Posted by Chuck on July 18, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on July 18th, 2016 | by Chuck

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New Fidelity Visa Card Remains a Flat 2% Back Card

There was some speculation that the new Fidelity Visa card issued by Elan/US Bank will have Flexperks-esque value, either through travel redemptions or transfers. Unfortunately, it appears that neither is possible.

Travel Redemption

Initially, it was thought that the Fidelity points might actually be Flexperks points, and they’ll be redeemable for travel up to 2¢ per point. That would make it an up-to-4%-back card. That hope was squashed when it became clear that it has a max travel redemption value of 1¢ per point.

It is possible to book travel with Fidelity points, and it uses the same system as Flexperks travel redemptions, but it costs double the points with Fidelity points than with Flexperks points.

It obviously makes no sense to use the travel redemption option since you can just as easily turn the points into cash by redeeming into your Fidelity Cash Management Account or investment account.

Transfer Option

Another thought was that it would be possible to transfer Fidelity points to the Flexperks currency, and back as well, perhaps.

A Flyertalk member who signed up for the new Fidelity/Elan Visa card reports that Fidelity points are not transferrable to the Flexperks system. “The entered account is not eligible for Points transfer.” Since the points aren’t part of the points-transfer system, I assume that you can’t transfer points from Flexperks to Fidelity either. (HT: Dave)

If it were possible to transfer Fidelity points into the Flexperks system, it would be possible to get to get up to 4% everywhere since Flexperks can be worth up to 2¢ each. And if it would be possible to transfer from Flexperks to Fidelity, it would be a painless way of getting a full 2% redemption value from Flexperks, without sweating it out on a travel redemption.

Unfortunately, it appears that neither of these is possible.

Conclusion

In the end, the Fidelity credit card was, and remains, a flat 2% cash back credit card, similar to the Citi Double Cash card.

It’s better than Double Cash for international purchase (1% fee vs. 3%), but it’s a bit more complicated than Double Cash since it requires redemption into a Fidelity account.

 

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James Carson
James Carson

Depositing into a Fidelity account is slow and I’d rather just have statement credit, but the Fidelity CMA does offer perks like unlimited free checks and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide. Unfortunately, there’s no way to deposit cash. You can’t even buy a money order and deposit that at a Fidelity office. Just ACH deposits or checks deposited with your phone or at an office. (No ATM deposits of any kind.) So, definitely just a supplementary account. But still, an account with unique features that give it value.

Stvr
Stvr

The lower forex fee isn’t even that much lower because this new card is a Visa and Citi Double Cash is an MC

Adam

so can you sign up for this Visa if you already have the AMEX version open but not converted/activated to Visa yet?!

just wondering if I can get in under the wire & sorta double dip here.

Dov
Dov

This new Fidelity card issued by Elan is a terrible complicated rewards card

With FIA I was always able to redeem for a direct 2% Statement credit if the redemption was from 25K and up (otherwise it’s was at half value) without the hassle of having to redeem into a fidelity account

Now with Elan it’s always at half value whatever amount you redeem

And also the complicated Flexperks travel chart makes things even worse very disappointing

Peter
Peter

It’s not complicated. It just doesn’t allow or particularly support the redemptions that you want.

It’s a 2% cashback card when funds are deposited into a Fidelity account. Anything else is lower value. So don’t redeem for anything else.

If you are looking for travel etc. get a different card.

The most you can say is that the rewards structure is worse compared to how you used the AMEX version. But it’s hardly confusing.

Dov
Dov

I have this card for the last 6 years and always managed to get 2% as a statement credit without the need to have any relation with Fidelity on the banking site

I am not looking to use this card for travel Its was just an example that even on the travel redemption that always use to give 2% (and some times even more) now the most you could get is anything between 1% to hardly 2% if you do it right

In my view the redemption structure became much more complicated that its use to be and is a huge downgrade to the previous version of the card

Matt
Matt

To be clear, you can redeem the rewards into a free checking account, and that is “too complicated”?

Dov
Dov

No, it’s the devaluation of the statement credit method that will now only be valued at half

Jessica Yu
Jessica Yu

On 10/30 Fidelity sent an email promoting 2,000 Bonus points for adding an authorized user. After receiving the new authorized card, I discovered it came with new contactless tap technology. After a call to a CSR, they told me that Fidelity is “rolling them out to random users to first test their security” (me: LOL) and that after a period will start sending existing card users the new card. Fidelity’s VS cc webpage has already started including the contactless feature though.

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