Posted by William Charles on February 13, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on February 13th, 2018 | by William Charles

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Huntington Voice Credit Card – Pick Your Own 3% Cash Back Category [Categories Changing]

Update 02/13/18: Cardholders should have received a letter informing them that the 3% cash back categories are changing on February 18th. The new categories are as follows:

  • Gas
  • Grocery
  • Travel / Entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • Auto Part / Service Stores
  • Utilities / Office Supply Stores
  • Electronics, Computer, and Camera Stores
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Discount and Warehouse Stores
  • Department Apparel, and Sporting Goods

They have removed the Drugstore category and also Walmart.

This is another post in our Weird Wednesday series where we have a look at unknown or little known credit cards to see if they are worth applying for or not. You can view more posts in the series here. Today we are going to be looking at the Huntington Voice credit card.

The Huntington Voice credit card is a bit different than other cards on the market, first of all you get to pick between earning 3x points on a category of your choice or having an APR of 3% less. All of my readers should know that you should always pay your credit card in full and as such only the 3x point option should be appealing.

huntington voice

Rewards Program

Earning Points

As we mentioned you get to choose your own 3x rewards category. They have a total of 13 different categories to choose from:

  • Apparel/Soft Goods
  • Department Stores/Electronics
  • Discount Stores
  • Gas
  • Grocery
  • Home Improvement
  • Office Supply
  • Pharmacy
  • Restaurants
  • Sporting Goods
  • Travel & Entertainment
  • Utilities
  • Wal-mart

Unfortunately there is a cap on the amount you can spend in these categories and still get the 3x points. You get 3x points on the first $2,000 in purchases per quarter (maximum of 6,000 points). If you make purchases that aren’t within the 3x category, you’ll only earn 1 point.

You choose the category you earn three points in and can it within 30 days of opening your account. You can also change it prior to the start of each quarter for the next quarter (e.g you can change Q3’s category in Q2). If you don’t make a change, then you will keep the same category you had the previous quarter (no need to enroll every quarter like other cards, I’m looking at you Chase Freedom & Discover it).  The dates for each quarter are as follows:

  • 1st Quarter – January 1st
  • 2nd Quarter – April 1st
  • 3rd Quarter – July 1st
  • 4th Quarter – October 1st

10% Bonus

Huntington Bank gives you a 10% bonus on all points earned (making this a 3.3% card in the category of your choosing) if you have a Huntington 5 or 25 checking account open. Unfortunately due to the fees, this bonus isn’t worth doing. You can read more about why here.

Redeeming Points

Points are worth 1¢ a piece when redeeming for cash or statement credit. If somebody gifts you points then they will expire within 12 months, if you earn points from another promotion that Huntington is running these points might expire (keep in mind points are redeemed on a first in first out basis when trying to use up points). Points that are earned normally do not expire as long as your account stays in good standing.

When you redeem for statement credit there is no minimum amount of points you can redeem for (e.g you can redeem a single point for a penny). It takes 4-6 business days for this statement credit to post to your account. It’s also possible to redeem for a check with no minimum. Checks take 4-6 weeks to arrive.

It’s also possible to redeem for merchant gift cards and product rewards. Neither of these options are particularly attractive compared to the cash rates (you get the same 1¢ per point rate on gift cards). There is one final redemption option and that is for airfare and travel, this is the same 1¢ rate though and there are various fee and charges that are applied, so redeem for cash instead.

You can learn more point redeeming these points at their official website (no login required): http://www.myhnbrewards.com/

Fees & Application Information

Technically you can apply from any state you want, but sometimes they require you to come into a branch to verify your identity. They have branches in: Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania & West Virginia.

  • Card has no annual fee.
  • Huntington pulls Equifax exclusively.
  • You must be a U.S Citizen to apply and be approved for this card.
  • No foreign transaction fee, although the card does not come with any EMV chip
  • Late fee grace. Get an extra day on your grace period (no idea why they don’t just add the extra day), they also don’t have a penalty rate if your payment is made late.
  • This is a World Mastercard, click here for a summary of those benefits
  • APR of 9.99%-23.99% on the rewards option version of the card (take 3% for the low APR version)

One good thing about this card is they don’t really seem to be picky at all about your credit score, one person with a bankruptcy on file was even approved (although in general you will be denied if you have a bankruptcy on file for this card. This person had 16 years banking history with them).

