If you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska, there’s a good chance you grocery shop at Freddy’s. When it comes to their credit card, you need to know that their parent company is Kroger.
Why is that relevant? Because Kroger Personal Finance (the card division) is notorious for offering super sneaky reward programs on their credit cards.
Is Fred Meyer Visa another bad idea?
Did Kroger make yet another crappy card? The biggest complaint about the Kroger credit card is that when it comes time to redeem your points, you only get a $5 coupon per 1,000 points.
The problem? That only equals a 1/2 cent per point!
However the good news is that the Fred Meyer credit card operates differently; the $5 reward coupons cost 500 points each. That means it does give the full 1 cent per point.
But that brings us to our next question…
How much are you really earning in 2013?
Their current program pays you the following:
- 1 pt/dollar on regular purchases (anywhere that takes Visa)
- 2 pts/dollar at Fred Meyer stores (unfortunately fuel is excluded)
This is absolutely pathetic, because it means you are basically earning the equivalent of 1% cash back on regular purchases and 2% cash back at Fred Meyer locations.
Are the rates and fees competitive?
The only thing the application tells us is that the APR will be 13.99% to 23.99% based on creditworthiness. If you come in at the very bottom of that range, the APR is not that bad (it’s average). However if you get the 23.99%, that is totally outrageous for a major credit card.
There’s no annual fee, which is obviously a plus. However the balance transfer fee is a bit high (4%) and the foreign transaction fee (2.8%) is just average.
What about the benefits?
I think a better way to phrase the question would be… what benefits? Because there is nothing noteworthy.
The application on their website lists these so-called “exclusive benefits” that they apparently believe are something special:
Read carefully! The 35 cents off per gallon is only a signup promotion You only get that for the first 3 months! Even if you bought 100 gallons during those 90 days, that would only equal a savings of $35.
Is $35 a good enough reason to apply, when there are bonus offers for 7-10x that amount?
After the 3 months, their card does still give a 5 cent fuel discount. But with the high price of gas, that’s not a good deal. Think about it…. 5 cents off $4.00 gas = 1.25%. Remember there are gas cards that give 3-5% at every station, so US Bank and Fred Meyer are not being competitive here whatsoever.
Whether you’re talking about the Fred Meyer MasterCard or Visa (there’s a history of both options) the other benefits included are just the standard ones given by MasterCard and Visa.
Verdict: A bad way to save at the supermarket
Yes, food prices are ridiculous. And yes, saving money at the grocery store is a good thing. But no, the credit card from Freddies is not the best way to accomplish that!
Written or last updated for 2013