New Fidelity Rewards Visa Credit Card Review: 2% Flat Cash Back

new_usbank_fido_visa_200Ending some speculation, Fidelity has officially announced changes to their credit card line-up as of January 2016. Previously, there were three versions of the card issued by FIA Cardservices (subsidiary of Bank of America) – a grandfathered 2% MasterCard, a 1.5% base-tier Visa, and a 2% American Express.

Fidelity has consolidated their offering to a single card – a Visa Signature offering a flat 2% cash back when directed to a Fidelity Investment account, issued by Elan Financial Services (subsidiary of US Bank). All existing credit card links now redirect to this new Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Let’s take a look.


  • Unlimited 2% cash-back, when redeemed into an active Fidelity account.
  • No annual fee.
  • No sign-up bonus at this time.
  • Visa Signature benefits, like Concierge service.
  • Chip-enabled and works with Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay.

2% cash back details. The 2% rewards value applies only to points redeemed for a deposit into an eligible Fidelity account:

  • Fidelity Cash Management Account
  • Fidelity Brokerage account
  • Fidelity-managed 529 account
  • Fidelity Retirement account (IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, Rollover IRA)

The redemption value is different (read: worse) if you choose to redeem your points for their other available options, including travel, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credit. I can’t seem to find any publicly-available details yet on these alternative options.

You can either choose automatic or manual redemption. With automatic redemption, once you reach $50 of rewards (5,000 points from net spending of $2,500), your balance will be automatically swept into your designated Fidelity account. With manual redemption, you must call Cardmember Services at 888-551-5144 after you reach the same 5,000 point minimum balance.

Already have the previous FIA Cardservices-issued card? For now, just use your card as usual. US Bank/Elan did agree to acquire the existing credit card business, which means sooner or later everyone will be forced to move over to this new card. You will not have to re-apply, your points will move over, and the card will be transitioned automatically. You will be notified around mid-2016 with further details. This is all from Fidelity’s existing cardmember FAQ.

If you have a Fidelity Rewards Credit Card, you can continue to enjoy the features and benefits associated with that card. If you would like information about rates, fees, other costs and benefits, please call an FIA Card Services® representative at 877-811-7088. Information will be sent to you in mid-2016 regarding your new Fidelity® Visa Signature® card.

I am curious how this would affect credit history, as this card is one of my older credit lines (10+ years). I am guessing the old line will be closed. Update: Good news! I just received a note directly from Fidelity that for current credit cardholders that when we are eventually converted to a new Visa card number, our credit reports will still reflect the original opening dates of our current credit cards.

Commentary. This move makes complete business sense. First, now they can offer a Visa card with 2% cash back without any tiers. Second, Fidelity uses this card to encourage customers to keep all their assets within Fidelity-branded accounts. You could theoretically now have your checking account, credit card, brokerage account, IRA, 401(k), all with Fidelity.

Their previous issuer, FIA Cardservices was owned by Bank of America, which is essentially a direct competitor. You could also have a Bank of America checking account, BofA credit card, Merrill Edge brokerage account, and Merrill Lynch wealth management account under their umbrella. In fact, I recently opened up a Merrill Edge account and moved over $100,000 of assets and received (1) 100 free stock trades a month and (2) a 75% bonus on my credit card rewards with the Bank of America Travel Rewards card (my review).

Elan Financial Services is a subsidiary of US Bank, but they are less of a direct competitor. You won’t see “US Bank” mentioned anywhere on this card. Elan quietly co-brands with many other financial institutions (over 1,400) who want a credit card but don’t want to handle the back-end details.

My personal choices. As a self-directed investor, I like to keep my options open. This new card remains a solid cash back card for existing Fidelity customers (or those willing to open a Fidelity account). I have the Bank of America card mentioned above, excellent rewards for those with over $100k in assets and it has no annual fee. I also have the Citi Double Cash card (my review) because it is a similarly solid card with no annual fee (and doesn’t require any companion account).

Why do I have all three? My experience is that good credit cards may stop taking new applicants with no prior notice, but as an existing customer you can often continue to receive grandfathered benefits for a long time.


  1. “U.S. Bank has also agreed to acquire Fidelity’s existing co-brand credit card portfolio with approximately $1.6 billion in associated balances.”

    I am hoping this means that existing history will be kept during the acquisition, otherwise my credit score could take a significant hit.

