Posted by Chuck on October 30, 2014
Credit Card Review

Published on October 30th, 2014 | by Chuck

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Review of TD First Class Visa Credit Card; $250 Cash Signup Bonus, 3% Dining & Travel [Geographically Limited]

[This post does not contain any affiliate links.]

We like to highlight some of the lesser know credit cards. Today we’re going to review the TD First Class Visa from TD Bank.

The main two selling-points of the card are the $250 signup bonus and the 3x rewards on travel and dining. Note, however, that this card is geographically limited.

$250 Signup Bonus

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This card offers 15,000 point signup bonus after your first swipe (no minimum spend required), and another 10,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months. There is no annual fee the first year, then $89.

Okay, but what’s each point worth?

One penny-per-point with no hassle. This will be explained below (“Redeem Points”).

One extraordinary factor is that you can earn $150 signup bonus with no spend at all, a rare find. That being said, most of us would probably opt to do the additional $3,000 spend to get the additional $100 bonus.

Many credit cards offer a signup bonus in points which can be valued at much more than $250, but for someone who likes to focus on cash rewards this is definitely on the higher end. See Best Cash Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses.

3x Travel and Dining

[Related: Best Credit Cards For Restaurant Spend]

Another great benefit of the card is that it gives 3 points (or 3%) on travel and dining. There are many credit cards which offer dining or travel as a category bonus, but the fact that there’s no cap on number of points which can be earned, and that it has both dining and travel on the same card, makes it unique.

For someone who travels or dines a lot, this could be a great card, because he’d be getting 3% cashback on all of that travel and dining spend. If he’s a heavy-spender in those categories, this benefit could justify the $89 annual fee which gets charged after the first year.

Geographic Limitation

All TD-issued credit cards are only available in these 16 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C.

Interesting note: Previously, TD limited credit cards to existing customers. If you wanted a TD credit card and you weren’t a customer, you’d have to first open a checking/savings/CD account with TD and then you could apply. That’s really not too difficult, but that would mean that besides the hard credit inquiry for the credit card, there would also be a Chex inquiry for the bank account opening.

This is no longer the case. TD now allows applications from everyone (within the above-mentioned areas) for all of their credit cards. Previously, the system blocked you from applying if you weren’t an existing customer. Now, there’s no such block. Presumably that means that they’re happy to accept even non-customers.

[Update: This was true for a few days, but they now switched back, and you can only apply online if you have a TD account. You may or may not have success applying in-branch without opening a bank  account with them.

Tip: You can open a checking/savings/CD account with then in order to apply. I opened a 91 day CD with $250 in it. Presumably, this will result in a Chex inquiry, but I can not confirm either way as of now.]

Redeem Points

There are three ways to redeem rewards, and three corresponding ways to get a full penny-per-point:

  1. If you have 25,000 point balance or more, then you can get a statement credit for one penny-per-point. Since the signup bonus itself (with meeting the minimum spend) gives 25,000 points, it’s worth a full $250 without any hassle; I assume signup-bonus points will count to get this redemption option. Additionally, the statement credits do not need to be in $25 increments – if you have 28,000 points (25k from signup and 3k from minimum spend), you should be able to get a $280 statement credit.
  2. Even with a point balance of less than 25,000, you can still redeem points for a full penny-per-point if you have a travel or dining charge on your card. For example, if you spent $15 at Starbucks, you can redeem 1500 points and get a $15 statement credit. Or if you spent $354 on Expedia, you can redeem 35,400 points and get a $354 statement credit. But if you don’t have any dining or travel charges on your account, you won’t get a full penny-per-point, only a half of a penny per point. This is very similar to the way the Barclay Arrival credit card work. Two advantages of the TD card: you can redeem for dining too (big advantage), and you can redeem in any increment without being tied to $25 increments.
  3. Even with a point balance of less than 25,000, you can still redeem points for a full penny-per-point by redeeming for gift cards. They have lots of gift cards to choose from, and you probably shop at some of these merchants anyway! Here’s a few of the options: Shell gas, Amazon, Macy’s, CVS, and many restaurants. If you redeem for gift cards of $50 or more, you get a value of one penny-per-point.

Card Positives

  • $250 signup bonus
  • 3% cashback on dining and travel
  • Deal with a different bank, not the regular Chase, Amex and Citi.
  • Visa signature benifits.

Card Negatives

  • $89 annual fee after first year.
  • Geographically limited.
  • Numerous reports indicate that TD credit card pulls from Experian. This was also my personal experience. Experian is the most valuable pull for many of us.
  • The card has a minimum credit line of $5k. The reason I consider this a negative is because if someone has a low income, they may not be eligible for a $5k credit limit, and thus they won’t be approved for the card.
  • TD is know to never give an instant approval. This is bad for two reasons: Firstly, we all like an instant approval. Secondly, that means that there’s probably a human who reviews each application. Those who apply for lots of credit cards are often able to maintain high credit scores – which the automated decisions are largely based on – but have a harder time dealing with a human who smells something fishy with so many recent pull/cards.

Recommendation

We recommend this card for someone who values a $250 cash bonus more than other credit card signup offers available. And possibly for someone who spends a lot on travel and dining. Since it has a $89 annual fee in the second year, it would take a lot of travel and dining to justify that.

We don’t recommend this card for those who are able to get much higher value from credit card signups, and who don’t spend a lot on travel and dining.

Our Verdict

This card is extremely unknown. I bumped into it by mistake when applying for the TD 5% card, see 5% Vs 5% Vs 5%. I don’t remember seeing it previously on the TD site, but I did find a mention of it on myFico forum from almost a year ago.

I just applied for the TD Easy Rewards card (still haven’t heard back… hoping…), so I won’t be applying for this card any time soon. I’d consider applying in order to get the $250 signup bonus; since I don’t travel much, I prefer cash bonuses. However, since it’s an Experian pull, which I can’t afford usually, I’m not sure I’ll end up applying. Additionally, based on my income, I’m not positive I’d be approved for $5k credit line. Though most of my recent cards have yielded $5k-$8k credit lines, I believe I’ve seen that TD is stingy with credit limits.

Let us know in the comments if you’ll be applying for the card!



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Thanks for the write up. This card should work to load the TD Visa Buxx card since they’ve limited to TD Credit Cards recently. That might make this useful to Net an extra $48 per month in profit.

Sounds like a decent sign-up since it’s cash back basically. My big question would be can it be downgraded to a card with no AF? I hate to close an account for the credit implications.

Easy rewards and cash back rewards both have no AF, not sure what the downgrade process is like with TD but I don’t see why they’d be any issue.

It’s not letting me sign up on the website. It asked if I was a current TD Bank customer or if I’ve received an offer in the mail. I’ll call them in a little to see if I can apply over the phone.

I just got this card and it’s a pain in the ass. It blocks high dollar amount purchases (think VGC), and I had to call in twice to get 3 separate VGC transactions through on two different days.
A lower transaction for a gas purchase went through fine.

My address is from Illinois and I was unknown to this Geographical limitation. (Learned my lesson as I did not read this post before applying) I was able to apply for this card on phone and did not get rejected right away. The rejection letter stated the reason as ‘Previous transactions or relationship history with TD bank.’ This made no sense and even reconsideration rep had no idea specifically why I was rejected. After a month of phone calls and ‘corporate review’ I was told that I got rejected due to geographical restriction.

To Summarize, they seem dead serious about location condition and most CSR’s have no idea about it.

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