Posted by Chuck on June 2, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on June 2nd, 2019 | by Chuck

44

United Bank of Missouri Credit Card 3x on Grocery, Restaurant, Gas & Discount Stores

Update 6/2/19: Card is now offering a 15,000 point sign up bonus as well. Hat tip to reader @telewatcr

Reader Jeff let us know about an interesting card from United Bank of Missouri (UMB) called the Simply Rewards Visa. We like highlighting some lesser known cards, and this one looks pretty interesting if it pans out as advertised. We’ll do a quick review of the card with the info we have, and hopefully readers will clarify if there’s any other important details.

Card Details

Direct Link / PDF

  • No signup bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 2% foreign transaction fee
  • Visa Signature card

Rewards

Card offers 3x at the following categories:

  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores
  • Discount Stores
  • Restaurants and Fast Food

Everything else gets 1x.

MCC Codes eligible for 3 points per dollar are the following: 5411 (Grocery Stores), 5541 and 5542 (Gas), 5310 (Discount Stores), 5812 (Restaurants) and 5814 (Fast Food). Cardholders earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. (I’d guess that Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s would code as Discount Stores.)

How much are points worth?

From poking around on the public Sneak Peek site (able to view without login), it appears 13,333 points can be redeemed for a $200 Visa gift card. That makes each point worth 1.5 cents and category spend worth 4.5% back. Wow.

There are lots of other redemption options too, such as gift cards, merchandise (e.g. an iPad), as well as experiences, live concerts/sports, theme parks, and travel. We don’t know the exact value of these redemptions. Gift cards can be redeemed for between 1.2 and 1.5 cents per point, depending on denomination; even small $10 denomination gift cards get 1.2 cents per point.

Reader David tells us that points are worth 1 cent when redeemed for gift cards. This is no Visa gift card or cash back option. Looks like there is a statement credit option.

Availability

Who can apply for this card? The bank has locations across the following eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas. It might only be available to residents of those states.

In the online application, there’s a dropdown which allows applications from any state which indicates the card is available nationwide, but a data point suggests that they don’t actually accept people from out of their footprint.

You can apply for the card online or over the phone at 800-821-5184.

Final Thoughts

This card sounds incredible, 4.5% unlimited cashback at gas, restaurant, grocery, and discount stores could easily be one of the best cards around. It’s not a bad card with 3% return on top categories, but in truth we’d have to discount some of the value since the redemptions are in gift cards (e.g. Disney, Sears, or Macy’s gift card), so the actual value would be closer to 2.5% which isn’t bad but there are other cards that earn that amount on all spend.

We still have to find out if it’s actually available nationwide or only for a small targeted area. The downside is no signup bonus. I’d easily apply for the card if I knew these reward rates are here for the long haul. It’s been around at least since March, not sure how much before that.

Anyone have experience with this card?



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bob
bob

i would think Discount Stores are places like Dollar Tree, yes? It’ll be interesting ot see a list

J.M.
J.M.

Having to deal with a Visa GC kinda reduces the overall value, doesn’t it. Unless you are able to convert it to cash (those options reduce everyday), then you have to use the $200 as spend, which means it’s spend you’re not getting any cash back or points on that you would otherwise normally get for using one of the CCs in your wallet. For me I average about 4%, so that’s $8 lost. This reduces the value multiple to 1.44x IMO, which is still pretty good though.

I guess some people are masters as converting Visa GGs to cash though.

Brandon
Brandon

If cards are not liquidateable, it would bring it down from a 4.5% card to a roughly 4.3% card. Basically a rounding error.

Tristan
Tristan

Did some digging around on the theme park tickets- looks like you get about 1.5-1.7 cents in value on redemptions for those

VRHunter
VRHunter

Hey Tristan – a couple questions on the theme park tickets. Do you actually have one of these cards or are you going off their test drive site? And do they have Disney tickets? Thanks in advance…

Jeff H
Jeff H

GC >> MO can be done for as little as 49 cents.

I like the idea of all those categories in one card. Right now, I have to carry three cards to cover them.

USBank Cash Plus can get me 5% on fast food, but only 2% on sit down restaurants.
AARP Visa can get me 3% on gas and restaurants including fast food.
FNBO Gas and Groceries can get me 3% on gas and groceries including Walmart Neighborhood stores.

The Discount Store definition is key outside of the quarterly 5% cards.

