State Farm Bank Good Neighbor Visa Review
State Farm Bank Good Neighbor Visa Review
On The Whole - State Farm's Good Neighbor Card isn't your regular "rewards" card, and it doesn't exactly have "rewards". You CAN get discounts from certain merchants, but that's about as far as it goes.
With a low introductory rate (1.9%) you do get a little bit of a break, but not the kind of break that makes the card something you sprint to when you want to get a new credit card.
What's In It For You? - Ace, Bloomingdales, Guess, New York and Co., and Royal Caribbean are some of the places where you can get discounts with the State Farm Good Neighbor Card, but, of course, that's only when you use the card to make the purchases.
You can also get travel discounts from Avis, Red Roof Inn, and La Quinta Inn as well. The list is a little bit longer, but you can check it out on their website. So, you aren't being "rewarded", but you could get some nice discounts if you happen to frequent the sites and businesses that State Farm has partnered with.
Besides the faux rewards (the bigger rewards moved to their Platinum card) you can cash in on some fringe benefits of the card. They offer up to $250,00 in travel insurance, a collision waiver on your auto rental insurance coverage, and identity theft protection (but that's something everybody does now.)
FixPay - State Farm has introduced a new feature called FixPay for some of their credit cards (including this one). The feature allows you to make a "large purchase" and choose to pay them in a set number of months and possibly get a lower rate at the same time. This feature is meant for folks who have to use their credit cards for some unexpected expenses.
An example that they gave on their site was that you make an unexpected purchase of $500 (that is the minimum to qualify for the FixPay scheme). You have within 15 days the transaction is posted on your statement to go to your account and choose a payment schedule. They also gave a sample of some of the interest rates and schedules. (See below).
What's The Rate? - State Farm offers a 1.9% introductory rate on new purchases and balance transfers for the first nine months (the first nine billing cycles, but you see I'm going with that.) After that the rates changes with the prime rate and the markets from 11.24% and up. Beyond that they state that they judge rates based on 'creditworthiness'. So, they're going to ask how much you make and they'll want to check your credit. That's just the way it goes.
Will I Have To Pay An Annual Fee? - There is no annual fee for the State Farm Good Neighbor Card, but keep in mind that getting into this card means you are tied down to the businesses that State Farm has partnered with. So, what you save in an annual fee you may lose in shopping and discount opportunities.
Has It Changed Since Our Last Review? - Well, things have changed. Back in August of 2006 this card had a 0% APR as an introductory offer. True, they were using the 'faux rewards' in the form of merchant discounts, but the APR range was much broader. All in all, they've tweaked the card as they've rolled out new products. The more and more this happened this card became more and more basic. They have also added the FixPay feature which was not present the last time we reviewed this card.
The Verdict - The State Farm Good Neighbor Card is a good card if you're already a State Farm customer or you're not too concerned about rewards (meaning, you just don't use rewards or perks all that often.) Being a State Farm insurance customer AND having their credit card will likely make you State Farm's new BFF (and that can't be a bad thing when they're paying your insurance claims and you're paying premiums every month.)
After looking over the discounts this could be a very nice card for someone who travels as a part of their job. You could save on rental cars and hotels in the little holes-in-the-wall that you have to travel to for work (or to visit family that lives in the middle of nowhere.) Outside of that, if you're a cruise person you might have a good shot at a cruise discount, but most of us don't take those frequently enough to hold onto the card just for that purpose. However, I suppose if you like clothes and accessories (and you remember old winners of Project Runway) you could always buy their clothes and accessories at a discount on Bluefly.com (one of State Farm's affiliates.)
Before you apply for this card, we suggest that you do a comparison between this card and two cards from Chase, the Slate Card and the Chase Freedom card. The reason is that both of these cards from Chase have a feature called BluePrint. Basically, BluePrint allows you to assign a certain portion of your expenses (based on expense type) such that you "technically pay them in full". Hence, you avoid getting finance charges for those expenses even though you are still carrying a balance. The BluePrint is different from the FixPay in that it is about paying a certain portion of your expenses in full (and avoiding interest charges on them) versus paying a potential lower rate if you designate the type of expense itself.
And if you are into the rewards and discounts that you can get, then you might that the Chase Freedom card has more merchandise partners than State Farm Good Neighbor Visa.
The smart play here? Read over ALL of the discount opportunities before you apply for the card. If you're not really looking to use the perks then just dive right in and enjoy a credit card that could offer you some travel insurance when you finally choose to travel. One way or another, you'll find a use for the card if you do your research ahead of time. And make sure to compare it with the Slate Card and Chase Freedom card. Even if you are a State Farm customer (with their insurance), you may find these other cards to be a better alternative.