Schwab Credit Card Review
Update 3/31/2010 – Schwab has pulled the plug on this card. But read on to find out how I’ve made more than 2% just on one card – and find out which card it is.
In an effort to lure and attract more new accounts, Schwab has recently come up with a cash rebate credit card where your rebates are automatically debited into your dSchwab account. So how does this card stack up? Let’s take a look.
Rebate Formula – The Schwab credit card pays a 2% cash rebate for every dollar that you spend on the card. You can earn unlimited rebates. The rebates that you earn are automatically deposited into your schwab account at the end of every month.
Eligible Accounts – To actually get the 2% rebates. You need an eligible Schwab account. If you do not open a Schwab account, you will still accumulate rebates which Schwab will hold for 5 years. Eligible accounts include Individual, joint, or trust (living and revocable) Schwab One accounts are eligible to be linked to your Schwab Bank Invest First card to receive cash rewards. Ineligible accounts include: Schwab One organization accounts for corporations, limited liability corporations, non-incorporated associations, partnerships, investment clubs, DBA operations, nonprofits and charities, as well as general brokerage accounts, IRAs, and other retirement accounts.
Fees – There is no annual fee for this card. The APR is 13.74% and there is a 2.99% balance transfer offer for 6 months. Bear in mind that like most other cards these days, there is a 3% balance transfer fee charge, with a $10 minimum and no caps on the fee. The Schwab credit card also has the honor of being one of the rare credit cards which charges no foreign transaction fee.
Other Benefits – The Schwab credit card comes in either the Visa Signature version or the Platinum version. The Visa Signature card has additional benefits such as no preset spending limit,1 Visa Signature Dining and Visa Signature Access. To receive a Schwab Bank Invest First Visa Signature card, you must qualify for a credit line of $5,000 or more. If you are approved for a credit line less than $5,000, you will automatically be offered the Schwab Bank Invest First Platinum Plus Visa card.
Verdict – So here’s my verdict. 2% cash rebates is a great offer from Schwab. It is certainly better than most generic 1% cash back cards out there. But before you jump onto the bandwagon, make sure you have an eligible account because without one, your rebates cannot be deposited. For those looking to open a new Schwab, this card might just do the trick for you.
But is 2% the best for everyone? Not really. It depends on how much you spend? What you actually use your card for? My main cash back credit card has been the Blue Cash from American Express. Over the last few years, I’ve averaged about 2.3% in annual rebates. The reason why this is possible is that I could earn 5% on gas, supermarket and drugstore spending after I cross the spending tier and for me, it has made me more than 2% (better schwab). Plus I do not have to open an account with them. I have screen shots of the rebates I earn in a review I did of the Blue Cash.