Posted by William Charles on January 29, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on January 29th, 2016 | by William Charles

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Anybody Can Join Nusenda Federal Credit Union & Get Their 5% Rotating Category Card

Yesterday we updated our review of the Nusenda Federal Credit Union card that earns 5% cash back in rotating categories. It’s had the same 5% categories this year and the last two years as follows:

  • Q1: Groceries + Gas Expenses
  • Q2: Movies, Restaurants & Home Improvements
  • Q3: Gas & Education Expenses
  • Q4: Restaurants, Hotels & Airfare

I thought they only serviced a small geographical area, but a few people commented that you could join a qualifying organization to become a member and get the card. I didn’t see that option when trying to sign up online, so thought that must not be the case. I contacted Nuseda and asked them about it and turns out I was wrong and my readers were right (what a surprise).

Yes [it’s possible for anybody to join], through several associations that are not geographically dependent (NM Wilderness Alliance or La Montanita Food Co-op). A one time dues payment ($10) is required, but that’s it. The easiest way to apply for the card and gain membership is to call 800-347-2838. You can also apply online, but our membership application steers you to say where you work or study. They can fill out one of those options, and someone will call to follow-up and qualify them through the associations.

nusenda credit union

I’m probably going to apply for this card, I’ve been looking for something that offers 5% back at restaurants because I have a lot of reimbursable expenses a restaurants. This gives me two quarters of that and one quarter of grocery stores, I should be able to max both of those out, but wouldn’t spent much if anything in Q3. There is also no overlap with the Chase Freedom (and I don’t really expect much if any overlap with the Discover it either).

 NusendaChase FreedomDiscover it
Q1Groceries + Gas ExpensesGas stations + local commuterGas & ground transportation
Q2Movies, Restaurants & Home ImprovementsGrocery stores + more?
Q3Gas & Education ExpensesRestaurants?
Q4Restaurants, Hotels & AirfareHoliday Shopping?


If I did max out three quarters I’d earn $225 in cash back. But I could earn $90 if I used a 2% cash back card, so really only a profit of $135. Welp, I think I just convinced myself not to sign up for this card. Would only really become profitable in year two (could just sign up for a card with a good cash back bonus instead) and more and more of my real spend will probably be going towards minimum spends in the coming years.



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Tommy
Tommy

Is it hard to be approved?

Keith
Keith

Is there a sign-up bonus?

Harrison
Harrison

I think he said in the previous post yesterday that there is not.

Harrison
Harrison

Can you redeem the cash back through statement credit?

EBF
EBF

Wondering what counts as “education”! Our daycare is affiliated with a local University and allows us to pay the bills with a credit card (and they pay the fees!).

EBF
EBF

My Citibank DoubleCash MasterCard I usually use lists the daycare payments as “OrganizationsCOLLEGES,UNIVERSITIES,PROFESSIONAL”, so maybe it would be “education.”

Howard
Howard

Don’t waste your time applying — nor the money to join one of the associations to gain membership in the credit union before applying.

(1) If you read this thread, you probably have enough other credit cards that they will deny you — as they just did me — for the stated reason that I have too many other revolving lines of credit (in my case, only credit card account). As a data point, the only other time I have had a credit card application turned down is by Chase last year for a Sapphire Preferred because of the then-new 5/24 rule. (See comments by Michael and by Victor Debs to the other Doctor of Credit post about Nusenda for similar data points to mine.)

(2) Having now read Doc’s other post on Nusenda, Victor Debs’ comment about the complexity and difficulty of redeeming points, and the Nusenda website re same, I suspect that Victor is correct in his assessment that it would be a frustrating and time-consuming process. My guess: not worth the effort, even if you can get approved for the card.

Ian
Ian

William Charles I’m curious if you ever ended up applying for this card and, if so, whether you faced any of the enrollment challenges noted in the comments here and on your other post on this card. I’m thinking of applying, but the negative reactions from a handful of people are giving me pause. Thanks.

Dan
Dan

Unable to join, they said the credit union and qualification to donate to certain organizations only applies if you live in the NM area. Must be a new policy

Jessica
Jessica

+1 Have not tried to app but here is another source. https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/nusenda-credit-union/offers/

TB
TB

Has anyone tried recently to apply as a La Montanita Food Co-op member instead of the NM Wilderness Alliance (also mentioned in OP, requires annual $15 fee) without NM residence? There are some suggestions this could still work https://www.bankcheckingsavings.com/nusenda-credit-union-eligibility/

Sam
Sam

TB,Have you had a chance for any update on this?

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