Posted by William Charles on July 9, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on July 9th, 2018 | by William Charles

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Union Bank Visa Credit Card Review – 5x On Mobile Payments & More

Update: 5x on mobile wallets is only on the first year, making this card more or less worthless.

This card was originally launched in August, 2016. We’ve updated this post as they have added a new 5x category, 3x category and a 10,000 point bonus. Hat tip to readers Josh and Ken.

The Basics

  • Sign up bonus of 10,000 points after $1,000 in spend within the first three months
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent up to $6,000 the first year after account opening on mobile wallet purchases, 1 point for every $1 spent thereafter.
    • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent up to $6,000 annually on restaurant purchases, 1 point for every $1 spent thereafter.
    • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent up to $6,000 annually on gas and grocery store purchases, 1 point for every $1 spent thereafter.
    • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive a bonus of 25-50% when redeeming reward points as cash back to your Union Bank checkng or savings account or a principal reduction payment to your Union Bank mortgage account
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases & balance transfers for the first 12 months (balance transfer fee is $10 or 3%)
  • No annual fee

 

Details On Points

  • Points will expire on a first in, first out basis and will expire on or after the third anniversary of when they were awarded
  • Points can be redeemed for the following:
    • Merchandise
    • Gift cards/certificates
    • Travel (airline, hotel and car rental)
    • Cash back as statement credit to your account
    • Cash back as a deposit to your Union Bank checking or savings account
    • Mortgage principal reduction payment to your Union Bank mortgage account

Points are worth 1¢ each when redeeming for statement credit, 1.25¢ each when redeeming for a deposit to your Union Bank checking or savings account and 1.5¢ each when redeeming as a reduction payment to your Union Bank mortgage account.

Our Verdict

This card is significantly more interesting with the new 5x category and points being worth up to 1.5¢ each. I don’t think most people will have a mortgage with Union, but having a checking account doesn’t seem unreasonable to get 1.25¢ per point. That means the 5x category is = 6.25% back. You’d still be better off using the Uber card for restaurant purchases though as that’s 4% back. Keep in mind the mobile payment category is limited to $6,000 in spend but that’s still 30,000 points worth $375 if redeemed into a checking account. If you put that same spend on a 2% card you’d earn $120. Now it’s just a matter of finding out how strict they are on the mobile payment purchases and if this will work long term or not.



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Mser
Mser

Having had a business account with Union Bank and having terrible customer service, I would never recommend anyone in our game applying for such a crappy card.

NinjaX
NinjaX

I cant believe you had an account with Union Bank. What were you thinking…

Superchurn
Superchurn

I was thinking “Gee, i’d sure like to relieve Union Bank of $200”, and by god it did feel damn good.

NinjaX
NinjaX

This bank should be bankrupt already. This is the worst bank and products I have ever seen. Only matched by Cum Bank and Synchrony. US Bank comes close, but I respect their CC products and their Sunday bank hours within grocery stores. I like that. Nobody should get this CC. There are just too many other options even if you MS and MAX out all other limits of other CCs. If you really want this CC, then you should also get the Ulta Credit Card too cuz youre an idiot.

Jack Dog
Jack Dog

Taking a shot at the teenage crowd that shops there because they won’t be having credit cards or won’t be reading this post. I see what you did there.

thomas
thomas

Owned by the 4th biggest bank in the world, Union Bank is going nowhere.

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

naw, the worst CC bonus I have seen is the PNC bank CC rewards card. They give a 50k points bonus for spending 750.00 in 90 days. After much research, I was able to get to someone who knew what the points were worth. 50k points = $100.00.

Ken
Ken

William Charles Just got an unsolicited mailer for this card with some new benefits of note:
– earn 5 points per $1 of spending on mobile wallets up to $6000
– redeem 1 point for $0.01 of statement credit
– redeem 1 point for $0.0125 of cash back into a Union Bank account
– redeem 1 point for $0.015 of principal prepayment into a Union Bank mortgage
– earn 10000 bonus points after spending $1000 in 3 months
– 0% APR for 12 months

Effectively gets 7.5% back on mobile wallet purchases with a Union Bank account.

https://www.unionbank.com/personal-banking/loans-lines-credit/credit-cards/rewards-visa.jsp

Sam
Sam

Do we think this bank will survive the Janus decision?

thomas
thomas

Owned by the 4th biggest bank in the world, Union Bank is going nowhere.

JP
JP

Don’t know about bank customer service. This is too good to survive. Either they will remove the category or exclude gc purchases in short term.

S Nack
S Nack

5x on mobile wallet is only for the first year…

John555
John555

Good catch. Worthless card

Vic
Vic

lol good catch, you just made this 90% less interesting to me.

more info
more info

Effectively it’s a $500 present for spending $6K the first year, presuming most people get 2-2.5% on all spending, this works out to a ~$350 present to open the card and then likely languish forever. Ehh, $350 isn’t worthwhile if you already have good cards, but if you’re starting out, this makes sense.

Wyle
Wyle

Don’t think this will work long term. 2x and 3x say earn bonus “annually”, 5x says “the first year”.

u/closertothesunna
u/closertothesunna

Looks like the key problem is the 5x for mobile wallet is only in year 1. That didn’t jump out to me at first. But it is as you say, 375 + the 125 bonus = 500 on 6k spend. Maybe some friendliness requirements.

Wong
Wong

Nice, a $650 sockdrawer card. I’m jumping in on this since I do love free (and tax-free) money.

Mark
Mark

Was denied for not living in banking region

white111
white111

What if paying restaurant with apple pay? I am wondering it is categorized as mobile payment or restaurant.

Pato
Pato

Don’t forget they have 3x rotating categories. probably targeted.

https://www.unionbank.com/campaigns/rotating-rewards-2018/landing.jsp

GreenBills
GreenBills

I got this for specific reason that I could use it for apple pay transactions. My day care uses square with apple pay as payment option. So it was a good way to get $180 extra (+100 joining bonus) even if for first year. However was disappointed when it didnt work for online apple pay payment via square’s website, on a phone. My guess is it’s constrained on mobile wallet in a way that one has to use apple pay at physical devices. I haven’t tried on a physical device and will let you all know if it did get me 5x rewards or not. (also used on paying xfinity internet service – online apple pay, would get to know in a month if that one also fails to register as mobile wallet payment).

Unfortunately one doesnt come to know until statement is generated, which is another con.

bmanamex
bmanamex

I opened this card, added it to my Samsung Pay (took a couple of days, it wouldn’t take for some reason), and now that I put VGC spend on it, mobile payments in store, it has started to tally up the spend at 5x like advertised.
I haven’t redeemed any rewards yet, but their rewards site has a nice enough interface and looks easy to use.

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