Published on February 13th, 2018 | by William Charles48
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:
- Travel / Entertainment
- 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.
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
- Home Improvement
- Office Supply
- Sporting Goods
- Travel & Entertainment
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
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.
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).
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.