Final Thoughts

Obviously the flexibility to choose your own category is great and they actually have some decent categories to choose from unlike the U.S Bank Cash+ card which is unlovingly referred to as the Nerf+, although that card lets you pick two categories and also gives 5% cash back instead of 3%.

The problem with this card is that 3% cash back is marginal at best, everybody should have a card that earns 2% cash back on all purchases (Double Cash or Fidelity American Express) so you’re only really getting an additional 1% cash back on these purchases.

The card also does not come with any sign up bonuses, although Huntington bank does regularly have checking bonuses. If you value a hard pull at $200, you’d need to spend $20,000 on this card before you got that value. Given that you can only spend $2,000 per month, this would take you 3 and a bit years. Because of that I wouldn’t recommend this to most people, if Huntington bank suddenly offered a sign up bonus then this would be a completely different discussion.

That being said this might be an OK option for somebody with not great credit that is trying to build a bit of positive credit history. The rewards program is pretty solid and the points never expire.

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I discovered this card not too long ago and was excited about the possibilities… until just like you, realized it has the $2k cap per quarter. Oh well. Still, I enjoy the weekly posts about more obscure cards. Keep up the good work.

Are you sure it’s a World Elite Mastercard? Typically those come with an annual fee. Thanks for checking into these less hyped cards!

Good one! My credit history is short so I don’t mind there is no sign up bonus. I wanna give this a try.

Might not be a bad card to pick up for a little extra cash from VGCs at Wally World SCs by picking grocery (for those of us that aren’t blessed with VGC-friendly grocery stores).

Cool post. Nice to see something different and potentially useful. It would be a good resource if you knew you could max it out every quarter and either add it to your current arsenal or top something currently providing less value. Not an MS dream card, but that whole category is slowly losing traction anyways.

does this required to within geographic to get approval?
I tried a couple of time get in with their checking, but no success

Very interesting card. I like the Walmart aspect.

Thanks for mentioning this card… I don’t see it as super compelling, but I am trying to figure out the math. At $2,000 per quarter wouldn’t you max out at $8,000 in category spend, earning 24,000 points, redeemable for $240? So I think you would “break even” on a $200 value of a credit pull in less than a year.

Unless I am confused I think $20,000 in spend would take about 30 months to spread it across the $2,000 limit per quarter, but you would earn 60,000 points or $600.

Interesting, but with the cap and the alternative 2.22% I’d get from the Arrival Plus, there’s no way any category would be worth my while.

I opened an asterisk-free checking account with Huntington, and received a targeted offer for $100 sign up bonus on this card with 500 in spend.

Huntington will offer you a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in 90 days if you ask about it at a branch location.

Do you know the credit criteria for approval (ie minimum credit score) and what credit limits are typically granted? I’ve went on several blogs and people either absolutely love this card or they hate it. I’m looking for a card to rebuild credit and I have a checking account with Huntington

I just attempted applying in GA and received the message about only being unable to apply in my geographic area unless I’m an existing Huntington Voice Customer. Looking deeper, The asterick-free acccount jf mentioned looks like it might be a good way to go to get your foot in the door as there is no annual fee to maintain (as long as the account shows “activity” within 6 months, or maintains a $1k balance to avoid an account dormancy charge of $5/month.

Should also be mentioned that it appears that if you have their “Huntington 5 Checking” Product (https://www.huntington.com/personal/banking/checking/huntington-5) you get a 10% credit card reward bonus. This account has a $5/month maintenance fee unless you maintain $5000 or more in “Total Relationship Balances”. This would put the redemption value at 3.3% which might tip the scales a tad for those with 2% or the now 2.1% Barclay Arrival + (reducing bonus on travel redemption to 5%). I particularly like the prospect of saving 3.3% on all of my utilities, this is a unique category for cards – this and the inclusion of a discount store like Wal-Mart (does it work for Sam’s too??) could be a pretty valuable card to keep in your hand. I haven’t decided if it’s worth the hassle of setting up another checking account – I just did this with PenFed to take advantage of their 5% gas card ….. Hope someone finds that rant helpful.

It doesn’t work for Sam’s Club :-(. I have tried.

does anyone know the credit criteria for this card?

[…] only offer one credit card: Huntington Voice (you can pick your own 3% cash back category) and this comes with a free Equifax FICO Score. It […]

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