Blue
Blue

UMB is interesting. For years and years they were the bank of choice in the KCMO area–seems like everyone’s first credit card, bank account, etc. was from them. They seem to be working towards expanding to a national presence; if the leadership is similar now to what it was back then I think they could be a really nice secondary card issuer.

Scott
Scott

I appreciate your apparent skepticism: “…if I knew these reward rates are here for the long haul.” The 1.5x exchange of points for Visa GC can easily be removed without changing any terms of the credit card. In fact, I’d say that’s very clever of them. I don’t know if they intend a sort of “bait and switch,” or if they merely want an easier way out if it become unprofitable for them.

The trouble for a user is that when the decision is made to remove the 1.5x Visa GC exchange option, all accumulated points are instantly devalued. Straight cash back cards are not immune to their rewards rate being lowered (e.g. Sallie Mae rewards), but they have the security of their cash rewards rates being tied to the spending instead of redemption.

Yes, I’m skeptical.

zw
zw

This is a repost. Some reader already clarified it is not true 4.5%. That is just a dummy website for demo.
The actual value is 1 cent per point.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/umb-simply-rewards-visa-credit-card-review-3x-gas-grocery-discount-restaurant-fast-food/

Kent C
Kent C

Like Chuck alluded to, this card may not be sustainable. It’s a loss to the bank if you are utilizing the categories. Don’t know how long they would be willing to absorb that. Would suck if you applied for the card, got a hard pull, then you lost the benefits shortly thereafter. Really the only risk though. For those that can still MS, it could be great in the short term.

doc_follower
doc_follower

Do you need to collect 13,333 points for the visa card to show up? I just checked and my list of redeem options doesn’t have Prepaid in it.

projectx
projectx

If you’re not in their geographical footprint, don’t bother. Even if you area, buyer beware.

I applied for this card a year or two ago. I called the bank and specifically asked if the card is available to anyone or only in the states where they have a branch. I was told it is available to anyone as long as they reside in the continental US.

After submitting my application, a week went by and I had not heard anything. So I called in and all I was told was that my application was under review. This happened a couple more times, until 3 weeks after applying I received a letter in the mail that I was ineligible based on my residence. I was pretty pissed.

Lisa
Lisa

I might have to recommend this to my non-churning friends who can’t keep track of multiple cards. Even at 3% it’s a great overall card to have.

justintime
justintime

Anyone know what bureau they pull?

Jeff H
Jeff H

I live in Nebraska. They pulled TransUnion.

Ryan
Ryan

I chatted w/ customer service, and they said that I could apply even in CA and wasn’t a customer, so looks like it is open. She couldn’t tell me who’d they pull though.

EW
EW

Chuck, this card has been around for very long (more than an year perhaps). You have already covered this card in one of your posts before: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/umb-simply-rewards-visa-credit-card-review-3x-gas-grocery-discount-restaurant-fast-food/

There was a thorough discussion on this already. This card is location specific. There are lot of smaller banks that offer this card with their names. If you dont live in UMB bank area or one of their affinity banks you will surely be rejected. Source: Applied for it 3 weeks ago from non-covered state.

David
David

I wouldn’t say “surely” since I am in California but I got approved after recon.

emergdoc87
emergdoc87

List of other banks offering this card?

David
David

You can easily get a quick list by googling for the Simply Rewards card. You will see many small banks are offering an affinity version. That said, pretty much all the banks are in the same states.

Ian
Ian

If you go to the comment section of the original post, I posted a tip for how to search Google to find the affinity versions of this card. I was able to find one of the only banks in my state offering an affinity card by following this method.

Hope this helps.

EW
EW

Also please note, the 1.5x/point is a dis-ingenuous scheme by UMB. I had also posted in the comments section of the previous article here:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/umb-simply-rewards-visa-credit-card-review-3x-gas-grocery-discount-restaurant-fast-food/#comment-438094

One of the users owning the card said they still see a 1c/pt redemption on which I did further research and came with this conclusion:

> So I found the discrepancy. It seems like as of now UMB has 2 different websites discussing rewards redemption
scheme. One is http://redeemsimplyrewards.umb.com which is where umb card holders are directed to for redemption.

> The other is https://www.dreampoints.com/umbconsumer/ which is what visitors to the umb simply rewards application
page are directed to.

> The former has a redemption rate of 1c/pt, the latter has 1.5c/pt.

> My guess is, atleast, as of now, the latter is just a fake demo site to show visitors how redemption works.

David
David

My login actually takes me to Dreampoints, but the redemption rates are different in the actual thing than the demo.

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