Posted by William Charles on April 24, 2019
Credit Card Review US Bank Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Credit Card

Published on April 24th, 2019 | by William Charles

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US Bank Kroger 1–2–3 REWARDS Mastercard Credit Card Review – More Like 0.5–1–1.5% – Now With $150 Bonus

Update 4/24/19: Bonus has been increased to $150 after $200 in spend.

Update: This card now comes with a $100 bonus after $200 in spend within the first 40 days. Hat tip to nitpickyCorrections

This is the second post in our new So-So Sunday series*, in which we highlight unknown or lesser known credit cards, similar to Weird Wednesday – except the cards are so-so and not likely to be useful.

* originally Meh Monday; direct all adulation for the rechristening of this series to reader Ben.

Card Basics

Benefits

  • 5¢ per gallon discount when redeeming 100 fuel points
  • No annual fee
  • Standard Visa benefits, likely Visa Basic

Earning Structure

  • 3x on Kroger family brands
  • 2x at Kroger family stores, excluding fuel centers
  • 1x on all other purchases, excluding fuel centers
  • 0x at Kroger family fuel centers
  • (Refer to the terms and conditions for a complete list of what counts as Kroger family brands or Kroger family stores.)

Signup Bonus

  • 25¢ per gallon discount when redeeming at least 100 fuel points, for the first year
  • There are a few suburls of 123rewardscard.com with statement credit offers, including this link for a $75 statement credit after your first purchase (expires April 30, 2017) (thanks to reader Robert D). Your local Kroger may have different offers.

Pricing Details

APRs

  • Purchase & Balance Transfer APR: 14.74% to 24.74%*, based on your credit worthiness
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%*
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Grace period: 24 days (minimum, up to 30 days)
  • Minimum interest charge: $2

* Note: these rates vary based on the Prime Rate.

Fees

  • Balance transfer fee: Either $10 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash & Convenience check advance fee: Either $10 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash equivalent advance fee: Either $20 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.8%
  • Late payment fee: Up to $37
  • Return payment fee: Up to $35
  • Over the limit fee: None

Application Information

There are only 3 even semi-recent DPs on CreditBoards. Feel free to add any information in the comments at the end of this review!

What Credit Score Is Required

Credit scores of 659, 681, and 720 were approved.

What Credit Bureau Does US Bank Pull?

Depends on your state; reference this post.

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Credit limits of $1,000; $1,000; and $4,000 were given.

Rewards Program

Terrible. 1,000 points is $5, which means this card earns 1–2–3 points at 0.5 ¢ per point. I guess US Bank & Kroger decided that the 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa was much catchier than the 0.5–1–1.5 REWARDS Visa.

As far as redemption goes, you’re automatically sent a 1–2–3 REWARDS certificate every quarter if you have 1,000+ points. Certificates can be used at any Kroger family store, and are awarded no less frequently than 4 times per year (so they may come more often).

The fuel discount of 25¢ per gallon (first-year cardholders) or 5¢ per gallon (subsequent-year cardholders) requires you to scan your 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa, redeem at least 100 fuel points, and pay with your 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa. The discount is once per redemption, so you do not earn multiple 25¢ (or 5¢) discounts for redeeming multiples of 100 fuel points at once.

Why’s It So-So?

This card does not have anything going for it except the signup bonus, which is not that great.

There are tens and tens of credit cards that offer at least 2% at all grocery stores, and there are hundreds that offer at least 1% everywhere—and most of them allow you to cash out directly instead of needing to redeem a certificate at Kroger family stores. (Hot tip: it is bad if your credit card compares unfavorably with a 1% cash back card.)

The 25¢ per gallon fuel discount is nice, and Kroger generally has good fuel prices (in my experience and excluding wholesale clubs). The requirement that you redeem at least 100 fuel points is needlessly onerous*, but that’s not a dealbreaker. Given current fuel prices, 25¢ per gallon caps out at around a 12.5% discount ($2.00 per gallon). If I am reading the terms & conditions correctly, though, you never earn points for buying gas at a Kroger fuel center, which (if true) is just bizarre considering the presence of a 0.5% cashback tier.

A $75 statement credit for a single purchase is also nice. Combined with the fuel discount, I could be convinced that there is someone out there who would be served by getting this card for the signup bonus.

* especially if you accidentally use fuel points that are supposed to be available next month because Kroger automatically shows you next month’s fuel points if that balance is higher than your current one.

There is one fascinating quirk to this card, though: the Kroger family of stores includes Fred Meyer Jewelers, Littman Jewelers, and Barclay Jewelers! The marketing genius behind “Earn FREE groceries with every qualifying purchase!” missed the opportunity of a lifetime: “Earn FREE diamonds** with every purchase!”

** or, you know, not diamonds due to the ethical quagmire and rapid depreciation, but I digress.

FREE diamonds

See?!

Questions, comments, etc.? Drop them below.

