Posted by William Charles on October 10, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on October 10th, 2018 | by William Charles


Terps Credit Card Review – 50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus [New Spend Offer For Current Customers]

Update 10/10/18: On the promotions page there is a new promotion for existing cardholders. You can earn up to 30,000 points. Spend needs to be completed between October 1st and December 31st, 2018:

  • Spend $2,500 – $4,999 & get 2,500 bonus points
  • Spend $5,000 – $9,999 & get 5,000 bonus points
  • Spend $10,000 & get 30,000 bonus points

Looks like you’ll be able to get this in addition to the sign up bonus. Hat tip to reader Rob.

Reddit user k0vi86 pointed out the University of Maryland Terps credit card. It looks interesting so let’s have a look. Update: Looks like University of Illinois has a similar card.

Card Basics

  • No annual fee
  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 or more within 90 days of card issuance
  • Card earns 10x points on all University of Maryland purchases and 1x points on all other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months
  • During the sign up process it says: By acknowledging, you are affirmatively agreeing that you are aware that granting a security interest is a condition for the credit card and you intend to grant a security interest. Looks like it might be some sort of secured card? Not a secured card, no security deposit required. More on that here.


How Much Are Points Worth?

Main thing of interest is the sign up bonus. They don’t say exactly how much points are worth but they do say that “As of 9/1/2018 50,000 points covered an October round trip ticket from BWI to LAX. Point values are subject to change at any time based on market cost, dates, and locations.” They also let you browse rewards here. Some interesting options:

  • $200 Visa gift card for 24,000 points
  • Third party gift cards:
    • $25 for 3,500 points
    • $50 for 7,000 points
    • $100 for 12,000 points
  • According to this comment points value for flights is around 1-1.1¢ per point

Our Verdict

After spending $5,000 you’ll likely end up with 55,000 total points. Ignoring the travel redemption as we don’t really know how that works it seems like the best option would be to redeem for two $200 Visa gift cards (48,000 points) and then get a $50 third party gift card (7,000 points). Total of $450, not bad at all. Obviously we basically know nothing about this card and the approval process/security deposit required. Who is going to be the guinea pig?



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I will be the guinea terp. Just applied and got a “further review” needed. I’m Lol/24.

A champion among men.

Paul I think we should give you MVP status- Free Fries for a year

Not all heroes are under 5/24

We toast you!

Way to go Paul
I’m rooting for you 🙂

One for the team…

Did you have to apply with ur UMD email?

I applied with my personal email. Just got an email back saying I was declined. I’m trying to figure out the reason.

Paul you got any word back on why the denied you?

They Had three reasons for the decline check marked on the paper:

1. Number of recent inquiries on credit report

2. Other: escalating (I don’t know what that means)

3. Length of employment ( I had just switched jobs a couple months ago)

“Escalating debt” or “pyramiding debt” (or “Egyptian” on some other discussion boards) seems to be a favorite denial reason, mainly among CUs. I think PenFed made it famous on myfico. Basically, they’re saying you have too many credit cards/too much open credit for their liking 🙂 Being “LOL/24” can trigger a bust-out flag, especially if they’re more on the conservative side.

I have this card. The point value for flights is around 1.2c-1.3c.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I have a good friend who attends University of Maryland maybe I could convince him to apply…

I hope this isn’t targeting college kids, dangling points for $5k spend that they can’t pay back.

The card is backed by CU Campus Card Services ( a division of University of Illinois Community Credit Union. UofI CCU offers the card here:

Granting a security interest means you are granting the creditor rights to the assets purchased by the card in the event you default on the account. A mortgage grants a security interest on the home, in this case the creditor is attempting to place similar terms upon the credit card agreement. Comenity is the only mainstream lender that I know of that also attempts this practice on their store cards (BJ’s, etc.).

Seems unenforceable though?

I’m not an expert in this topic.

*Knock* *Knock*

Open up big guy, I’m here to collect the Keurig you bought, the Algebra 2 textbook and the university sweater. We know you have them.

Security interest means they can go after your other accounts that you have with them.

According to T&C it seems to be issued by a credit union and they may secure the card against the funds in your CU account:


Does that mean you could pay your tuition with it for 10x back?

I’d like a data point on this!

Huh. This is an interesting point. If memory serves, UMD charges a fee for using a credit card. Let me consult the kid’s account. Yup. 2% fee.

So possibly points at 10X, but 2% fee.

Hmmm. Last thing I charged at UMD was parking and it definitely listed as UMD (as in UMD parking) on the statement, not something odd like DOTS.

I can’t check, as the kid has a prepaid college account. So we may need a sacrificial lamb to try this on the Terp card or the UofI card.

I’m an old Colonial, so carrying a Terp card seems…not right to me. Heck, I wouldn’t even carry a Colonial card, they got enough of my money when I was in school!

momosan just paid whatever is left on my account I owe for my MBA i think they upped the fee to 2.5 now

Did you get 10% back?

“Thank you for applying for the TERPS VISA Signature® Rewards credit card! Your application will be reviewed by an underwriter and we will have a decision for you within two business days. If you have additional questions please feel free to visit our website, email us at, or call 800-754-9619.

To ensure you receive your confirmation email, and decision email, please also be sure to check your “spam” folder.”

Not sure I passed the security test…they asked some awkward questions like what was the last 4 digits of my primary checking account…

Uh oh…

Applied for the University of Illinois rewards card in this post, since I may be eligible according to the application menu as our federal agency has a satellite office in the area. Fingers crossed for the review… Thanks Doc!

Yeah, thats a nice card no AF, no FT. It was my first credit card which is keeping my average age of credit decent. Go ILLLINI!! 🙂

Almost all of the large university alumni associations have co-branded cards that they offer to alumni and supporters.

Yup. They tried to push an NYU one years ago, which was essentially a plain BOA Cash Rewards Visa with the alumni logo slapped on it. Useless! I wonder how much of a kickback they get for co-branding…

Many do, yes.

I went to a very large school that doesn’t have an alumni credit card and it annoys me slightly because I want one.

Just applied – further review needed. Maryland Alum;LOL/24

I have the university of illinois credit card. Its a normal credit card as in no secured type. I do have a checking account with them, where I just keep the minimum balance. I opened it 6 years back. Its a decent card with no AF and no FT.

I applied. Pulled TU in MN. Under review. Thanks for the find.

Does one need to be alumni to apply?

What’s the best way to manufacture spend b/c there is no way I can get to $5k in 90 days?

$5k in Visa GCs from Simon Mall?

Pay rent w/ plastiq

Is that going to be a cash advance? Remember that lots of restrictions on which visa cards work on Plastiq.

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