About Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Oct 4, 2017

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature is a credit card offered by Fidelity Investments that earns 2% cash back on nearly every purchase you make.

The cash rewards you earn can be deposited into any number of Fidelity investment accounts, a perk that you won’t find with many credit cards.

From a financial perspective, the Fidelity Rewards is a win-win. Not only do you get an industry-leading cash-back rate, but you also have the luxury of transferring your rewards directly into any number of investment accounts.

Exactly which investment accounts those are as well as which details you should know about the rewards program are things that should be brought up as you’re deciding if this is the best cash-back rewards card for you.

Our goal in every review we write is to prepare you to make the wisest choice, not necessarily the easiest choice.

To meet that goal, we’re going to examine the following aspects of the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature:

  • Rewards and benefits
  • Rates and fees
  • Public opinion

As we work through each of these sections, you’ll start to see a good overall picture of what the Fidelity Rewards card does and doesn’t offer.

At the end of this review, we’ll talk about the card’s general pros and cons as well as who we think can really take advantage of this card’s rewards.

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signatures Rewards

We define rewards as cash- or points-based bonuses a card gives you when you spend money. For many cards, those bonuses include an up-front points or cash perk that kicks in when you spend between $500 and $4,000.

The Fidelity Rewards card doesn’t have an up-front bonus, though. As a cash rewards card, this is a little odd but not unheard of.

For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver (1.5% cash back) have $150 up-front bonuses, while the Citi Double Cash (2% cash back) does not have an up-front cash bonus.

The fact that the Fidelity Rewards card doesn’t have a bonus is as bad as it seems, mainly because, after 14 months, the cash back you’ll get from 2% is more than a card with a bonus and a 1.5% cash-back rate.

2% Cash Back

As we’ve mentioned several times, you’ll earn 2% in cash back for most purchases you make with this card. A few random purchase types like poker chips, credit card fees and traveler’s checks won’t get the bonus.

If you’re spending around $25,000 a year on your credit card, that 2% rewards rate will earn you $500 in free cash after the first year and $1,000 after year two.

A card with a $150 bonus and 1.5% cash back would get you $525 after one year and $900 after year two.

Pro tip: Your points don’t expire.

How to Redeem Your Fidelity Rewards Cash Back

Fidelity offers several different options for redeeming your cash back balance. These options can be done automatically as long as you rack up at least $50 a month in rewards:

  • Statement credit
  • Fidelity Cash Management account
  • Brokerage account
  • 529 College Savings Fund
  • Fidelity Go account
  • Retirement account
  • Fidelity Charitable Giving Account

As you can see, Fidelity gives you plenty of choices for using your money. Every option here aside from charitable giving provides a way to make your rewards work for you as they have the potential to earn interest over the time.

Retirement and College Investments

With this variety of options for redeeming cash back comes the responsibility to be familiar with the IRS rules and regulations surrounding each investment type.

For example, Fidelity’s fine print encourages you to familiarize yourself with the tax implications of contributing to retirement accounts and 539 college savings funds:

“All IRA and 529 plan contributions resulting from the card will be considered current-year contributions. The ability to contribute to an IRA or 529 college savings plan account is subject to IRS rules and specific program policies, including those on eligibility and annual and maximum contribution limits.”

If you happen to max out your IRA or your 529, then Fidelity won’t allow rewards transfers to those accounts. Your cash back will remain in your Rewards account until you choose another redemption option.

Charitable Giving

We took a look at the Fidelity Charitable program and learned that you can transfer your cash rewards to “just about any 501(c)(3) public charity.”

Fidelity’s charity page goes on to say that the IRS’ approved charities “should include all the charities you support today, with only a few exceptions, such as private foundations.”

Statement Credit

We’re listing this redemption option here because we’ve read from consumer reviews that cash redemption rates are 1% instead of 2%.

We went back to the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature’s fine print and found this sentence:

“The 2% rewards value applies only to points redeemed for a deposit into an eligible Fidelity account. The redemption value is different if you choose to redeem your points for other rewards such as travel options, merchandise, gift cards, and/or a statement credit.”

Now, we want to point out that you can use your Fidelity Rewards cash back to pay for travel or gift cards, both of which can be purchased through the Fidelity Rewards shopping portal; these also count as cash redemption.

Because the specific cash-redemption rate wasn’t listed on the Fidelity website, read through the rules for the rewards program to be certain of your redemption rate. These rules will be included with your card when Fidelity sends it to you.

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature’s Benefits

Benefits are those features of a credit card that aren’t necessarily related to rewards and aren’t limited by time or spending constraints.

The Fidelity Rewards card is part of the Visa Signature program, a robust set of benefits you can use in a variety of situations. These benefits are among the best in the industry:

  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Price protection
  • Rental car insurance
  • Extended warranties

Each one of these programs offers some pretty great benefits, provided you make the eligible purchases with your Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature.

An Example of Your Benefits: Lost Luggage Reimbursement

The fine print of the Visa Signature program says that Fidelity Rewards cardholders can be eligible for up to a $3,000 reimbursement if your airline carrier loses your luggage either through “theft or misdirection.”

The money you’ll get from Visa will cover the difference between the value of your lost luggage and the amount your airline reimburses you.

Here are some examples of items in your luggage that wouldn’t be covered, per the fine print:

  • Sunglasses, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs
  • Money
  • Tickets, keys, coins, stamps, perfume, cosmetics, cameras, food
  • Cell phones
  • Art pieces
  • Pets

Remember, though, in order to take advantage of this program, you have to book your tickets with your Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card.

The lost luggage reimbursement is a good example of the other benefits of the Visa Signature program. Each program tends to have a limit on cash reimbursements as well as rules about what’s covered or not covered.

You’ll have to read through your Visa Signature benefits guide to get the full rundown on what the different coverages allow and won’t allow.

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature’s Rates and Fees

While the Fidelity Rewards credit card has some solid rewards and benefits, we don’t want to end our review without letting you know what kind of interest rates and fees you’ll have to pay:

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 14.99%
  • Cash advance APR: 24.99%
  • Balance transfer/cash advance fee: 3% or $5, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: 1%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Late fee: $27–$38
  • Returned payment fee: $25

The card’s APR is pretty good considering it doesn’t offer a range of low and high APR’s like other cash rewards cards.

As for the late fees, we spoke with a Fidelity rep who told us that you’ll pay $27 for the first late fee in a six-month period and $38 for the second late fee in a six-month period.

Public Opinion About the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature

In general, the reviews of the Fidelity Rewards card are positive, with most sites highlighting the card’s 2% cash rewards rate.

The one drawback a couple sites mentioned is what we noted early on in this review: the card comes with no up-front cash bonus.

As for consumer reviews, we read a couple of complaints about customer service, as well as one person who was surprised that Fidelity didn’t give them 2% rewards on cash redemptions.

Pros of the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature

The Fidelity Rewards credit card offers an industry-leading cash back rate for those who want to deposit their rewards in investment accounts. The process of depositing rewards is automatic, making it easy to passively invest with your rewards.

Cons of the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature

The downside to this card is that redeeming your rewards for cash results in a lower rewards rate than what you’d get if you deposited your rewards into a Fidelity account.

Who Will Enjoy The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature the Most

Based on our research of this card, we think the Fidelity Rewards is a great fit for a Fidelity customer who wants a way to passively earn cash they can deposit into their investment accounts.

Since automatic transfers only take place when you have at least $50 in rewards, we suggest this card to someone who will spend at least $2,500 a month on their card.

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