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Ryan
Ryan

I got an offer if I spent 200.00 I got 100 statement credit plus the fuel perks. Cha-Ching. I signed up and just got my card!

projectx
projectx

I really hope this is sarcasm.

jd
jd

well that’s 50% cash back right there.

missjenniferd1
missjenniferd1

most people on this site dont consider a credit pull worth $100… however, i’m with you ryan. after you’ve done most of the other credit card offers, eventually you trickle down to the smaller ones, and i did this offer about a year and a half ago, spent $200 on my cable bill, got $100 cash back, and never used the card again…

i was already waiting on a ton of inquiries to fall off anyway, and so one more wasnt going to hurt me, since i had already applied for another card that month as well, they’d both fall off the same time, and i received the offer in the mail, so i did it. was worth it to me because i had so many inquiries at that point, i thought i’d be declined anyway, so when i was approved, it was an easy $100,

the card itself is garbage though, you are much better off using an amex blue cash for groceries, or using the 5% rotating category cards for groceries and max the spend out by buying $1500 in gift cards during that time, to use throughout the year.

Matthew
Matthew

I love this headline. Wish all card companies could be that forthcoming.

Marshall Brown
Marshall Brown

Wow my best friend has this card and uses it for all of his grocery shopping. 0.5, 1, 1½ is a really, really cheap credit card.
If he spends $1,000 on groceries that’s only $10. That is really cheap. He can get the BOA rewards card and make double that on groceries and even more on gas plus bonuses is with a BOA bank account.

F798
F798

additonal 25 cents off for every 100 fuel points? So $3.5 off for 1000 fuel points?

Tom
Tom

Does the fuel discount with the card stack.
Example: if I have 1000 points available I can already get $1 off per gallon
If I used the card also do I get $1.25 off ?

sirtheta

No; it’s $0.25 off when redeeming at least 100 fuel points. I’ll clarify the language!

Chucks
Chucks

It also gives a 50% boost to Kroger iwireless rewards. If you’ve already rigged up a system to milk out fuel points this card (or the debit) could help to further maximize it.

Dee
Dee

Can you pay the bill at Kroger with a debit card? possibly a pin-enabled VGC?

Julia
Julia

I got this card for the sake of $75 bonus after 1st purchase. All the other points it gives are not worth it.

Fred
Fred

Has anyone else observed that they are earning points on this card even though they are not spending anything on it? I have not used this card in over two years, but I see that it has been earning points over the last two statement cycles.

Don L

Received a Mailer for 6/4/2 first year, and $100 statement credit after $200 spend.

Still not so great, but maybe one day

Billie
Billie

How much can you take off for cash advance?

scott
scott

Another Sirtheta winner. 🙂 So-so-Sunday worthy nomination indeed. Nice to see somebody give this awful card the “spotlight” it deserves. “A little piece of me dies” each time I see this card hawked at my local Kroger — or worse, when I see folks charging large orders on it…. 😉 Maybe this will help with the re-education needed.

———

Yet speaking of Kroger & its fuel points program (which I’ve long enjoyed), did a key policy change recently? I had thought that the maximum discount per gallon was $1.00. (Yet when filling up in Richmond, VA the other day, and I had 1,200 points in the account, I got the surprise option to deduct $1.20 per gallon — off of 35 gallons. (which I do with extra 5 gl cans in the van)

Has me wondering if Kroger is responding yet again to competition? (At Martin’s and some Giant’s, I can deduct unlimited points against price of the gas…. — up to 25 gallons) Maybe what I encountered was just a fluke — or a local policy? (I see Kroger web site still says $1.00 off max per gallon)

Walter
Walter

Kroger has been known to alter the redemption limit at specific locations. There were once reports of “no limit” somewhere. As with all unbelievable deals, this wasn’t anywhere near where I live.

missjenniferd1
missjenniferd1

where i live, shell works for kroger points, and you can use a maximum of 2000 points $2 off per gallon. never tried it at kroger, because i always have shell cards from doing the gas card deal at publix, and they advertise it at the pump that kroger points let you up to $2 off, so maybe you can look at shell and see if they let you where you live.

Randy
Randy

I’m in RVA – no limit on the per gallon Kroger redemption. I’ve been paying pennies a gallon for years now. Life’s good.

projectx
projectx

Lousy rewards program for high priced groceries. I have a neighbor that thinks this is the greatest savings on earth… blows my mind. You can get this card, or get Arrival+ and shop at Aldi. $400 bonus, 2% back, and save 40% on your grocery bill.

missjenniferd1
missjenniferd1

if you shop the loss leader stuff (stuff on the front page), then they are generally cheaper than aldi on most things. i stock up on those items when they go on sale. for instance, tomorrow is a 5x digital coupon for kroger shredded cheese bags for 99cents each. im going to get 12 bags and put them in my freezer (like i always have). my aldi does not have shredded cheese for $1, more like $1.50-$2. i love aldi, but if you stock up at kroger on stuff, then you can save more than you would at aldi. but if you dont like to stock up, and just like to buy what you need for the week, then yes, i would agree, aldi is cheaper.

Gary
Gary

Thank you for doing an honest review of this card! I’ve seen lots of people on Reddit and even this site seriously consider this card, but at best its 1.5% cb on groceries. Their are dozens of cards better for groceries than this, and its really easy to save $1 per gallon on gas at Krogers if you buy gift cards for fuel points at 4x

weixou
weixou

Just adding on that I received a mailer for $150 statement credit for $200 spent, rather than the $100 for $200 spent

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