FIA B of A "American Express"

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jeffysdad
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FIA B of A "American Express"

Postby jeffysdad » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:38 pm

I just opened a Fidelity "American Express" card offered by FIA Card Services, which as most people know is Bank of America. It pays 2% cashback on everything with no cap. Based on my spending last year I'll make well over $500 a year from this. The money will be transferred to my Roth IRA at Fidelity, and card balance, etc. is retrievable from Fidelity's site as well.

The only Amex thing about this Amex card seems to be the fact that it uses the Amex network. I'm wondering if I get all the Amex benefits. I can't manage the account on Amex website (I have a Blue Cash card, btw). The web interface is through an FIA site that is the same as I remember having for an old MBNA card (MBNA was acquired by B of A a while back). I'm not wild about dealing with B of A, but the 2% is too good to pass up.

Does anyone know anything more about the Fidelity Amex?

I have been using a Chase Freedom card and getting about 1.8% cashback, give or take, based on my own calculation. Also based on my estimates, Blue Cash would be slightly less lucrative for me than Chase Freedom because I hardly spend anything on gas or drugstores and a fairly modest amount at grocery stores (wish they paid 5% on restaurants).
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.


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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Remember when the Citi Dividend and Chase Freedom use to were 5% cash back at grocery stores :( They use to give us so much better rewards in my opinion. Now all the best credit card deals seem to have strings attached with them usually.

I hear the Fidelity American Express card is a good card but yeah, like you said it's not a real Amex card. It only operates on the Amex payment network and the only reason they do that is because that antitrust settlement forces B of A to issue some cards on their payment network. I would say the cashback is definitely worth it but don't count on it for the benefits you are use to with regular Amex cards.
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jeffysdad
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I'm not familiar with antitrust settlement...

Postby jeffysdad » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:32 pm

That's interesting. I was wondering why the Fidelity card is on the Amex network while offered by B of A/FIA. B of A/FIA also offers the Schwab credit card, which has the same benefits as the Fidelity, but it's a MasterCard, if I remember correctly. I had gotten the Schwab card before I learned that Fidelity had a similar deal. My investments are at Fidelity so it just made more sense for me to go with that one. However, the wider acceptance of MasterCard would mean I wouldn't have to carry a backup visa/mc to the Amex in my wallet (Slimmy wallet, google it; you'll be glad you did).
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:32 am

The 2% cashback on everything is definitely tempting. I should look into a 2% cash back credit card for my regular purchases. I know the Amex Plum card offers 2% but I'm not really anxious to pay its annual fee. Does the Fidelity credit card charge an annual fee? Does the money have to be transferred to your Fidelity IRA or can it go into a normal non-IRA Fidelity brokerage account?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

jeffysdad
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There is no annual fee...

Postby jeffysdad » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:44 am

for Fidelity Amex. For the "Retirement Rewards" card, the money has to go into a retirement brokerage/roth, etc. account. However, they have a lookalike card that puts the 2% into a straight brokerage account. Terms look identical for either. FIA doing same thing with Schwab, but it's a MC or Visa.

Worth noting on the retirement rewards... I set mine up to go into a Roth (which is for after-tax contrib.) rather than a traditional IRA, which allows deferral of tax on contribution amount depending on income. I figure the rewards amount from cc is not reported to IRS, so why defer tax on something that isn't going to be taxed anyway. Might be important for those who want to max out traditional IRA at greatest tax efficiency. Anyone else have thots on this?
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

1bootcamp
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Postby 1bootcamp » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:09 pm

Be careful with the tax reporting. Double check that to make sure they're not reporting it. I opened a B of A checking account with a signup promo about five years ago. They gave me a $50 gift card for opening the account. Almost a year later during tax time they sent me tax papera for the $50 and had reported it as income to the IRS.

Remember these banks are out to protect their butts, not yours. They would rather play it safe and report this kind of stuff than face penalties for not reporting.

jeffysdad
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That's a good point

Postby jeffysdad » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:54 pm

I think I can remember once getting a note that reward cash was reported, so I declared it. But more often than not I've gotten no form, so I've not reported.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:28 pm

Rewards shouldn't be taxable. It's not friggin income. All it is is a discount off purchases you are making. If you don't buy the stuff you don't get the discount. And you are already paying for the discount yourself when you make your purchase and the credit card company is just throwing a little back your way. That's ridiculous that they try and tax that! :mad:
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