Commerce Bank got its start in Kansas City in 1865 when its founder launched what was then known as the Kansas City Savings Association. In addition to credit cards, Commerce provides a full range of financial products to consumer and commercial customers including: lending, payment processing, trust, brokerage and capital markets services. Currently, Commerce has 204 full-service branches and 406 ATMs in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado. The company’s roots remain in Kansas City today and several of its cards offer benefits that are specifically for Missourians, including events for the Kansas City Royals, the St. Louis Blues, and the Kansas City Zoo. The company’s slogan is “We ask, listen and solve” with past rankings as fourth in the $5 billion to $50 billion asset category on Bank Director magazine's 2012 Bank Performance Scorecard.

 

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
8.24 - 18.0%
8.3
#2
11.24 - 23.24%
8.0
#3
11.24 - 23.24%
7.9
#15
commerce_bank
10.49 - 20.49%
7.3

The Good

Annual fee range

Annual fees with Commerce range from $0 to $125. All of their cards have no annual fees with the exception of two: Commerce Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card at $49 per year and their Commerce Bank Mastercard® World Elite card at $125 per year. Offering most of their unsecured credit cards without annual fees is commendable and more beneficial than several competitors we found that charged annual fees for most—if not all, in some cases—of their credit cards. A few companies offer all of their cards without annual fees as well. Even so, if annual fees are a concern, Commerce Bank is a viable place to look.

Customer support

Commerce Card® customers have access to customer support via telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also offer a phone number for lost or stolen credit cards that is also available 24/7. If you’re outside of the United States, there is a separate number where you call collect 24 hours a day. We learned that quite a few companies have limited phone hours, so Commerce is superior in the area of phone support. There are also many companies offering 24/7 phone support as well, making Commerce competitive in this area. One thing we found unique was Commerce’s customer feedback forum listed with their customer support phone numbers. Commerce encourages their cardholders to provide feedback through their Allegiance customer feedback forum on Commerce’s website. You have the option to select one of the following: Compliment, Suggestion, Question or Complaint.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Commerce beats the competition when it comes to their foreign transaction fees, which range from 1-2%. If using your Commerce Card® overseas or in other countries outside the U.S., you pay 1% of each transaction in U.S. Dollars. 2% of each transaction made in other currencies. Meanwhile, their Commerce Bank Mastercard® World Elite has no foreign transaction fees at all. Almost all credit card companies offer cards with a 3% foreign transaction fee, making Commerce a less expensive option. Some companies offer one or two cards without foreign transaction fees as well, so that is not so rare, but Commerce’s cards are very competitive in this regard.

Cards Offered

Commerce Bank offers customers the following credit cards:

  • Special Connections® Visa® with Rewards
  • Special Connections® Mastercard® with Rewards
  • Commerce Bank Visa Signature®
  • Commerce Bank Mastercard® World Elite
  • Royals™ MasterCard® with Rewards
  • Drury Gold Key Club Credit Card
  • St. Louis Blues MasterCard®
  • Commerce Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card
Options for Rewards

The majority of the credit cards Commerce Bank offers are stellar, providing points that consumers can redeem for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or cash back.
Some of First National’s best rewards options:

The Kansas City Royals MasterCard®:

  • Earn 2% & 3% Cash Back on select purchases
  • Redeem for 1% Cash Back or choose from gift cards, travel, merchandise and more

Drury Gold Key Club Credit Cardholder VIP Benefits:

  • Best room available within the category booked
  • Early check-in and late check-out privileges (when available)
  • Complimentary room upgrade promotions
  • Exclusive offers and bonus points

St. Louis Blues MasterCard®

  • Exclusive Blues™ Game Day Experiences where you cash in rewards points for Blues merchandise or for Blues sporting events like:
  • Penalty box pre-game seat tickets (currently sold out for the upcoming hockey season)
  • Olympia Ride Package where you take a ride on an Olympia ice cleaning machine for one intermission as the maintenance crew prepares the ice during a Blues regular season home game.
  • For 5000 rewards points you can get Blues Private Practice Package where you and a friend are invited to come check out a Blues Private Practice session before a game. (There is still availability for next season).

