Credit Cards

REI Visa Credit Card Review: Pros and Cons

rei-credit-cardThe REI Visa credit card is a rewards retail card that is based around the high quality athletic clothing of REI. There are definitely a great many advantages to having this credit card if you are a frequent shopper of the REI brand, but as with any credit product, there are also some things that you should look out for before applying for the REI credit card.

Read on for some of the pros and cons of having a REI Visa credit card:

The pros of using the REI Visa credit card

The REI Card is perhaps best known for its extensive cashback program. However, the first thing that most card owners will note is that there is absolutely no annual fee.

There is a 5% cashback reward for all purchases that are made at REI. This is fairly common for all retail-based credit card; however, this particular visa goes above and beyond the call of duty by offering 1% cash back on purchases made anywhere.

Other benefits include a Visa Signature concierge and other discounts on entertainment, travel and dining expenses.

The rewards plan definitely makes the card a good investment if you are a outdoorsmen for someone who makes fairly consistent purchases of athletic gear. The cashback will add up quickly enough that you may be able to get an item or two for free throughout the year.

The card also has an annual percentage rate that has the ability to be much lower than most or credit cards. The majority of store credit cards have an APR that is typically higher than 20%. However, this Visa card can be as little as 11% for card owners with good credit. There are variable rates available that can lower the APR the car even more; however, card owners may have to deal with changes in the terms of service if they take this option.

The only fee that is necessary to join the REI Visa card crowd is a one-time $20 fee up front. This is not put in the con section because there are many rewards cards with a much higher upfront cost.

The cons of the REI Visa credit card

Even with all of the rewards and cash back features, there are some setbacks to owning this credit card.

First of all, in order to take advantage of your rewards, you must keep up with a fairly complicated schedule. You can only access your cash back once a year. This happens in March. If this is not the time at which you want to make large purchases, then you may end up not using the cash back rewards at all.

In order to take advantage of the cash back features, you will also need to keep up with your purchases yourself. If there is a discount on an item in the store, you do not receive full cash back on that item.

There are also considerable penalties for users who do not pay off the balance every month. The terms of service are relatively inflexible when it comes to raising interest rates on people who are not able to keep up with their balances. Although a user may start off with a relatively low annual percentage rate, this rate can quickly climb to the highest rates with only a few missed payments.

Overall, if you are looking for retail card to use in the store that you frequent often, this card is a good choice. You will have to take on the responsibility of dealing with certain aspects of your accounting; however, assuming that you can do this, there are plenty of rewards to take advantage of with this credit card.

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