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Best CU CCs?

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JNA1
Valued Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?


@CreditCobra wrote:

Alliant seems like a great so far, but it takes a while to get to where you can get the 2.5% on their card. You need to park $1,000 in a checking account there and have you average balance over $1,000 for each month of a quarter prior to getting the 2.5%. So, say you get your Alliant card in April (like I did), and you don't have your $1,000 in that account until June, you'd be waiting until October to get that full 2.5%. Still, I consider this a good card.

 

Affinity has been my most used card this year. The extra 5% on gas has been awesome. Also, the additional 5% on Grocery (and Costco coded as grocery), and now this quarter, gas again, and Warehouse Clubs (so Costco again). This has been hard to beat, I hope they keep it up for years to come.

 

Langley seems like a great card, but the rotators roll over every month, and there's no advance calendar of what they're going to be ahead of time. Also, they're more limited than Affinity.

 

Abound, seemed like a great card at the start of the year. They publish their calendar in advance and they have a year round 5% on gas. That seemed awesome in February when I picked it up. But Affinity has edged them out of most of my gas purchases so far for the year, but this is now getting some action on Streaming, Cable, Internet, and Mobile Phone bills. This is one of my lowest limit cards. So there's that to consider.

 

I have a multi-year plan that involves a lot of rotators, and siloed cards, plus my Citi Custom Cash that will likely go back and forth between grocery and dining.


The Custom Cash makes are great hole filler! I expected to be using both of ours for gas this quarter since our Discover cards are 5% on dining this quarter, but Affinity rolled over 7% cash back for gas again, so it will be our go to fuel card for until Oct. (unless they extend it again!😉). 
I have a 5% targeted offer on my Custom Cash right for hardware stores, so it is mainly getting used for that right now. 

Our credit card journey started 3/2018

Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $502,550. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 8/31/22- $12,541.05
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 11 of 26
MechEngineer
Established Member

Re: Best CU CCs?


@CL-Addiq wrote:

Abound isn't bad. Thanks for the tip!

 

Alliant requires maintaining a checking account to get the full 2.5%. Do Affinity, Nusenda or Abound require any further relationship or can I just get the CC?

 


I am unsure about Abound, but Affinity and Nusenda don't require anything other than $5 parked in a savings account for your member share as @coldfusion previously mentioned.



Sock Drawer:


Message 12 of 26
CL-Addiq
New Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

This wasn't really my intention when creating this thread, but I went ahead and went on an App Spree for all five cards mentioned. I figured I'd share my experience for others. For each, my intention was to directly apply for the credit card, not apply for the credit union and then apply for the credit card at a later date.

 

Alliant - Incredibly simple, fully automated, single form process. Transperian pull. They paid the $5 deposit.

Langley - Initial application relatively simple. Equifax pull. Received a call a couple days later and needed to provide paystub via email and do docusign. Paid $5 deposit via ACH.

Affinity - Application pretty straight forward. Paid $5 deposit via ACH. Experian pull. Followed up the next day to get a second paystub which was noted as optional on app. Systems were confusing whether the credit card application was received. I've been told it's in, but haven't gotten a response yet. (Maybe a bad sign!)

Nusenda - More challenging application. Experian pull. Required a few calls and emails. Everyone I've spoken to have been extremely helpful, but there have been a couple delays. $5 deposit via ACH, but had to work directly with an agent to provide proof of $10 donation and do docusign.

Abound - Originally seemed simple with quick docusign the next day. However, no credit pull after a week. I called and found out the credit card application wasn't received. Refiled that. Transperian pull. Need to snail mail a check for $5 deposit and $10 donation.

 

All of them require a little extra patience in the application process. If they all get approved, I'll report back on ease of use of the cards themselves.

Goals: Wishes:
Message 13 of 26
AirForceOne
Frequent Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

@CL-Addiq  Appreciate your data points. Hope you get them all.

Message 14 of 26
credit8502020
Established Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?


@CL-Addiq wrote:

This wasn't really my intention when creating this thread, but I went ahead and went on an App Spree for all five cards mentioned. I figured I'd share my experience for others. For each, my intention was to directly apply for the credit card, not apply for the credit union and then apply for the credit card at a later date.

 

Alliant - Incredibly simple, fully automated, single form process. Transperian pull. They paid the $5 deposit.

Langley - Initial application relatively simple. Equifax pull. Received a call a couple days later and needed to provide paystub via email and do docusign. Paid $5 deposit via ACH.

