I'm always in the market for a better credit card. Many of you will remember when last year I posted about the merits of the PenFed VISA Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card. I still love this card, and its customer service, but I think I'll only be using it for gas going forward (5% back on gas). So what's my new primary card?
My new card is the Schwab Bank Invest First Visa Credit Card. It pays you 2% back on everything. That's right, everything. With no limit to the reward. So, what's the catch? Well, the catch is that the reward is funneled directly into a Schwab One brokerage account. If you don't already have one, you have to set one up in order to get the rewards. I did not have one since I use Ameritrade as my broker. However, I was able to set up both the credit card account and the brokerage account without much hassle. I will note that they initially denied me the card, but I contacted them after receiving the denial letter and we came to an understanding (which was they will open the account and send me the card via FedEx immediately).
I have begun using the card with no issues. As I understand the 2% reward will post into the brokerage account within one month of the bill's payment. This is longer than I like to wait for my money and is a negative compared to the PFCU card, but I'm giving it a try. Another downside to this card appears to be the bill pay feature. I typically set my cards to automatically pay the bill in full each month since this maximizes my benefit of the use of their money by paying as late as possible. It also means I don't ever have to worry about finance charges or late fees. However, this card does not offer autopay in a way that allows it to pay the full bill amount. You must manually choose a date and amount, which I find completely counter-intuitive to the reasoning around using autopay in the first place. We'll see how this plays out…
One final positive to note about this card is that if you travel internationally, the fact that this card does not charge foreign transaction fees is a big plus.