    • Yes, I have received confirmation from Fidelity that your new Visa card line will show the same opening date as your existing credit card line. You should still verify this is the case on your credit reports when the time comes around July 2016.

  2. Bard Ford says:

    Hopefully Elan offers better web support than FIA did. The inability to download transaction data to Quicken until the end of the bill was the prime reason I didn’t use the card more. FIA’s web system was 10 years behind Amex’s.

    • I don’t have any Elan cards right now, but I agree that the FIA’s neglected website was another reason why Fidelity left them. Especially as Bank of America has one of the better banking websites out there in terms of user interface design, in my opinion.

    • Artie McDonald says:

      Not sure about your specific case, but I get my downloads in quicken from the Fidelity Amex daily now. I hated it when it was only monthly downloads and was happy when that was finally fixed… although I think it may have been something that started in quicken 2015.. I just don’t remember now

    • If you set up your account in Quicken as Bankcard Services rather than FIA, you download transactions as they happen. Maybe they fixed it for FIA, I haven’t used it that way in a while now.

  3. lol… well, i’ve applied for and been approved for at least 10 cards I’ve heard of from your website. Anyway, I got rejected for this one. 100k+ income w/ high credit score. I’ll call for reconsideration, i suppose. :(

    • … and you don’t already have a Fidelity Rewards card?!? Thanks for the data point. I’m just going to wait for them to pry my MasterCard out of my cold, dead… oh wait Costco will take Visa soon. Bring on the new Visa! :) Although the BofA Travel Rewards is also a Visa…

      • They said I have a lot of new cards and they’d like to see some payment history. To be fair, I have a lot of new cards… They said try again in 6 months.

  4. This is a pretty solid card but they’ve changed my card number 2 or 3 times in the past year which is a PITA. Also, being able to get the 2% redeemed as a $500 statement credit was nice, I hope they don’t get rid of that. In case they do, I just applied for the Citi Double Cash Card…seems a little easier.

    • I’ve been through those card number changes too. The idea of waiting around to accumulate $500 as statement credit always seemed a bit risky to recommend. That would take $25,000 in purchases. Although unlikely, it would really hurt if I had say $400 sitting there in rewards and they closed the card on me. Why not just open a Fidelity account?

      • I have one, just don’t use them for my brokerage services. I’d prefer the cash back in the form or a check or statement credit anyways.

        • You can get the 2% redeemed as a statement credit at $250 which is 25,000 WorldPoints. Or at least that is the case for the Fidelity Amex I opened last year according to their terms and conditions. I don’t have a Fidelity account and don’t want to open another account so I’m just accumulating for the statement credit. I should have enough points for the statement credit in the next month or two.

          • That’s correct 25,000 points is enough for $250 statement credit. I have been doing that for years now and never opened Fidelity account.

  5. Artie McDonald says:

    This is awesome for Costco members’ who carry the Fidelity Amex (which was a better card to use at Costco then Costco’s own card).

  6. Good news! I just received a note directly from a Fidelity representative that for current credit cardholders that when we are eventually converted to a new Visa card number, our credit reports will still reflect the original opening dates of our current credit cards.

  7. I was just about to give up on the Fidelity card. Maybe I’ll wait and see how the Visa card works after. My fidelity card has been compromised 2-3 times with fraud harges. THe most recent charge was on the older card # which they aparently didn’t cancel after they gave me a new number a few moths ago. The current card has a badly designed website too. But now maybe I’ll wait and see if the new bank with the Visa is better.

  8. Kenneth Venhuizen says:

    How in the world do I get on my Fidelity Am Express card account?

  9. I’m curious; whatever happened to the Merrill+ Rewards Visa Signature credit card issued by Bank of America? Why don’t they start offering that credit card again for new applicants or something similar to the Fidelity card?

  10. Wanted to ask about using the Citi Double Cash card as a complement to the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. For gas and supermarket, the BAC Card is the superior one especially with the bank deposit bonus. My question concerns the 1% tier – am I correct that even with a 75% deposit bonus, it would be better to use the Citi Double Cash card instead? Did I do the math correctly – that the 1% rate plus the 75% bonus amounts to 1.75% cash back which is less than Citi’s 2% rate? Just trying to make sure before I open the Citi card.