Affinity - Application pretty straight forward. Paid $5 deposit via ACH. Experian pull. Followed up the next day to get a second paystub which was noted as optional on app. Systems were confusing whether the credit card application was received. I've been told it's in, but haven't gotten a response yet. (Maybe a bad sign!)

Nusenda - More challenging application. Experian pull. Required a few calls and emails. Everyone I've spoken to have been extremely helpful, but there have been a couple delays. $5 deposit via ACH, but had to work directly with an agent to provide proof of $10 donation and do docusign.

Abound - Originally seemed simple with quick docusign the next day. However, no credit pull after a week. I called and found out the credit card application wasn't received. Refiled that. Transperian pull. Need to snail mail a check for $5 deposit and $10 donation.

 

All of them require a little extra patience in the application process. If they all get approved, I'll report back on ease of use of the cards themselves.


@CL-Addiq Thank you for sharing these data points. I'm checking back to see how things worked out for each of these credit unions. 

Message 15 of 26
CL-Addiq
New Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

I was planning on sharing data points once I had successfully cashed out cashback on each account. However, I haven't done that yet on all accounts but I suppose that's a datapoint in itself.

 

Abound - I ended up being rejected by Abound. (My first ever rejection.) I'm quite sure this is because of the delay I mentioned before. When they eventually processed my application I was at 3/3. They returned my $15 new member fees. They used the same app vendor platform as Nusenda so I assume further data points should be pretty similar.

Nusenda - I had no issues downloading their app and connecting my accounts with my retirement planning accounts or personal finance software. Quarterly categories seem to be shared at the beginning of the year and stack with the 1% base for a total of 6% cashback. For Q4, they are also paying a 1% unlimited bonus cashback. At the beginning of the quarter, I was getting 7%, but now it's back to 6%. I don't know if that was a mistake with the Q4 bonus that has been fixed or it was the intro SUB 1% that was still active. The full cashback posts to a separate rewards account generally a day after the transaction posts it displays as base and bonus. You need $50 minimum to cash out and $25 increments. Cashing out involved an ACH transfer. Strangely, you can't get a statement credit or deposit it directly into a Nusenda account. I found it easier to just transfer out to my external checking account. I was able to setup autopay immediately even before using the card however I chickened out on my due date and made a manual payment because I was afraid it wouldn't work. Nusenda also has an "Earn Your Return" dividend that I think just requires having some money in your default savings account. I parked some money in there. We'll see if I earn the dividend. I think this is the only card that is a VISA instead of a VISA Signature. I'm sure this means you lose out on some perks, but I'm not sure exactly what.

Affinity - Affinity has two apps. One for everything and one specifically for the credit card. The second app is required to receive notifications, but everything else is in their main app. I don't really see the point. I was able to link my account easily to my retirement account planning, but downloading to personal finance software requires two separate logins. Again, why? As has been pointed out many times on the forum, their 5% stacks with the base spend rate. They only advertise their quarterly categories a few weeks before the start of the quarter. So far, they have been in areas that are typically high spend categories like gas and groceries and both earn a total of 7%. Cashback and the SUB go to a separate rewards account. The base rate posts a few days after the transaction posts. They partner with Ampre for bonus points at various, mainly local, establishments. (I strongly suspect Citi offers are also through Ampre. However, my Citi offers are only local whereas Ampre you can search nation wide. In fact, I took advantage on a recent vacation.) These post soon after the base points post. The bonus 5% is paid a couple weeks after the end of the quarter as a lump sum. This makes it hard to see which transactions qualified for bonus cashback. Minimum cash out is $25, but then 1c increments. I think you can get a statement credit or deposit only to an Affinity account and you have to copy/paste your account number into the rewards portal. It took a day or two to post. There is NO AUTOPAY. This is a big concern for me. They proactively reach out for feedback, and I shared this concern. I was told they're working on it. They have a SmartStart savings account which pays a pretty decent APR up to $5k so I threw some money in that. I wish this could just be on the required savings account though. There is a $2 fee for receiving a paper statement for the savings accounts, but not for the credit card statement.

