Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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yfan
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Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby yfan » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:47 pm

Now that Fidelity's new Visa has been announced, I want to start a thread to try to see what the forum members think are its pros and cons vs. Citi's Double Cash. Obviously, they are both essentially 2% cashback cards, but what, if any, are the differences and what are the points in favor/against each? I'll start.

Some advantages of the Fidelity Visa:
  • FTF of only 1%, compared to the Double Cash's 3%. Not that you would use either for international transactions, but if you had to, the Fidelity Visa is a better bet.
  • If you set up automatic redemption, there's no need to remember to redeem periodically. That's a nice option.
  • It's a Visa, so you will be able to use it at Costco beginning April 1. This can be big if you shop at Costco a lot.

Some advantages of the Citi Double Cash Mastercard:
  • The cashback can be deposited into your bank account - ANY bank account. You don't need any special investment/college savings. etc. account. Also, redemption value doesn't change regardless of how you redeem. Fidelity states that redemption value will change if one chooses to redeem as a statement credit, gift cards, etc.
  • Citi's automatic Price Rewind tool is pretty cool. I'm not sure if the Fidelity Visa will have price protection, but even if it does, I doubt it'll be automatic.
  • On the flip side of the Costco upside of a Visa, the second largest warehouse club in the US, Sams Club, accepts everything BUT Visa. So the Citi Double Cash can be used there. Ironically, Citi will be issuing the Visa that cobrands with Costco!

What else sets apart one of these cards from the other?

Ahem, as an anecdote, apparently some people on another corner of the Internet are shocked, shocked I tell you, that a 2% card is sensitive to inquiries and new accounts.

EDIT: Edited to correct that Fidelity's card does not need an investment account to redeem to.


kdm31091
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:13 pm

As far as I know about the fidelity, the main advantage to me would be that you get the 2 percent straight away (i.e not 1+1).

From what I hear you can just open a free fidelity checking, but why open a checking account for a 2 percent card when its available elsewhere without such requirement? The whole "redemption value may change" thing would scare me. They probably give crappy value for certain redemptions.

Lol...everyone on that other corner of the Internet has to apply for everything that comes along

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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby Nixon » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:17 pm

Ultimately, they both have their drawbacks. Including minimums for withdrawal.
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yfan
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby yfan » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:23 pm

kdm31091 wrote:As far as I know about the fidelity, the main advantage to me would be that you get the 2 percent straight away (i.e not 1+1).

From what I hear you can just open a free fidelity checking, but why open a checking account for a 2 percent card when its available elsewhere without such requirement? The whole "redemption value may change" thing would scare me. They probably give crappy value for certain redemptions.

That's what I was thinking. Even if I could just open up a Fidelity checking account, I don't like the idea of a card's rewards being tied to a specific financial institution's accounts.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:06 pm

I'm curious to try out Citi's Price Rewind feature...though I'd probably be doing it with an AAdvantage Platinum, rather than DoubleCash.

I'm trying to think of cards in terms of the overall value I'd get from them over a period of a few years. With no signup bonus, and no opportunity to earn more than 2% cash, it really takes a lot of off-category spending for a 2% card to make sense (valuing MRs and URs conservatively).

As far as Costco...you can always buy Costco Cash online with any card. It can take a while to arrive, though.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

yfan
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby yfan » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:08 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'm trying to think of cards in terms of the overall value I'd get from them over a period of a few years. With no signup bonus, and no opportunity to earn more than 2% cash, it really takes a lot of off-category spending for a 2% card to make sense (valuing MRs and URs conservatively).

Don't discount the long term effects of a 2% card. A $5000 a year spend yields $100 assuming one was only using it for noncategory spend, which discounts the benefits for people who don't want to keep track of a bunch of category cards. But even at $100-$200 a year, it can add up, without the hassle of having to hurry up and spend money one potentially otherwise may not have just to earn a bonus, or having to deal with inquiries and AAoA decrease to effectively neutralize the long term rewards of a 2% card.
As far as Costco...you can always buy Costco Cash online with any card. It can take a while to arrive, though.

Heh. I don't like saving up cash cards/gift cards unless bought at a significant discount. Those can easily go missing.

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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby takeshi » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:54 am

yfan wrote:Ahem, as an anecdote, apparently some people on another corner of the Internet are shocked, shocked I tell you, that a 2% card is sensitive to inquiries and new accounts.

Always consider your sources. A lot of people don't understand a lot of things. New Credit is a factor for a reason.
http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/w ... score.aspx

Granted, that's just typical FICO weighting and not how a given creditor may assess new credit.
yfan wrote:Don't discount the long term effects of a 2% card. A $5000 a year spend yields $100 assuming one was only using it for noncategory spend,

2% isn't all that appealing to me since I can get at least that with UR. $100 really isn't much IMO but that's a subjective matter and plenty do find 2% cards to be beneficial.

yfan
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby yfan » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:21 am

takeshi wrote:2% isn't all that appealing to me since I can get at least that with UR. $100 really isn't much IMO but that's a subjective matter and plenty do find 2% cards to be beneficial.

I agree that it's subjective. Point-to-dollar conversions assume a constant value of cash, which is far from true. When judging a value for cents per point, or CPP, the calculation is straightforward: find a ticket, its point cost, its dollar cost, and divide. But the straightforward nature of the calculation is also its downfall. It cannot account for cash sales that may be available with a little flexibility and alternate travel plans - e.g. alternate dates, destinations, transportation and accommodation. If one took the value of a cash sale item to be of its regular price, then in fact, cash too can have a value greater than its nominal math.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:26 am

It takes $20k of spending for a no-bonus 2% card to earn as much as a QS (2% of $20k = 1.5% of $20k + $100). $500 of minimum spend over three months on a QS works out to less than $6k per day.

$20k is a lot of off-category spending on a 2% Visa, and I certainly couldn't go through $20k of off-category purchases without wanting a new signup bonus (or some other spend promotion).

"$100 rewards for $5,000 spend" is only relevant math for someone who has no other rewards cards. Opportunity cost matters. If someone has a QS and adds a no-bonus 2% card, the increase in rewards on $5,000 spending is only $25.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

yfan
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Re: Fidelity Visa vs. Citi Double Cash Mastercard

Postby yfan » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:37 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:It takes $20k of spending for a no-bonus 2% card to earn as much as a QS (2% of $20k = 1.5% of $20k + $100). $500 of minimum spend over three months on a QS works out to less than $6k per day.

Right, but I'm not asking for a comparison between the QS and a 2% card. I'm asking for one between 2 non-bonus 2% cards. :cool:

"$100 rewards for $5,000 spend" is only relevant math for someone who has no other rewards cards.

I don't think so. Lots of people have $5000 in non-category spend in the space of a whole year. Cable/phone/utilities. Insurance (car/rental/health) premiums. Some places take rent with credit cards with no fee. Buying groceries at discount stores like Walmart or Target (or heck, a place that codes as grocery but doesn't take Amex - a lot of Asian and Mexican grocers around me fall into this category). Health club memberships/fitness activities. Tax payments. Public transit. While not everyone has all of these expenses, it is not at all difficult to reach $5000 in non-category spend in a year.



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