|Retail Rating:||2.3 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||3.8|
In a Nutshell:
Notwithstanding handsome rewards at Ace Hardware stores, occasional Ace shoppers are likely to take a pass on the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card due to its lack of a sign-up bonus and less-than-impressive earnings rate in other categories. This offer is no longer available.
Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
Other Notable Features: 0 percent introductory purchase APR, Visa Signature cardholder benefits, no pre-set spending limit, $0 fraud liability, money-saving coupons, sale reminders, instant savings at Ace stores, extra reward cards for birthdays and special events
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Anyone who isn’t a frequent visitor to Ace Hardware is unlikely to get much out of the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card. Though it offers generous 3:1 rewards on Ace purchases, the card’s lackluster earnings in other categories, plus its onerous bonus requirements and absence of a sign-up offer, mean most consumers would be far better served elsewhere.
Savvy cardholders who maximize the card’s coupons, instant savings and chance to earn bonus rewards, stand to benefit the most, of course, but this all requires a bit of extra legwork.
Strong base earnings rate
Home improvement enthusiasts will love the card’s triple rewards on Ace Hardware purchases, perfect for when you need to revamp your outdoor living space, replace an air conditioner or give your home a fresh coat of paint. Cardholders who reach a minimum annual spend of $12,000 receive an additional 2 percent bonus on their spending, awarded as a statement credit in the first quarter of each calendar year.
Nonexistent sign-up bonus
If an attractive sign-up bonus is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it with the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card. On the other hand, ongoing extras such as money-saving coupons, sale reminders, instant savings at Ace stores and additional reward cards for birthdays and special events could more than make up for a sign-up bonus in the long term with some smart strategizing.
So-so rewards on everyday purchases
The Ace Rewards Visa Signature also comes with 2 percent rewards on gas station and grocery store purchases, a nice advantage for cardholders who tend to use one card for most of their purchases. However, keep in mind there are other cards out there that offer much better rewards in those categories.
For example, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card provides 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice, including gas purchases, and 2% on grocery store/wholesale club purchases (on up to $2,500 in combined category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%), while the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express boasts a whopping 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (limited to the first $6,000 annually, 1 percent thereafter). In other words, consider a general cash back card if you’re looking to cash in on those kinds of everyday purchases.
The Ace Rewards Visa Signature’s quarterly bonus program gives you the ability to earn extra rewards in special rotating categories such as groceries, travel and restaurants. Here’s how it works: For every dollar spent on a category purchase, you’ll earn the usual 1 percent and an additional 9 percent in bonus points (up to a specified cap). To participate, you must register on the Ace Rewards site for each quarterly bonus offer before the promotion’s end date.
Fairly flexible redemption
The Ace Rewards Visa Signature card makes redemption of its rewards fairly easy: For every 12,500 points earned, you’ll automatically be issued a $25 Ace Rewards card (though you can specify other levels at which you’d like to receive rewards).
Unfortunately, redemption of those rewards is limited to Ace purchases, which makes the card a little more restrictive than a general cash back card. Also, you’ll need to stay on top of your rewards and make sure you use them in a timely manner, since they expire in less than a year. But, at least Ace gives you a little bit of wiggle room – you have up to 6 months to redeem your rewards cards before they expire.
Similar to other store cards, the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card comes with a relatively hefty APR once its 0 percent introductory rate runs out in six months. That said, cardholders with excellent credit could enjoy an APR as low as 14.99 percent, much better than the average 23.84 percent for all retail cards (and well below what the Lowe’s Consumer card offers). Meanwhile, cardholders stuck with the card’s maximum APR of 23.99 percent should take special care to avoid running up a balance they can’t afford to pay in full every month.
The Ace Rewards Visa Signature card comes with a pretty generous list of benefits for a retail card, including a handful of cardholder protections, such as roadside dispatch, purchase security and $0 fraud liability. The card also includes Visa Signature benefits, such as access to 24/7 concierge services, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance, along with exclusive offers and discounts on merchandise, culinary events, movies, concerts, hotels and more. Review your Guide to Benefits when you receive your card for the full list and coverage details.
Why get the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card?
- You’re a frequent Ace Hardware customer and want to earn rewards on purchases you already make.
- You’re a Home Depot or Lowe’s customer who’s willing to switch for the rewards.
- You’re a do-it-yourselfer who wants access to a 0 percent APR for six months to finance a big home-renovation project.
- You have a large family or otherwise spend a lot of money on gas and groceries.
- You care more about long-term rewards than the immediacy of a large sign-up bonus.
- You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.
How to use the Ace Rewards Visa Signature card:
- If you anticipate a big home project in the near future, take advantage of the card’s intro APR of 0 percent for the first six months – but be sure to pay off your purchases in full before the variable APR kicks in.
- Redeem all Ace Rewards cards within six months of their issue date.
- Use the card to pay for all gas and groceries to earn a 2 percent rewards rate.
- Pay your balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.
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