Langley - Their app is pretty functional. I am unable to get my credit card account to show up in my retirement planning account despite multiple attempts. For a week or two originally, it also wouldn't link the savings account (which is primarly just for the minimum $5 deposit). They post their monthly categories at the beginning of the month and you need to pick one of three options. Their 5% categories are really 5%. They pay out at the end of the month as two deposits into your savings account. One for base spend and a second one for the bonus categories spend. My bonus spend didn't work for the first three months, so I had to send a support message. I hope that's not a regular occurrence. The SUB paid out the month after I qualified. Autopay was seamless. I'm pretty sure I set it up before I even received my card.

Alliant - The app is easy to use, but it's not fully functional. You can not check your cashback from the app. You need to use their website. Linking my accounts was seamless. The required share account is a savings account with a really competitive rate so I'm now using it as my primary savings account. I didn't use my card until Q4 when I was eligible for Tier 1 Rewards. They changed the terms so you can qualify after a single month now whereas I needed to wait a full quarter. There was no cashback after my statement cut midway through October. I made another purchase soon after that statement cut. I still have no cashback in my rewards account. Maybe it'll post with the next statement? I can report back once it finally posts. I'm pretty sure you need $50 to redeem. I believe this is the only account where points do expire. You can't setup autopay until you actually have a balance, but it worked seamlessly.

 

I hope that helps!

Goals: Wishes:
Message 16 of 26
credit8502020
Established Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?


@CL-Addiq wrote:

I was planning on sharing data points once I had successfully cashed out cashback on each account. However, I haven't done that yet on all accounts but I suppose that's a datapoint in itself.

 

Abound - I ended up being rejected by Abound. (My first ever rejection.) I'm quite sure this is because of the delay I mentioned before. When they eventually processed my application I was at 3/3. They returned my $15 new member fees. They used the same app vendor platform as Nusenda so I assume further data points should be pretty similar.

Nusenda - I had no issues downloading their app and connecting my accounts with my retirement planning accounts or personal finance software. Quarterly categories seem to be shared at the beginning of the year and stack with the 1% base for a total of 6% cashback. For Q4, they are also paying a 1% unlimited bonus cashback. At the beginning of the quarter, I was getting 7%, but now it's back to 6%. I don't know if that was a mistake with the Q4 bonus that has been fixed or it was the intro SUB 1% that was still active. The full cashback posts to a separate rewards account generally a day after the transaction posts it displays as base and bonus. You need $50 minimum to cash out and $25 increments. Cashing out involved an ACH transfer. Strangely, you can't get a statement credit or deposit it directly into a Nusenda account. I found it easier to just transfer out to my external checking account. I was able to setup autopay immediately even before using the card however I chickened out on my due date and made a manual payment because I was afraid it wouldn't work. Nusenda also has an "Earn Your Return" dividend that I think just requires having some money in your default savings account. I parked some money in there. We'll see if I earn the dividend. I think this is the only card that is a VISA instead of a VISA Signature. I'm sure this means you lose out on some perks, but I'm not sure exactly what.

Affinity - Affinity has two apps. One for everything and one specifically for the credit card. The second app is required to receive notifications, but everything else is in their main app. I don't really see the point. I was able to link my account easily to my retirement account planning, but downloading to personal finance software requires two separate logins. Again, why? As has been pointed out many times on the forum, their 5% stacks with the base spend rate. They only advertise their quarterly categories a few weeks before the start of the quarter. So far, they have been in areas that are typically high spend categories like gas and groceries and both earn a total of 7%. Cashback and the SUB go to a separate rewards account. The base rate posts a few days after the transaction posts. They partner with Ampre for bonus points at various, mainly local, establishments. (I strongly suspect Citi offers are also through Ampre. However, my Citi offers are only local whereas Ampre you can search nation wide. In fact, I took advantage on a recent vacation.) These post soon after the base points post. The bonus 5% is paid a couple weeks after the end of the quarter as a lump sum. This makes it hard to see which transactions qualified for bonus cashback. Minimum cash out is $25, but then 1c increments. I think you can get a statement credit or deposit only to an Affinity account and you have to copy/paste your account number into the rewards portal. It took a day or two to post. There is NO AUTOPAY. This is a big concern for me. They proactively reach out for feedback, and I shared this concern. I was told they're working on it. They have a SmartStart savings account which pays a pretty decent APR up to $5k so I threw some money in that. I wish this could just be on the required savings account though. There is a $2 fee for receiving a paper statement for the savings accounts, but not for the credit card statement.

