2013 Fidelity Credit Card Review

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Should you apply for the Fidelity credit card… or not?

Over the years we have seen quite a shake-up when it comes to brokerage credit card offers. During the Great Recession and the tough economy that followed, some were discontinued or had their rewards reduced. However the Fidelity credit card offers never went anywhere.

Nov 15, 2013 Update: There is now a card that offers an even higher rewards than Fidelity… you can get 2.2% on all purchases. Go here to learn more about it.

There are actually four different cards from Fidelity. I’ve updated this review for 2013…

Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature

fidelity visa cardThis Fidelity Visa card has a two-tiered reward structure as follows:

  • For annual spending up to $15,000 there is 1.5 points per dollar given.
  • For annual spending which exceeds $15,000 there is 2 points per dollar given.

There is no cap on the amount of rewards that can be earned.

When it comes to redemption, the most common choice is to convert them to cash that can be deposited into the accountholder’s eligible Fidelity account. Every 5,000 points = $50 which means it’s 1 cent per point when going this route.

Alternately, points can be spent through WorldPoints (Bank of America’s credit card reward program) and used for travel, merchandise, gift cards, etc. However most Fidelity Visa cardholders opt for the investment rewards, since that always gives a full cent per point.

Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express

This Fidelity credit card is similar to the Visa version, except that it doesn’t have tiered rewards:

  • For all purchases 2 points per dollar is given

Like the Fidelity Visa card, the points can be redeemed in the form of a direct deposit into an eligible Fidelity account – or – spent on the WorldPoints reward network. Since this credit card gives a straight 2 points per dollar on spending, it can be thought of as a 2% cash back credit card if the points are redeemed via direct deposit.

Fidelity Retirement Rewards American Express

This is extremely similar to the last card:

  • For all purchases 2 points per dollar

For every 5,000 points a $50 current year contribution can be made to the accountholder’s Fidelity IRA account. However the points can also be directly deposited into other Fidelity accounts (even those which are not IRAs) so I have yet to figure out what makes this Fidelity card different than the one above, other than the name.

*Warning: If the rewards are deposited into an IRA or 401k account, than that will count towards the annual contribution limits set forth by IRS, so keep that in mind! For this reason, it may be better to convert to WorldPoints rather than a cash deposit. But keep in mind that WouldPoints are usually worth far less than 1 cent each.

Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express

As the name implies, this credit card is geared towards those with a Fidelity 529 account.

  • For all purchase 2 points per dollar

Although they call it 529 College Rewards, it doesn’t appear to be different than the last two Fidelity credit cards. Why? Because the rewards can also be deposited into Fidelity accounts that are not 529 plans. The only difference is

Verdict?

The Fidelity cards have some of the most generous rewards out there. The Fidelity Visa Signature card is slightly less due to the tiers, but still way above average. If you apply, obviously it makes sense to apply for the American Express versions which offer a higher rebate. The only drawback I can think of when it comes to the Fidelity credit card is that unfortunately you will need to have a Fidelity account in order to apply.

Alternatives?

If you do not have a Fidelity account but like the idea of getting 2% rewards then I would recommend you check out these alternatives:

Compare cards that give 2% rewards in 2013

15 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Scott January 4, 2014 at 1:05PM

    I just got a snail-mail solicitation for the Fidelity Investment Rewards card. It screamed “2% cash back on all purchase” plus 5,000 bonus points. Sounded great, but then I read the fine print…

    It said you earn 2 points per dollar spent and points are valid for 5 years (what happens after 5 years?). It also said points are forfeited upon account closure. Which account – the AMEX card or the Fidelity account receiving the cash back?

    But here’s what really confused me:

    “…if you have at least 5,000 points available…[we will] initiate an electronic transfer…to your Fidelity account at the end of each calendar month. The deposit will be made in US dollars in an amount equal to the points balance multiplied by 1% ($0.01 USD)…”

    So it sounds like you get only 1% of your points balance each month (only 12% per year) deposited in the Fidelity account. It also sounds like you can never get the “base” 5,000 points deposited into the Fidelity account because you need “at least 5,000 points available” for them to initiate a monthly deposit.

    While you may *earn* 2 points per dollar / 2%, I don’t see any way, given the legalese, to actually *get* 2% back. I tried calling the number on the solicitation to ask about this, but they were closed on the weekend. Guess they don’t want me to sign up for the card too badly!

    • onlysky January 8, 2014 at 11:11PM

      Yes, you earn points 2 points per dollar, so 5000 points is equal to $2500 spent. Your 5000 points then gets redeemed at a 1% ratio, which would be $50, which is 2% of $2500.

    • Wow January 15, 2014 at 9:11PM

      Facepalm…..

