Reviews RBFCU CashBack Rewards card review
RBFCU CashBack Rewards card review

RBFCU CashBack Rewards card review

Published: July 18, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.5
Rewards Flexibility: 3.8
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

The complicated redemption structure and tiered rewards make the RBFCU CashBack Rewards card a poor choice for modest spenders.

Rewards Rate

  • Up to 3% cash back on gas
  • Up to 2% cash back on restaurant purchases
  • Up to 1% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$220

APR
10.65-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as deposit to checking or savings account
  • No expiration on cash
  • No limits on how much you can earn

Cons

  • You have to wait a year to redeem your cash
  • You have to spend at least $3,000 in each category to earn the maximum amount of cash back
  • You can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs
  • You can’t redeem rewards for noncash rewards, such as gift cards or merchandise

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, extended warranty, price protection, emergency card replacement, emergency cash advance, identity-theft services, zero fraud liability

No Annual Fee Rating:
2 rating
2 rating
2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.8
Rewards Flexibility: 2.8
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

While the card promises up to 3 percent cash back on gas and up to 2 percent cash back on restaurant purchases,

Rewards Rate

  • Up to 3% cash back on gas
  • Up to 2% cash back on restaurant purchases
  • Up to 1% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$220

APR
10.65-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as deposit to checking or savings account
  • No expiration on cash
  • No limits on how much you can earn

Cons

  • You have to wait a year to redeem your cash
  • You have to spend at least $3,000 in each category to earn the maximum amount of cash back
  • You can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs
  • You can’t redeem rewards for noncash rewards, such as gift cards or merchandi

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, extended warranty, price protection, emergency card replacement, emergency cash advance, identity-theft services, zero fraud liability

Rewards Rating:
2 rating
2 rating
2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.0
Rewards Flexibility: 2.8
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With a low APR and generous rewards on gas and restaurant purchases, this credit union card offers one of the best values available for frequent road trippers who plan to carry a balance.

Rewards Rate

  • Up to 3% cash back on gas
  • Up to 2% cash back on restaurant purchases
  • Up to 1% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$220

APR
10.65-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as deposit to checking or savings account
  • No expiration on cash
  • No limits on how much you can earn

Cons

  • You have to wait a year to redeem your cash
  • You have to spend at least $3,000 in each category to earn the maximum amount of cash back
  • You can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs
  • You can’t redeem rewards for noncash rewards, such as gift cards or merchandise

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, extended warranty, price protection, emergency card replacement, emergency cash advance, identity-theft services, zero fraud liability

If you spend a lot of time on the road and are looking for an inexpensive cash back card to reward those extra miles, the Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union CashBack Rewards card may be worth a closer look. For cardholders who spend a fair amount, the card offers a substantial amount of bonus cash for gas and restaurant purchases. However, there’s a catch to the credit union’s generosity: You’ll only receive the maximum amount of cash back if you spend above a certain threshold.

The RBFCU CashBack Rewards card is also limited in its availability. Only cardholders living in Texas are eligible to apply.

Only good for moderate to heavy spenders
If you prefer to do business with credit unions, but still want to earn a significant amount of cash back, the RBFCU CashBack Rewards card can be a good option, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

Cardholders are eligible to earn up to 3 percent back on gas purchases and up to 2 percent back on restaurant purchases. All other purchases earn up to 1 percent cash back. However, you must spend at least $3,000 a year on gas purchases – roughly $250 a month – and $3,000 a year on restaurant purchases to redeem the maximum amount. You also have to spend another $3,000 a year on general purchases to earn even a minimum of 1 percent cash back.

On the plus side, there are no limits on how much you can earn. So if you’re a heavy spender, you can earn a significant amount.

Complicated redemption
The way RBFCU calculates cardholders’ cash back is complicated, making it a poor choice for cardholders who want simple, hassle-free rewards. If you spend less than $1,000 a year on general purchases, you won’t earn any cash back. If you spend between $1,000 and $2,000, you’ll only earn 0.25 percent cash back. If you spend between $2,000 and $3,000, you’ll earn just 0.5 percent cash back. You have to spend more than $3,000 a year to earn the maximum 1 percent.

Bonus earnings are tiered the same way. For example, if you spend less than $1,000 a year on restaurant purchases, you’ll earn 1 percent cash back. If you spend between $1,000 and $2,000, you’ll earn 1.25 percent cash back. If you spend between $2,000 and $3,000, you’ll earn 1.5 percent back. To earn the maximum 2 percent, you have to spend more than $3,000. The same goes for gas purchases, except the minimum amount you can earn starts at 2 percent and the maximum amount is capped at 3 percent.

Patience is required
RBFCU also makes you wait for rewards, so the card is a poor choice for cardholders who want immediate access to their cash. Because its redemption system is based on annual spending, it doesn’t calculate how much you earned until the end of the year. The RBFCU CashBack Rewards card also doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, substantially lowering how much you can earn in your first year.

Low interest rate
The interest rate on the RBFCU card is fairly low, so if you plan to carry a balance and are just looking for a low-rate rewards card with significant potential, the RBFCU card can be an attractive option. Cardholders with the best credit scores may be offered an APR as low as 10.65 percent, while cardholders with lower scores are charged a maximum of 18 percent. The RBFCU card also offers an unusual promotion on cash advances: Any cash advance you take out in the card’s first 90 days is interest-free for up to nine months. In addition, cardholders are given nine months to transfer an interest-free balance.

Safer than most cash back credit cards
The RBFCU card also offers more lenient terms than the typical cash back credit card. For example, it doesn’t charge a penalty APR, nor does it charge an excessive late fee. Cardholders are charged just $20 for one missed payment, a fee which is significantly lower than that of many competitors. In addition, the credit union charges a standard interest rate for cash advances rather than a higher rate.

Reasons to get it:

  • You spend a lot on gas and restaurant purchases and can easily earn the maximum cash back.
  • You prefer to do business with credit unions.
  • You want a low-rate card that also earns cash back.
  • You want a safer card with lower fees.
  • You already have an account with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

How to use it:

  • Consider how much you spend in each category before you apply. You may be better off with a different card if you aren’t a particularly heavy spender.
  • Use your card for all gas and restaurant purchases to earn the maximum amount.
  • Don’t feel pressured to spend above a certain threshold if you can’t afford to quickly pay it back. The amount you earn isn’t worth the stress of extra debt.

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