Fidelity Credit Card Review

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 has consistently offered cards with solid rewards.

Even so, Fidelity made some changes to its program in early 2016. It dropped American Express and Bank of America as its issuing partners — and will now offer a Visa Signature card issued by U.S. Bank. The good news: The card still offers 2 percent cash back.

Update: If you are looking for non-brokerage cards that offer 2 percent cash back, go here.

Previously, there used to be two versions of this card: The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature and the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express.

Now, this is the rewards card Fidelity offers:

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature (no annual fee)

fidelity_rewards_card_2016The card comes with the following benefits:

  • Unlimited 2 percent cash back (each dollar spent gets you 2 rewards points, worth 1 cent each)
  • No expiration date on rewards
  • The ability to deposit rewards into a Fidelity brokerage account, cash management account, 529 college savings plan or retirement account. You can divide rewards into a single account, or several.
  • No annual fee

It’s worth noting that the foreign transaction fee is 1 percent, a bit lower than many cards with foreign transaction fees offer. However, don’t forget that plenty of cards waive this fee entirely.

*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.

Verdict?

The Fidelity cards offer 2 percent back on all spending, which is rare. The Citi Double Cash card is probably its closest competitor. However, the Double Cash card gives you 1 percent back on purchases and the second 1 percent back after you pay. With the Fidelity card, you get the full 2 percent in one step, with the purchase.

The biggest drawback with this card is that you must redeem into a Fidelity account. Other cash-back cards will allow you to deposit rewards into any bank account, or even redeem in other ways, including for statement credits and for online purchases. However, one of your redemption options is redemption into a cash management account. Cash management accounts essentially work like checking accounts, so you’ll have easy access to your reward money.

Whether this is the card for you depends on your goals. One person’s “lack of flexibility” could be another person’s “simplicity.” If you’re looking for a card that offers a consistent 2 percent back on everything and want to invest those rewards for the future (without the temptation of cashing them out for gift cards and Amazon purchases), the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card could be a good match.

Updated Jan. 6, 2016

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

If you travel even a small distance from your home address, there is a good chance your CC charge will be denied if you don’t notify Card Services every time you travel to another state. We are not talking foreign travel which I understand they should be notified. We are talking within the continental US. I have suffered my last grocery store denial from these people and will no longer be using the card. You can’t trust this card. There are better options out there.

The new Fidelity Visa card statements will not automatically download into Quicken. The card issuer is Elan Financial Services and they blame Quicken for the problem. I’m looking for a different card that works with Quicken.

I’ve been a Fidelity customer for over 20 years with investments, and with this rewards card for as long as it’s been around. Until now I have been satisfied. This week, I got another new card in the mail, this time due to Fidelity changing management companies. Then I find BURIED in the fine print of marketing material, they dropped my 2% cash back to 1.5%! BUT they are still offering 2% to NEW customers. This is how they show appreciation to loyal customers? I’m shopping around.

I have been reluctant to use this card because the CASH rebate does NOT go your Fidelity Acct automatically. You have to wait until you spend $2500 to get $50 in cash. This means if you cancel the card and you do not have exactly $2500, $5000, etc in “points” you will NEVER get 2% back. This is not disclosed in their “application”. Citibank’s 1%+1% plays the same trick. There other cards that are more honest about getting ALL your earned cash back. CapitalOne 1.5% card (I have one) gives you 100% of your earned cash back each month (you must go on line to request it but it is easy). Pentagon Visa Cashback gives almost 5% cash back each month as automatic credit on your next statement (I have one and it works). Sam’s Club MC (similar to Costco VIsa) gives high cash back rewards based on your annual spending. They issue you a check each year in February. If you can wait they seem to be best 100% cash back cards. But it means you must cancel your card at the end of the year, if you want your earned cash back.
There are some other cards that

Correction: the Pentagon Visa Cash back of 5% each month is for Gasoline Only. I have one and use It only for gas purchases.

I have been using the Fidelity Amex card for about a year now. Initially I was concerned about many negative reviews from people stating their card was frequently declined, apparently because credit card security was too aggressive. We have used this card for almost all purchases for the past year and have never had it declined, including during road trips to other states. Yesterday I received a phone call from credit card security because a charge had been made out of state. I immediately identified that one charge as fraudulent and we will have to go to backup cards for a few days until the new ones are received. My 2% cash back automatically goes into my Fidelity brokerage account every month, so I have loved using this card. I guess, as they say, your experience may vary.

For three years this was a good card with generous points. This year, something changed they started rejecting legitimate charges on a regular bases. Over the three months, I contacted them at least 20 times. Sometimes they would reject charges from hotels where I stayed 10-15 and paid with this credit card. Other times, they would reject charges from stores where I shop regularly and are in close proximity to my house.

This is absolutely the worst service card I’ve ever owned in 50 years of using credit cards for purchases. The 2% cash back is very attractive but after that it’s nothing but hassle. I’ve used it for the better part of two years, so I believe I’ve given it a fair chance. After spending many thousands of dollars a month and always paying 100% of my monthly balance, they still insist on denying credit at various retail transaction sites. That’s just the half of it. Every 6 months they state my card has been compromised and insist on cancelling the card and issuing a new one. What a pain in the neck!! Everything has to be reentered into my online automatic payments. I complain vehemently stating the card has never had a fraudulent charge, but their customer service reps don’t get it. Save yourself a lot of hassle and find a better card. There are definitely better choices out there.

Not a paid shill!

I love the Fido Visa card. I’ve had it for at least a decade. I must have earned +$10,000 over the years. I’m an engineer and inclined to use spreadsheets when I am curious. I did so with this card. The 1.5% paid seems like a more generious offer than the frequent flyer offers or any other cards, except the 5% offers. It’s even better for me than the 2% offers, because the restrictions on them make them hard to use. Well, do what you like, but this card earns cash back easily!

I have had a Fidelity Investments MasterCard charge card since 2004. Over the last two years I have had many fraudulent charges on my charge cards. Fidelity did not help at all ! I had documented signatures on sales receipts (someone else) and they would not provide a credit. Trying to fight and talk to management became a ‘ full time job’, typically ending with me being pushed back and forth between their Billing Disputes and Fraud Departments. Conversely, DISCOVER, handled my claims professionally, politely, and quickly holding me harmless for these fraudulent charges. Get a credit card somewhere else.

I have had this card for years. Hands down the best. Every month, 2% of my spend goes right back into my cash account. Thousands and thousands a year. Point expire? What? Makes no sense. Set it up so that as soon as there is a balance, it drops into your account. Simple. Best value ever.

Does this card have “auto-payment” features? I can’t seem to find that info. Thanks

This card sucks worst customer service stuck back in the 90’s dont waste your time with this card!

has anyone actually redeemed the points? how did it go?

For the 529 card it says “the difference is…” and then stops.
What is the difference?

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Does fidelity issue credit cards in Canada?