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Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

cws-21
Regular Contributor

Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

I finally got my mother on the cash back credit card train. She only cares to use one or two credit cards at the most (for now Smiley Wink) and she already had a Discover It card that is probably older than I am (and I have three daughters!). She applied and was approved for the AARP Credit Card from Chase and used it fairly regularly. Now that the card has moved to Barclays, and the rewards structure has somewhat changed, she would like to replace it with something that earns reasonably well in both dining and gas categories.

 

I thought I had the perfect card for her in the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card, but surprisingly (for me, at least) she cannot apply for it given she lives in New York State and PNC doesn't have a footprint in NY. She was unable to apply for it online so I called to inquire if there was a way around the restriction, but, unfortunately, I was told there was not. My first question, though I suspect I already know the answer, is does anyone know a way around the no applications inside NY restriction?

 

My mother's scores are all well above 800 with maybe on inquiry in the last 12 months so most cards should be within her grasp. She will unlikely be interested in a credit card from a credit union and she is only interested in cash back at this time. I am sure there is additional information I could/should provide, but I cannot think of it at the moment. With everything considered, and if the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card is no longer an option, what would be the best alternative for her? Any and all suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated.

 

 

Message 1 of 11
10 REPLIES 10
simplynoir
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

US Bank Altitude Go. It has 4% on dining, 2% on gas and groceries and grocery deliveries, and no AF

Message 2 of 11
Roger1071549
Established Member

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

It seems odd to me that would be their reason why she cannot apply for a PNC card as they do have branches in NYS. Granted, there arent many and they are all in NYC. 

My question for you: what category (categories) drew your interest of the cash rewards card? If her spending is more varied, the citi custom cash card might be nice. You get 5% in the highest category (out of a handful of categories including restaurants, gas or grocery). This is calculated on a monthly basis. 

Message 3 of 11
cws-21
Regular Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?


@simplynoir wrote:

US Bank Altitude Go. It has 4% on dining, 2% on gas and groceries and grocery deliveries, and no AF


Thanks for the suggestion, @simplynoir. I'm not sure why I didn't think of the AG for her given I have considered getting it myself!

Message 4 of 11
cws-21
Regular Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?


@Roger1071549 wrote:

It seems odd to me that would be their reason why she cannot apply for a PNC card as they do have branches in NYS. Granted, there arent many and they are all in NYC. 


My question for you: what category (categories) drew your interest of the cash rewards card? If her spending is more varied, the citi custom cash card might be nice. You get 5% in the highest category (out of a handful of categories including restaurants, gas or grocery). This is calculated on a monthly basis. 


Thank you for the reply, @Roger1071549. I also thought it was odd, though I didn't know there were any brances in NYC. I first learned about the restriction when I was walking through the application process with her and "New York" was not an option in the drop down menu so she could not complete the application. The customer service representative confirmed this over a phone call, though she was somewhat baffled as well. I, myself, have the Citi Custom Cash and though about it for her as well, but she would rather have one card primarily for cash back via dining and gas purchases (and to a lesser extent, groceries).

Message 5 of 11
_ptatohed
New Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

PNC is a bank, not a CU so that's odd they wouldn't have geographical restrictions. 

 

A similar thing happened to me.  When AARP went from 3% gas and dining (to gas a drug stores), I had to find a new 3% card for dining (for those non-5% quarters).  I also wanted to add groceries this time around.  So, 3% CB on gas, dining, groceries.  I know you said your mom wants fewer cards but it was easiest for me to just keep AARP (3% gas), and add Savor (3% dining, groceries, entertainment, streaming).  So, that's an option if she is ok with 2 cards.  It does give 3% on 6 different categories, between the 2 cards, so that's nice.

 

The best CB card I can find that does 3% gas, dining, groceries is the Golden1 CU Platinum Rewards.  It looks like they are in Ontario CA.  Coincidentally, not far from me.  I do not know the geographical restriction, if any, of membership.  I have not applied for this card.    

https://www.golden1.com/credit-cards-loans/credit-cards

 

Lastly, turns out I will likely sock drawer the AARP, the Savor (after I earn the welcome bonus), and even my citi DC.  Because I recently was approved for the 3% everythging AOD FCU card, which still leaves an ear to ear grin on my face.  If your mom is willing to jump through some hoops, it's the best non category CB card out there.  

 

Good luck!  

5% CB rotating: ; Everyday 3% CB: ; Everyday 5%: ; Retired to sock drawer after AOD: ; In my sights / On my radar:
Message 6 of 11
ChargedUp
Senior Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

If her DTI is low, I'd say help her grab the AOD Signature Visa for all around 3%. It's true cash back and the 3% is taken off the statement total every month automatically. Easy Peasey! For sure, there's a few hoops to jump through to get the card, but once she has it, she'll have the best all around cash back card that we know of around here!

