KeyBank Key2More Rewards credit card review

KeyBank Key2More Rewards credit card review

Published: November 15, 2017
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2 rating
2 rating
2 / 5
Introductory Offer: 1.5
Net Value: 4.4
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With an expensive balance transfer fee and a stingy 6-month introductory promotion, this overrated rewards card ranks low on our list of balance transfer cards.

0% Introductory Period
6 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$10 or 4% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Regular APR
13.99-22.99% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, identity theft services, travel assistance, concierge services, MasterCard Travel Services

No Annual Fee Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.7
Rewards Flexibility: 3.4
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

If a no-annual-fee card with a 5 percent rewards rate on general purchases seems to good to be true, that’s because it is; also, the card’s  rewards points expire in a very short time.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 on general purchases
  • 25% monthly bonus when you spend more than $1,000 a month
  • 50% bonus if you spend more than $2,000 a month

Sign-up Bonus
10,000 points after you make five purchases in the card’s first 60 days

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$205

APR
13.99-22.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for gift cards, travel, merchandise, cash back or charity
  • No blackout dates

Cons

  • Points are only worth one-fifth of a penny
  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Must go through KeyBank to book rewards-funded travel
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs
  • Must pay fulfillment fees for travel

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, identity theft services, travel assistance, concierge services, MasterCard Travel Services

Rewards Rating:
2.1 rating
2.1 rating
2.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.0
Rewards Flexibility: 3.4
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With a decent APR and a higher-than-average rewards rate, the Key2More Rewards MasterCard sounds like a great deal; but when you add up the value of the card’s inflated rewards points, you’ll find this card isn’t as generous as it seems.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 on general purchases
  • 25% monthly bonus when you spend more than $1,000 a month
  • 50% bonus if you spend more than $2,000 a month

Sign-up Bonus
10,000 points after you make five purchases in the card’s first 60 days

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$205

APR
13.99-22.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for gift cards, travel, merchandise, cash back or charity
  • No blackout dates

Cons

  • Points are only worth one-fifth of a penny
  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Must go through KeyBank to book rewards-funded travel
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs
  • Must pay fulfillment fees for travel

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, identity theft services, travel assistance, concierge services, MasterCard Travel Services

Travel Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.4
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

The KeyBank Key2More Rewards card’s monthly spending bonuses make it an appealing card for heavy spenders, but don’t be fooled by the card’s rewards rate, which isn’t as high as it seems.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 on general purchases
  • 25% monthly bonus when you spend more than $1,000 a month
  • 50% bonus if you spend more than $2,000 a month

Sign-up Bonus
10,000 points after you make five purchases in the card’s first 60 days

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$205

APR
13.99-22.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for gift cards, travel, merchandise, cash back or charity
  • No blackout dates

Cons

  • Points are only worth one-fifth of a penny
  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Must go through KeyBank to book rewards-funded travel
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs
  • Must pay fulfillment fees for travel

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, identity theft services, travel assistance, concierge services, MasterCard Travel Services

The KeyBank Key2More Rewards card offers more points per dollar spent than most travel rewards credit cards. However, don’t be fooled by its misleadingly high rewards rate – what you see won’t necessarily be what you get. Like other rewards cards that try to lure new cardholders with an artificially inflated rewards rate, the Key2More Rewards card’s points are only worth a fraction of the average card rewards point. The bank card’s 10,000-point sign-up bonus isn’t worth much either, so you’ll have to wait awhile before you earn enough points to buy a round-trip airline ticket or other hefty travel reward.

The KeyBank card does offer an appealing spending bonus if you pass a monthly spending threshold. But to get the most benefit from it, you’ll have to spend at least $2,000 or more per month. If you can pass that monthly threshold, the card’s rewards rival some of the best cards on the market. But if you’re not that heavy of a spender, you can almost certainly find a better deal somewhere else.

The Key2More Rewards card’s availability is also limited. Only cardholders living near a KeyBank are eligible to apply.

A deceptively high rewards rate

At first glance, the Key2More Rewards card seems to offer one of the most generous rewards programs around. Cardholders are awarded five points for every dollar they spend, plus an additional 25 percent points bonus when they spend at least $1,000, and a 50 percent points bonus when they spend more than $2,000.  The card also offers an additional, generous-sounding sign-up bonus of 10,000 points after you make five purchases within two months of opening your card. However, if you look more closely at the Key2More Rewards program, you’ll find the card’s rewards program isn’t nearly as valuable as it seems.

Do the math before you apply

When a credit card offers a rewards rate that seems too generous to be true, it’s a good idea to pull out your calculator and check out how much those points are actually worth. In most cases, the rewards points are deliberately valued at just a fraction of the average credit card rewards point, which typically goes for about a penny each.

In the case of Key2More Rewards, we estimate that each point is worth $0.002, which is conveniently equal to one-fifth of a penny. As a result, the card’s effective rewards rate – when compared to other cards – is actually just one point for every dollar you spend, not five points. Meanwhile, the card’s anemic sign-up bonus is worth just $25 – a big disappointment when you compare it to cards that offer $100 or more in bonuses.

Best for heavy spenders

The card’s monthly spending bonuses help make up for the card’s anemic rewards value, but you have to spend a significant amount to earn the maximum amount. For example, if you spend $2,000 a month – the minimum amount you need to spend to earn a 50 percent bonus – you effectively earn 2 cents in rewards for every dollar you spend. That’s pretty generous for a travel card, particularly since KeyBank doesn’t limit how much you can earn.

For example, if you spend just $2,000 a month, you can end the year with rewards worth up to $480 or more. If you spend $4,000 a month, you can earn a whopping $960. If you’re not such a heavy spender, though, you’re going to have a tough time earnings enough points for big rewards.

Pricey redemption

The KeyBank Key2More Rewards card also loses points as a travel rewards card because it reserves the right to charge cardholders “fulfillment fees” when they redeem points for airfare, travel vouchers or other rewards purchases. Like most rewards credit cards, KeyBank also makes you go through the bank’s website to book travel purchases and it doesn’t let you transfer points to other loyalty programs. Unlike many travel cards, though, it doesn’t impose any travel blackout dates, so you can travel whenever you please.

Why get the KeyBank Key2More Rewards card?

  • You plan to spend more than $2,000 a month and so can earn the 50 percent spending bonus.
  • You want more flexibility with rewards-funded travel and want to be able to choose when you fly or stay in a hotel.
  • You’re already a customer of KeyBank and want a card with the same bank.

How to use the KeyBank Key2More Rewards card:

  • To get the most value out of this card, use it for all or most regular monthly purchases so you have a better chance of earning the 25 to 50 percent spending bonus.
  • If you can, try to pay off purchases in full. The card’s 13.99 percent to 22.99 percent APR is relatively high.
  • Shop around before redeeming points for travel. You may get more value from your spending if you redeem points for cash and use the money to pay for travel you bought elsewhere.

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