Reviews TD First Class Visa Signature credit card review
TD First Class Visa Signature credit card review

TD First Class Visa Signature credit card review

Published: April 25, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Introductory Offer: 2.2
Net Value: 3.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

A poor choice for cardholders on a budget, the TD First Class Visa Signature card charges a high annual fee in exchange for modest rewards and a relatively short 0 perfect balance transfer promotion.

0% Introductory Period
12 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$10 or 3% (whichever is smaller)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
13.74%

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, free concierge service, auto rental insurance, baggage insurance, discounted roadside assistance, hotel upgrades, extended warranty

Rewards Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value 0.1
Annual Percentage Rate 4.3
Rewards Flexibility 4.7
Features 4.0

In a nutshell:

The TD First Class Visa Signature card offers an accessible sign-up bonus and triple points on dining and travel, but its below-average rewards rate makes it hard to justify the high annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on restaurants and travel
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • 15,000 points upon first purchase
  • 10,000 points if you spend $3,000 within first 6 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$97

APR
13.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem miles for travel, statement credit, gift cards or merchandise

Cons

  • For statement credits, you must redeem at least 25,000 miles to get credited for 100 percent of a purchase. If you redeem less, you will receive a statement credit for half the value of the purchase
  • Can’t transfer miles to other loyalty programs
  • Can’t redeem for statement credits online. To redeem for a statement credit, you must call TD Bank

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, free concierge service, auto rental insurance, baggage insurance, discounted roadside assistance, hotel upgrades, extended warranty

Travel Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.9
Rewards Flexibility: 4.6
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

Don’t be fooled by this card’s triple rewards rate or pricey annual fee; despite being billed as a premium rewards card, the TD First Class Visa Signature card delivers surprisingly little value for a card with an annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on restaurants and travel
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • 15,000 points upon first purchase
  • 10,000 points if you spend $3,000 within first 6 billing cycles


Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$97

APR
13.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem miles for travel, statement credit, gift cards or merchandise

Cons

  • For statement credits, you must redeem at least 25,000 miles to get credited for 100 percent of a purchase. If you redeem less, you will receive a statement credit for half the value of the purchase
  • Can’t transfer miles to other loyalty programs
  • Can’t redeem for statement credits online. To redeem for a statement credit, you must call TD Bank

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, free concierge service, auto rental insurance, baggage insurance, discounted roadside assistance, hotel upgrades, extended warranty

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TD Bank, a regional East Coast bank, has put a lot of effort into making the TD First Class Visa Signature card look like a luxury credit card. It set the annual fee at a hefty $89 per year, promised cardholders VIP treatment on the road and billed its rewards points as “First Class miles.” However, a closer look at the TD First Class Visa Signature card shows its premium benefits may not live up to the hype.

The pricey annual-fee card also has a limited audience. Only cardholders who live in one of the 16 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C, may qualify.

Accessible sign-up bonus

Despite aiming the card at higher-income cardholders who can afford to pay $89 a year for a credit card, TD Bank has made the First Class card’s sign-up bonus unusually accessible. Cardholders earn 15,000 bonus miles just by using the card for the first time and are then offered an additional 10,000 bonus miles if they charge roughly $500 a month ($3,000 total) within the card’s first six billing cycles. At a value of roughly $250 if the points are redeemed for travel, the First Class card’s total sign-up bonus isn’t spectacular, but it may be high enough to attract current TD bank customers.

Triple the rewards for dining and travel

The TD First Class Visa Signature card also offers triple bonus miles on dining and travel purchases, making it an attractive option for cardholders who spend a lot of time on the road. Business travelers especially could rack up a substantial number of points with the card’s triple rewards rate, making a free round-trip ticket seem like it’s within easy reach. However, the card’s below-average rewards rate might make redeeming miles for free travel a tougher feat than the card’s promotional language lets on.

Not the best value

If you redeem your miles for travel, they’re worth around 1 cent per mile, which is average for a rewards card, and well below the value of similar travel cards with comparable annual fees. Unless you’re a heavy spender, that could make earning a first-class airline ticket with First Class miles a tough proposition – even with triple bonus points on certain types of spending. Miles that are redeemed for other types of rewards, such as gift cards and merchandise, may be worth even less, depending on what type of item or gift card you choose. Cardholders are likely to find more generous rewards programs through other cards at the same fee level.

Some restrictions on redemption

TD Bank also makes cardholders wait before they can redeem their points for dining or travel, which can be a pain for cardholders who want to redeem miles early. To get a statement credit for 100 percent of the value of the rewards purchase, you must redeem at least 25,000 miles. TD Bank does, at least, make it easier to redeem miles for travel than some competitors. For example, because you’re given a statement credit, you can redeem miles for any ticket and don’t have to go through a specific site that may not offer the best deals. Cardholders can also book rewards flight directly with their favorite airline and earn additional miles through the airline’s frequent-flier program. However, they can’t transfer miles to other programs.

Mediocre perks

The TD First Class Visa Signature card doesn’t offer any perks that can’t be found on a card with no annual fee, making its high annual fee hard to justify. The card’s promotional material boasts that cardholders are given access to VIP experiences and luxury hotel benefits, but the only benefits offered by the card are those that come with all Visa Signature cards, including Visa Signature cards without an annual fee. Premium benefits offered by Visa Signature include round-the-clock concierge service, hotel upgrades and discounts on luxury hotels.

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You spend a lot on travel and restaurant purchases.
  • You want a card that helps you earn additional free travel.
  • You prefer to earn statement credits for travel rather than booking through a card issuer.
  • You’re already a TD Bank customer and would like a credit card with the same bank.

How to use it:

  • Be careful about how you redeem your points. Miles redeemed for travel and some gift cards are generally worth 1 cent per mile. However, miles redeemed for other types of rewards purchases are sometimes worth considerably less.
  • Don’t forget to redeem your miles quickly when you take a trip. To redeem 100 percent of a travel or dining purchase, you must redeem your miles within 180 days of purchase.
  • Check TD Bank’s website regularly for special discounts provided to TD Bank credit card holders.

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