  11. I’ve had a Fidelity card give 2% back into my daughter’s 529 account for 17 years now. The account had no other deposits, and is now worth $27,000. This will pay for at least a semester of college, maybe a full year if the market grows from here.
    It’s amazing how 2 cents per dollar adds over time.
    I happen to have an Amex that gives 3% on gas and 5% at office stores or wireless. It’s also decent, but the money is ‘lost’ as it’s just credited to the account. The 529 savings is right there, proof that it all adds up.

  12. do you know what happens for folks with both existing FIA Fidelity Visa and Amex cards? Will they transition me to two new cards or consolidate me into one visa card (preferred)?

  13. The new Fidelity card will not have the ShopSafe feature (or anything similar, per a discussion with a USBank/Elan/Fidelity rep). At least not at this time. This is a big feature drop for me, as my card has been hacked 5 times in the last 7 years, and each time takes several hours of hassle to update all of my online and recurrent payments with my new Visa number. With ShopSafe, if a virtual number gets hacked, my real number remains uncompromised. It was a big help for my last time I got hacked in August 2015.

    • I just received a Fidelity email detailing the new Elan Visa Signature card. I chatted with a Fidelity agent about the availability of a Virtual Credit Card with the new Elan provider. No such luck.
      I too use FIA’s ShopSafe for all my online shopping and even for some recurring monthly payments to cable and phone companies. I don’t want a card that doesn’t provide similar functionality. I’ll forego the 2% and stick with FIA.
      The 2% incentive is not enough to offset the hassle of using my real credit card or PayPal for online shopping.

  14. Agree with Mike that dropping virtual card numbers (ShopSafe) will be a big loss for the new card. I use this feature quite a bit. I have two Fidelity cards (Mastercard and Amex) and, like StevenF, was wondering how this new Fidelity Visa card transition would transpire. So I called Elan to ask. The person I talked to may have been clueless BUT he said that Elan would issue two VISA cards to me (one for each of the cards being replaced). I guess that would preserve each card’s original open date and account information, but I was HOPING that they would merge both cards into one. Finally, my biggest complaint with Fia Card Services (old provider) was in the customer services department. If you EVER wanted to dispute a credit card charge on a Fidelity sponsored card, GOOD LUCK… From my experience, FIA Card Services was only interested in closing the dispute as quickly as it could. As such, I ONLY used my Fidelity card(s) at reputable businesses where I was certain that no credit card dispute would be necessary.

    • Thanks for the info. SO then if I dont want two new USBank cards, I should plan on cancelling one FIA card now – and then I wont end up with two of the same thing. Much appreciated. Will the closing of a card hurt my credit rating?

      • Well, I got the impression that the guy at Elan didn’t know for certain what would happen when the new cards were issued, but that’s what he said. I plan to wait and see what happens before I close any accounts — you never know. Even if you wind up with two cards from the same issuer, each card would still have its own limits and be treated separately for charging purposes. If that’s what happens, I might try to convince Elan to merge the two new accounts since they’re now both from the same issuer. Yes, it is my understanding that closing a credit card account may temporarily lower your credit rating. This might occur anyway if two accounts are merged since one of the accounts goes away (is closed) — I’m not sure.

  15. This is a great development. Will there be a foreign transaction fee on the new visa? How does this compare to the new Schwab American Express coming in 2016?

  16. Mary Johnson says:

    I have my credit union’s Visa Signature issued by Elan (used to be FIA), with $20K credit limit. Will it be possible to convert to this Fidelity card? Would it be a conversion, or starting all over again with credit checks, etc. I’d like to keep the $20K credit limit. Would it help if I already have a Fidelity account, or could I do both at the same time? Thanks.

    • Jerusalem Cherry says:

      I called Elan with the same exact question about my Credit Union Elan Card. They said no, you can only convert the current Fidelity Card holders and I would have to apply from scratch. Bummer

      • Mary Johnson says:

        Thanks. FWIW, my cu card has a great interest rate (8.9%) but pays 1% on purchases. So I almost never use it. Sure would be nice if they’d improve it.

  17. Will WorldPoints redemption still be an option when it transitions to Visa? I’ve always used my Fidelity Amex points this way…

  18. Dave Borland says:

    Was there ever a special to Fidelity Customers to obtain a new Fidelity VISA card and one of the
    special features of the special was to use a code when you applied and you could transfer funds from another
    institution to the Fidelity VISA with no interest on the amount transferred for I think it was a year.
    Is this accurate?

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