Schwab Launching Bank Invest First Visa Signature credit card with 2% Cash Back

Schwab is launching a new credit card called the Bank Invest First Visa Signature Card that rebates 2% back on purchases. That's one of the highest rebates percentages I've seen.

Schwab is launching a new credit card called the Bank Invest First Visa Signature Card that rebates 2% back on purchases.  That's one of the highest rebates percentages I've seen.

According to the Wall Street Journal, features include:

  • The card rebates 2% on all purchases. 
  • No cap on the rebate amount you can earn each year.
  • No foreign exchange fees if the card is used overseas.
  • No annual fee or preset spending limits.

To get the card you must first open a Schwab brokerage account.  Customers earh 1 point for every dollar spend.  At the end of each month, the points are converted to cash at the 2% rate and then deposited into the brokerage account.  Brokerage accounts are free and there are no minimums.  From there, you can trade or withdraw the money.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

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Chase Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers 25,000 Miles

Chase is offering 25,000 miles on their Chase Travel Rewards Credit Card. No fee for the first year and no caps or blackout periods.

If you need to get a new credit card, you might as well get something for it.  Chase is offering 25,000 miles on their Chase Travel Rewards Credit Card to redeem for a ticket with up to a $400 value.  No fee for the first year and then $49 thereafter.  There are no caps or blackout periods.

The only disadvange to this is that it doesn't specify which airline the ticket will be booked on.  I guess that can be both good and bad.  Chase is on the hook to provide the ticket, regardless of whether an airline goes out of business. 

I couldn't find any hidden fees hiding in the Terms and Conditions so this looks like a pretty good signup bonus.

See other top credit card travel reward programs.

 

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

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Citibank and Other Credit Card Companies Raising Interest Rates

Citibank announced yesterday that it was raising rates on about 20% of its credit card customers. Other credit card companies are doing the same and cutting credit limits.

Citibank announced yesterday that it is raising the rates that approximately 20% of their credit customers pay on outstanding balances.  They expect the rate increase to be on average 3%.  The WSJ reported that (sub required):

""The industry has recently experienced an unprecedented market cycle with severe funding dislocation and significant consumer credit deterioration driven by the mortgage crisis and rising unemployment. In light of these unprecedented developments and others, Citi will be repricing a group of customers in our Citi-branded consumer credit-card business in the U.S. to appropriately manage these risks," said John Carey, chief administrative officer of the credit-card unit.

Citigroup's move follows a similar change by American Express Co., which is raising rates to some customers by two to three percentage points. Raising rates on customers is a delicate dance for credit-card companies. While the firms want to pull in more revenue from customers who carry a balance from month to month, they don't want to tip those customers into default because that hurts the card issuer's bottom line.

Customers can opt out of the rate increase. Those who do are permitted to use the card at the old rate until it expires."

Citibank is not alone.  Last month Amex raised rates on several of its customers by 2 to 3 percentage points.  Nordstrom also summarily raised rates on all of its 2 MM customers. 

All of this makes you wonder though.  Isn't this the exact opposite of what the TARP was supposed to accomplish?  Wasn't the idea to loosen lending and lower rates? 

It also makes me wonder when a smart bank is going to come along with a lower rate and take all of of the impaired banks customers.  There are relatively healthy banks out there and if they have capital, which they should, they could have a field day.  Raising rates in a recessionary environment when the Fed Funds Rate is close to 0% doesn't seem like a great long term business strategy.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

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