Langley - Their app is pretty functional. I am unable to get my credit card account to show up in my retirement planning account despite multiple attempts. For a week or two originally, it also wouldn't link the savings account (which is primarly just for the minimum $5 deposit). They post their monthly categories at the beginning of the month and you need to pick one of three options. Their 5% categories are really 5%. They pay out at the end of the month as two deposits into your savings account. One for base spend and a second one for the bonus categories spend. My bonus spend didn't work for the first three months, so I had to send a support message. I hope that's not a regular occurrence. The SUB paid out the month after I qualified. Autopay was seamless. I'm pretty sure I set it up before I even received my card.

Alliant - The app is easy to use, but it's not fully functional. You can not check your cashback from the app. You need to use their website. Linking my accounts was seamless. The required share account is a savings account with a really competitive rate so I'm now using it as my primary savings account. I didn't use my card until Q4 when I was eligible for Tier 1 Rewards. They changed the terms so you can qualify after a single month now whereas I needed to wait a full quarter. There was no cashback after my statement cut midway through October. I made another purchase soon after that statement cut. I still have no cashback in my rewards account. Maybe it'll post with the next statement? I can report back once it finally posts. I'm pretty sure you need $50 to redeem. I believe this is the only account where points do expire. You can't setup autopay until you actually have a balance, but it worked seamlessly.

 

I hope that helps!


@CL-Addiq Thank you for the update. Congratulations on the continuous movement and new data points! 

Message 17 of 26
OmarGB9
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

@CL-Addiq thanks for coming back and updating us. Excellent write up. 


Last App: 9/22/2022
American Express Platinum Card

Currently rebuilding as of 04/11/2019.

Starting FICO 8 Scores:




Current FICO 8 scores:


Message 18 of 26
CL-Addiq
New Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

My new Alliant statement cut a few days ago. Cash out starts at $50 and is available on $1 increments. You can deposit to savings, checking, or a statement credit. Savings and checking require you to copy paste your account numbers into the cashback portal. (Just like with Affinity.)

 

The way cashback is calculated is deeply disappointing to me. I had read cashback is rounded to the nearest dollar, and I was hoping that meant the input, but it is indeed the output. My first statement I spent $25. At 2.5% cashback, that should be 62.5c and round up to $1 right? Wrong! Cashback is not calculated at 2.5% it is calculated as 1.5% and rounding to the nearest dollar and and then a second calculation at 1% that also rounds.

 

What does this mean for potential cash back rates?

.01-33.33 => 0% cashback!

33.34 => ~3% cashback

49.99 => ~2% cashback

50.00 => 4% cashback

99.99 => ~2% cashback

100.00 => 3% cashback

149.99 => ~2% cashback

150.00 => ~2.7% cashback

233.33 => ~2.1% cashback

233.34 => ~2.6% cashback

249.99 => ~2.4% cashback

250.00 => 2.8% cashback

 

These are for your total balance at the end of the month. There are cases when spending anything from 1c to $33.33 will net you $0. It's also theoretically possible to make a charge for 1c and get $1 meaning that transaction was worth 10,000% cashback, but that's just preposterous!

 

Given that I value TYP on my CDC at at least 1.08cpp, there are quite a few scenarios where I could come out behind. There are also cases where I could come out ahead, but I'm not much of a gambler. My plan is to use the card only for large transactions (>$250) and foreign transactions.

Goals: Wishes:
Message 19 of 26
MrDisco99
Valued Contributor

Re: Best CU CCs?

Alliant offer some very good dividend rates on deposits so I have my checking and savings with them.  I haen't bothered with rtheir credit card, though.  It just seems like too much hassle to get the best rewards on spend, and they've changed the rewards scheme so many times I don't trust them to keep it worth it anyway.  I'm satisfied with 2x on general spend or 1.5% on foreign spend with no strings.

 

Affinity's Cash Rewards Visa Sig is one of my favorite cards, especially this year with gas and groceries being recurring quarterly categories.  They have a $25 minimum redemption, but I earn rewards so fast that it's not much of a hinderance.  5% bonus credits a bit late about a month into the next quarter, but standard rewards, including 5% on Amazon credits right away.  I wish they would announce quarterly categories sooner, though.  Last two quarters I didn't see the email until very close to the start of the quarter which makes planning difficult.  I also parked $5K in their SmartStart Savings and I'm skimming the interest every month.

 

You've got me curious about the others.  I might try to get some of them next year.

Message 20 of 26
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