TD Visa Cards

A Look at the Two Options, Cash vs Easy Reward Points

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There are two rewards cards from TD Bank that are nearly identical—one pays a cash rebate, and the other in points. But, you need to be careful—the points card pays a much lower rebate reward than the cash-back version. Basically, the TD Rewards Visa Cards is for people looking around for a credit card that pays rewards.

The Pros of TD Rewards Visa Credit Cards

There are several advantages for those looking for a bank credit card, including:

  • You can earn rewards for everyday expenses
  • You can earn rewards without an annual fee
  • It's easy to meet the sign-up bonus spending requirement
  • You earn double rewards during the first six months
  • There's a low-interest rate (if you qualify)
  • There's no annual fee, unlike most cards
  • There is chip technology security
  • You get 24/7 customer service
  • You have zero fraud liability
  • The card has a Fair to Excellent (660+) credit card rating

Credit Cardholder Rewards

As a cardholder, you receive the following:

Cash Rewards Card: 2 percent cash back on purchases during the first six months, then 1 percent cash back.

Easy Rewards Card: 2 points per dollar on purchases in the first six months, then 1 point per dollar.

Anual Percentage Rates

To make the card appealing, TD Bank offers new cardholders 0 percent interest during the first six months. And, once the introductory period is over, the rates are reasonable at 11.24 percent, 16.24 percent, or 21.24 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. Also, there is a late fee of $39. And, if you want to move money from another card, you can do a balance transfer fee, although you'll have to pay TD 3 percent of the entire balance transfer.

A Cautionary Note About the Cash Offering Rewards Points

These seemingly identical cards from TD Bank illustrate one of the problems with credit cards that reward you in points rather than good old-fashioned cash—namely the actual value of the points is often fuzzy. There's usually a reason for that: the points are often not worth as much as the cash.

While the TD Cash Rewards Visa Card pays an even one percent cash-back rebate on your spending (two percent on everyday purchases for the first six months), the TD Easy Rewards Visa Card pays you back in points, one point for every dollar spent. While that may sound the same, it's not. Unfortunately, what the bank doesn't tell you up front is that one point isn't the same as one percent in cash. In fact, it's worth a lot less.

An Example of Redeemable Points

If you visit TD's online points redemption website, you have your choice of merchant gift cards. For example, a $25 gift card at Amazon costs 4,500 points. That works out to a rebate of 0.55 percent, just slightly more than half of one percent. A $50 gift card costs 6,000 points, or 0.83 percent. While that's better, it is still a lot less than one percent. The other gift cards are worth the same, either 0.55 percent or 0.83 percent.

If you're interested in merchandise, the payoff is even worse: A Nintendo Wii game system bundle costs 51,900 points, implying a retail price of $519, assuming a 1 percent rebate. However, you can find a similar system on Amazon for just under $300.

Recommendation

It's always best to take the money. And be careful. When it comes to credit cards that pay points instead of cash, always read the fine print and try to find out exactly how much the points are worth. Often, as in this case, the points aren't worth nearly as much as cash. If the credit card company makes it difficult to find out that information, don't waste your time—opt for the cash or find another card.