Commerce’s rewards options carry the option of a higher points percentage (2-3%) than many cards offered by competing companies—many of whose cards are relegated to 1% points or cashback. Also, we find many of Commerce’s rewards to be easy to cash in and tangible.

Security

Security measures and policies for Commerce Bank include:

  • Zero Liability coverage
  • Emergency Card Replacement
  • Emergency Cash Disbursement

In cases of fraud, Commerce’s Zero Liability coverage protects you from being responsible for unauthorized transactions made on your Commerce credit card. If your card is lost or stolen, Commerce makes sure you get your card replaced in an expedient manner and money to carry you over until the card arrives.

Zero Liability is very common among credit card companies—it is almost a standard feature for any card to be competitive. However, emergency card replacement and cash disbursement is not very common and a more advanced feature than many companies offered credit cards today.

Commerce, however, does not offer Identity Theft coverage. This would have been a great compliment to their Zero Liability policy. We did find that other companies who offer both.

Unique Features

Commerce offers some unique features not offered by most credit cards. They offer a feature called toggle®, a free and flexible payment feature that lets you Pay Now™ or Pay Later™ for any of your credit card purchases, all on one card. They also offer mobile wallet/Apple Pay, letting you make purchases with your iphone and Apple Watch.

Commerce also carries an affiliate link to the Charity Charge World MasterCard®. You can sign up for this card through Commerce’s website. This card lets you donate to your favorite charity. With every purchase you make, you get 1% Cash Back to the charity, nonprofit, k-12 School, college or religious organization of your choice. We have not found other credit card companies to offer this type of card, general or specific.

Building Credit/Student Cards

Commerce does offer customers a chance to build their credit with the Commerce Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card. With a $49 Annual Fee and a variable 18.49% APR, this card carries benefits like Zero Liability coverage, an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Emergency Card Replacement, Emergency Cash Disbursement and
$100,000 Travel Accident Insurance. The card lets you establish or rebuild your credit history while earning interest on the required collateral deposit into an interest bearing Secured Credit Card Savings Account. We found that Commerce’s emergency cash disbursement and other Secured card benefits are not offered for most secured cards currently on the market. We also found that the $49 annual fee is pretty competitive in relation to other companies who are offering their secured cards at higher annual fees. Although this card requires you make a collateral deposit in an interest bearing savings account to qualify and does not offer a rewards program, Commerce Bank is one of the few banks we have reviewed that offers a credit card to people with no or poor credit history.

The Bad

APR Range

If you’re applying for any Commerce Card® Credit Card, most of them carry a 0% Introductory APR ranging from 0% to 1.99% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for the first 6-9 monthly billing cycles. Ongoing APRs range from 10.49% to 20.49%, which are variable and based on both the current prime rate and your credit eligibility. Typically, intro APRs run for 12-15 billing cycles, making Commerce’s intro APR range less than competitors. Also, their 1.99% intro APR is unusual, since most cards carry 0% intro APRs for their cards.

Late Payment

Late Commerce Card® payments carry a penalty fee of up to $37. This range is extremely common among credit card companies, so Commerce is no better or worse in this regard. This fee is slightly higher than some companies we found to carry fees up to $35. Very few credit card companies were found to obey the $25 late fee limit for their cards as recommended by the 2010 Credit Card Act. One or two companies have been found to offer late fees less than $25, but those that do are better offers than Commerce when it comes to late payment penalties.

The Bottom Line

Commerce Bank offers several credit cards that provide rewards that are part of the Commerce Bank Rewards Program. These cards offer appealing benefits including the ability to apply points towards airline and other travel expenses, merchandise purchases, local sporting events, gift cards, and cash back. Commerce Bank also offers a credit card for people who want to start or rebuild their credit history.

Commerce has average APR offers and below-average intro APR offers, but shines when it comes to rewards options, annual fees, foreign transaction fees and security features. They also have free, unique accommodations like toggle® for mobile users.

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