 

As far as PNC, the work around is opening a savings or checking online, wait 6 months and then you can apply for their card products using the phone app,from anywhere. (I used this method personally from CA before the BBVA merger.) As far as being in NY, they *do* have 5 branches in NYC, so I don't see why mom wouldn't be in their foot print.

 

There's also the Bank of the West Cash Back MC which is 3% Gas, Grocery and Dining, but I'm not sure you could get that one from NY. Rewards redemption is clunky with $25 blocks and their SL's seem to usually be stuck at $3K most of the time.

 

Amex Blue Cash Everyday is 3% Grocery and 2% gas and 2% Department Stores.

 

Golden1 CU is geo-restricted to California BTW.

AODFCU 3% Visa ($10K), Amex Gold (NPSL), Amex BCP ($27K), Amex Simply Cash+ ($4K), Amex Business Cash ($22.5K), Discover ($29.7K), Cap 1 Union Plus MC ($2750), Chase FU Visa Sig ($12K), Chase F Visa Sig ($8.3K), Chase CSP Visa Sig($6.5K), Elan Everyday Rewards+ Visa Sig($15K), BOC/Elan Max Cash MC ($25K), Buckle ($1.3K), BofA AAA Rewards ($84.5K), Paypal credit ($10K), PNC Points Visa Sig ($7.5K), Cap 1 Savor ($13K), PenFed PCR ($5K), Bank of the West CB MC ($3.6K), PNC Cash Rewards Visa Sig ($14K), NASAFCU Rewards Visa ($20K), BoA Business Customized Cash Rewards MC ($8k), Chase Amazon Visa Sig ($35K)
Message 7 of 11
FormerCollegeDJ
Regular Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?

It's too bad the Wells Fargo Propel is no longer an option for new applicants because that card would have been ideal for your mother.

Playing the credit card rewards game since early May 2020.

Current credit cards:
*Discover Cash It, 10/5/94, $10,000 CL
*American Express Hilton Honors, 9/23/96, $16,500 CL
*Kohl's store card, 7/31/00, $2500 CL
*Chase Amazon Rewards Visa, 10/29/06, $11,000 CL
*Citi Sears/Thank You Rewards Mastercard, 9/19/09, $2001 CL (LOL)
*Citi My Best Buy Visa, 12/29/11, $4600 CL
*Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard, 10/17/15, $15,000 CL
*Bank of America AAA Member Rewards Visa, 3/9/17, $15,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa, 6/29/20, $11,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard, 11/9/20, $9900 CL
*Capital One SavorOne Mastercard, 3/30/21, $10,000 CL
*Wells Fargo Propel American Express, 4/11/21, $10,000 CL
*PSECU Founder's Visa, 12/2/21, $30,000 CL

Next target credit cards:
*US Bank Cash+ Visa
*Citi Custom Cash Mastercard
*Elan Financial Services Max Cash Preferred (S&T Bank Visa version)
Message 8 of 11
cws-21
Regular Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?


@_ptatohed wrote:

A similar thing happened to me.  When AARP went from 3% gas and dining (to gas a drug stores), I had to find a new 3% card for dining (for those non-5% quarters).  I also wanted to add groceries this time around.  So, 3% CB on gas, dining, groceries.  I know you said your mom wants fewer cards but it was easiest for me to just keep AARP (3% gas), and add Savor (3% dining, groceries, entertainment, streaming).  So, that's an option if she is ok with 2 cards.  It does give 3% on 6 different categories, between the 2 cards, so that's nice.

 

Good luck!  


Thank you, @_ptatohed. I have already suggested to my mother that she could get another card for dining, but she is unlikely to use three cards (including her Discover).

Message 9 of 11
cws-21
Regular Contributor

Re: Best alternative to PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card?


@ChargedUp wrote:

If her DTI is low, I'd say help her grab the AOD Signature Visa for all around 3%. It's true cash back and the 3% is taken off the statement total every month automatically. Easy Peasey! For sure, there's a few hoops to jump through to get the card, but once she has it, she'll have the best all around cash back card that we know of around here!

 

As far as PNC, the work around is opening a savings or checking online, wait 6 months and then you can apply for their card products using the phone app,from anywhere. (I used this method personally from CA before the BBVA merger.) As far as being in NY, they *do* have 5 branches in NYC, so I don't see why mom wouldn't be in their foot print.


Thanks for the reply, @ChargedUp. I agree that the AOD would be her best bet, and I intend to apply for it myslef by the end of next week at the latest, but, unfortunately, my mother is unlikely to jump through the hoops to acquire it.

Message 10 of 11
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