  2. Eugene December 3, 2013 at 6:19PM

    Our experience has not been so good.Started with the card this spring, 2% cash back to our Fidelity acct worked well. However recently 3 times in a week small purchases have been rejected followed by long times on the phone with the fraud department. Apparently a trip to SLC prompted the rejections even though earlier trips to Hawaii, Washington, Orgeon were OK. However, even after annotating our account for UT they rejected it again yesterday. Calls to card services generated no useful info.
    Having held credit cards for 50+ years I have never before encountered such a problem. For me this card is now worthless

  3. SS November 20, 2013 at 8:43AM

    I have an Fidelity Retirement Rewards American Express. I enjoy transferring points for a deposit into an IRA, but I also wanted to report that I recently had to use their customer service because of a duplicate charge, and the customer service was exceptional. Really good compared to the shotty customer service you get from most corporations.

  4. Chris September 6, 2012 at 5:15AM

    I have had the Fidelity Amex for several years, and it is the best card i have ever had. I pay every bill I can with it (cable, cell phone, doctor, etc..) That way I get 2% back for all those things. I log in to Fidelity and pay the bill online. Except for their fraud dept. being overzealous with caution, I have no complaints. The money goes into my account automatically and I can spend it, or invest it, or whatever. No “miles” or other bs to deal with, just cash. And i have not had difficulties with the website like someone mentioned. Websites vary and you just need to get used to each one that you use frequently. Great card.

    • Ralph October 4, 2013 at 4:23PM

      I vehemently agree with you Chris. This card (Fidelity Investment Rewards) is for those who want points converted to cash, and then automatically placed cash into your retirement account. I noted that there are a few complaints Some I believe are related to those who are constantly overdrawing on their credit card or not making timely payments faithfully. Simply put, this card rewards those who are credit worthy.

  5. Marc March 20, 2012 at 9:53AM

    I have used several different cash back cards since 2006. The Fidelity Amex is the best of the lot. The 2% back on every purchase yields more income than any other card I have tried, and the money is automatically deposited in a Fidelity account monthly. You can get at the account by transferring the money to a checking account or with an ATM card. FIA offers good telephone support, though the website could stand a usability makeover. I would particularly like to see a way to automatically pay my card bill from my checking account.

  6. HeyJu001 January 6, 2012 at 9:13AM

    I have had the Fidelity VISA since 2006 and now the Fidelity AMEX since fall 2011. Both cards have been excellent. I was surprised at how many companies now take AMEX. Only my insurance company and hair dresser do not so far. I have had great experiences with customer services when I have called. The website is easy to use as well. It is not easy to transfer points from one card to another however can be done with enough persuasion. Each member of my family has this card and we have all been enjoying the higher than the industry standard cash back bonuses for years.

  7. Tomasz November 4, 2011 at 9:39PM

    Have had the Fidelity VISA version for years – Operationally it worked well, however, experienced Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft in 2008 and now in November of 2011. FIA Card Services has increased it’s investigative protocol covering most bases after the fact, however, the Fraud and Identity Theft allegedly took place due to hackers obtaining access through the computerized accounting system. Repetition is the Mother of all Learning – time to research American Express.

  8. Tom November 3, 2011 at 6:31AM

    Have used Fidelity Investments card for years, no problem. I’m lucky I have never carried an outstanding balance.
    I log into my account a day or two after statement date, Check balance and log into bank online pay and off goes payment.

    Had to use fraud protection one time, no problem.

  9. jeffysdad October 17, 2011 at 1:32PM

    No alerts but you can call them and tell them you want autopay. It is set up via paper form. Archaic, but they do offer it.

  10. Chuck October 8, 2011 at 1:14AM

    Just completed my first month with the Fidelity Cash Back Visa card.

    Here are the web site issues I have:

    - No e-mail alerting features.
    - No ability to have the card auto-pay in full from my checking account each month.

    Oh well. I was really looking forward to earning an easy 1.5% But without the alerting and auto-pay I’ll get soaked with interest charges.

    Card administered by FIA Card Services (was MBNA) – now owned by BofA.

  11. Angie June 23, 2011 at 11:01PM

    Great credit card – worst online service. I got the Fidelity Investment Rewards card and was very excited about the rewards. Unfortunately, they have the WORST credit card website – it would constantly log-out and is not user friendly (as though they did not want you to pay your balance!).

    After just one month, I had it with this credit card. I called FIA Card Services to pay my final balance and close my account. It wasn’t until two months later I received a letter in the mail to say I still had a balance. WHAT IS GOING ON?! I called their customer service line, to find out that they never paid my final balance – I had half remaining. I asked why I was never informed the account was still active, I never received any statements in the mail, I never received any emails – NOTHING. I was told I had insufficient funds in my checking account to pay the final balance (which is not true). I asked to see previous statements for the two months my account was left open and told me that I couldn’t view them online because “typically when a call is placed to close the account they stop showing statements online.” I don’t see how it’s possible for them to tell me my account is closed, make half a payment, leave my account open, and not send me any notification.

    Go with a more established credit card company – this fidelity one is terrible!

  12. canadian2484 February 27, 2011 at 8:12PM

    Does fidelity issue credit cards in Canada?

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