VantageWest Credit Union Connect Rewards Credit Card Review – You Pick 5% Category, 3% Gas [AZ only]

Update 1/7/21: $400 bonus no longer being offered.

Update 9/21/20: There is now a $400 offer after $2,000 in spend. It does say mail offer, but not sure if that is enforced. Hat tip to reader lintj

Update: looks like from November 22nd – December 30th they are adding additional categories for a few days. Each set of days has a different category. Hat tip to reader Wyle.

Looks like the state restriction is now being enforced, making this AZ only.

The VantageWest Credit Union offers the Connect Rewards Visa Signature card. Let’s take a look at this card in our quick review.

Card Basics

  • The card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x in a category of your choice from the following list ($1,500 in spend max per quarter. Can change category each quarter if wanted):
      • Travel
      • Restaurants
      • Utilities[water, cell, electric, etc.]
      • Wholesale[Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.] This is now in store only
      • Department Stores
      • Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
      • Charitable Organizations
      • Pharmacies & Drug Stores
      • Amazon.com
    • 3x cash back on gas purchases
    • 2x back on grocery store purchases
    • 1x back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Paper statements come with a $3 fee
  • Points are worth 1¢ each when redeeming for a statement credit. Minimum redemption is $25 (2,500 points)
  • No sign-up bonus

Becoming A Member

Seems to be restricted membership to join the credit union and that’s a requirement of applying for the card. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in (as well as all businesses located in1) these geographic areas…

  • Pima, Pinal, Cochise, or Maricopa Counties
  • Gila River Indian Community Reservation
  • Arizona’s “Copper Basin” Area

Update: Anybody can join and become a member by becoming a member of Greater Arizona Bicycle Association for $15. Thanks to theforerunner343 for finding this out. This is no longer possible.

Our Verdict

Wholesale clubs are probably the easiest of those to manufacture spend in. 5% back at restaurants & charity would also be pretty useful. 3x back on gas isn’t that bad, but there are other cards that earn up to 5%. Shame it has no signup bonus and restricted membership otherwise this would be an easy apply for me. If you’re able to max out the 5% categories then you’d earn $300 per year (2% card would earn you $120).

Realistically you’d need this card to stay around for awhile to get any true value from it.

Hat tip to /r/churning

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Jonny
Jonny

Seems to be expired 🙁

Corey
Corey

I have this card and I like it a lot (I’m in AZ). Utilities category covers things that the US bank cash plus has separate categories for like cell phone and internet. I wish I could get two cards (or more) because the Utilities, wholesale, & home improvement are great and I max out my categories in utilities alone. Get one if you live here. Easy to redeem points for cashback at 25 dollars or more (2500 points).

Keith
Keith

I live in AZ now, but may move to another state in the next 1-2 yrs. Will they make me cancel the card when I’m no longer an AZ resident?? Don’t want a closed acct on my credit report for no reason.

rich
rich

Do not bother if you did not get the mailer. They are not playing around 🙁

kirby145
kirby145

Any tips on getting one?

Channing
Channing

Yup, I think William Charles should consider removing this one.

Chris
Chris

Ah geo restricted, which means I can not obtain a membership with an out of state address even if I go to the branch

Drew
Drew

Do the Holiday Rewards count against the $1500 per quarter limit? Or it’s separate (or even unlimited?)

tobago_88
tobago_88

Holiday rewards is an old offer and no longer active, I think doc just updated an existing vantage west post.

Drew
Drew

:facepalm: thanks!

Z Hass
Z Hass

I am a member and its geo restricted. There is no workaround. It was the case even in 2018. In 2017 winter they did allowed GABA but it was longer the case since 2018.

lintj

Just got a letter from them with a sign up bonus offer.
Seems to be a good card and a good deal, but the only problem is that I just started the ChaseSP sign up task…

And it is interesting that I just found this page:
https://vantagewest.org/mailoffer/

tobago_88
tobago_88

William Charles do you know if it’s possible to get two of these cards?

Josho
Josho

I am wondering this as well.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

I’ll let you know. Though I might not be the best data point, that was my 28th Experian pull in 2 years lol.

tobago_88
tobago_88

I called them and they said only 1 card is permitted, if it’s a different card they’d allow it but not the same card 🙁

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Denied, letter forthcoming.

slowbrake
slowbrake

Thank you for your service

Joal
Joal

Just recently got the VW Connect Rewards card and was wondering if anyone’s tried to buy Costco cards with it in store. Does it qualify for the 5% cash back if you’ve chosen wholesale clubs as your quarterly category? Any insight will be greatly appreciated!

Josho
Josho

Yes, it does. I use this to buy 3rd party gift cards at Costco. 5% always tracks unless you’re over $1,500 quarterly limit. Note, though, that updated T&C excludes online purchases, so no costco.com.

TheTruthHurts
TheTruthHurts

Any work arounds on membership? ie religious groups etc?