny they pay to purchases.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Applied today, LOL/24:
Thank you for applying for the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard. Your application has been received and is currently being processed. We will notify you of our credit decision by email and postal mail within 14 business days.

They pulled EX, will update on decision

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

I received same response. Actually forgot about app and icard showed up in the mail in 2 weeks. Seems fine for what we do..so far. Hit the $1200 spend with “grocery purchases” and points posted. 150. bonus will probably take some time.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Denied, too many credit inquiries (22 EX pulls in the past 12 months, though 5 of those were for a car loan & a couple for a mortgage) EX FICO 8 score=746, so whatev

Sammy
Sammy

Interestingly enough, ABOC credited my account the point amount for the $150 statement credit to my account before the qualifying transactions posted, and deducted it automatically for the sign-up bonus the next day as “New Account Bonus for 150 Credit”. I did not realize this as I had manually redeemed the points for $150 statement credit from the early point credit and now am sitting with a negative rewards balance, but technically scored an extra $150 for now which will eventually be repaid. I would not recommend this unless you want to go several quarters with a negative rewards balance to be slowly paid but score another $150 which can be used elsewhere.

Katie
Katie

Is anyone else not getting the additional 4x points posting for home improvement store purchases in April? First quarter was no problem…. I don’t see anywhere I should have activated the new category.

Shyam
Shyam

Hi Bill,
Saw the below notification for ABOC MC.
As of July 1, 2019, your Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees!

Kevin N
Kevin N

Beware: Q2 (April – June): Home Improvement & Wholesale/Warehouse Clubs DO NOT apply to Costco.com. My fault for not checking but I bought Costco Cash Card and I didn’t get the extra 4 points per dollar spend. I did get the points for in-store purchase from Lowes and Home Depot so gift cards purchase won’t work.

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