Fidelity Investments was founded in 1946 by Edward Johnson II as a privately held company serving investors across North America. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest mutual fund and financial services corporations in the world. Besides mutual fund management, Fidelity also offers brokerage services, retirement, life insurance and credit card services. Fidelity has 140 investor centers across the country and manages over $2.06 trillion in assets. They are also involved in a number of unrelated endeavors, such as luxury hotels, telecom and media companies. They even own a temporary employment agency called Veritude. Among their many savings and investment options, they have 529 College Savings Plans, which are tax-advantaged accounts designed to help people save for college.
APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers is 14.24%. This is superior to many credit card competitors due to the fixed APR. Many companies offer a variable APR based on the going Prime rate. Because the interest and other fees charged on any outstanding balance are greater than the cash value of the rewards points, you may pay more in fees and interest than the value of the points you earn if you do not pay your bill in full each month.
Annual fee range
There is no annual fee for the VISA card, which makes it superior to many companies offering credit cards. Typically, companies offer credit cards with annual fees, some as high as $400 per year. Having a $0 annual fee makes owning a credit card more affordable for everyday consumers.
Fidelity offers strong customer support 24/7. Their phone support is available anytime day or night and is a toll-free 800 number for general and account-specific questions. There are also a long list of toll-free numbers for customers traveling abroad. They also have a virtual assistant on their website where you can ask them questions in a live chat session in real time.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign Transaction fee: 1% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars. This is low compared with the industry standard of around 3%. We may change APRs, fees, and other Account terms in the future based on your experience with Elan Financial Services and its affiliates as provided under the Cardmember Agreement and applicable law.
Fidelity announced on Jan. 4, 2016 that their formerly Fidelity American Express Card has become the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. As a VISA card, it is now accepted at 38% more locations because the card will now be a Visa card, as opposed to American Express, which is more limited in where it is accepted. While many companies offer an average of 2-3 different credit cards to choose from (with varying benefits and offers) this is the only card Fidelity offers.
Options for Rewards
Some of Fidelity’s best rewards options are:
- Unlimited 2% cash-back
- Every net $1 spent equals 2 rewards points
- No limits on reward points and no restrictive categories
- Points will not expire
It is less common for a Rewards card to offer cash back and no limits on points or expiration dates. Most of the time you have until a certain date to use your points or lose them. This makes Fidelity’s card very appealing.
To guard your information and accounts, Fidelity provides security measures and suggestions for customers to participate in some security actions of their own. Here are the measures they encourage for cardholders:
- Change your password
- Download free anti-virus software
- Get extra login security
- Sign up for Transaction SecurityLog In Required
- Report an online security issue
- Learn how to spot a suspicious email
On the technology side, Fidelity has recently added a security feature called two-factor authentication to verify your identity. Two-factor authentication is a layer of security designed to prevent someone else from accessing your account, even if they know your password. It works by requiring you the cardholder to verify your identity using a random sequence of six numbers. You can choose to have this security code sent to your email, mobile phone, or alternate phone number. Each security code is used only once, so it isn’t another password you would have to create and remember. This feature is unique and makes Fidelity stand out from the crowd in the area of security and protection. Most companies have an 800 number to call for fraud but not technology such as this for their customers.
In cases where identity theft or fraud has occurred with your credit card, Fidelity says nothing for potential VISA card holders except to read the terms and conditions that come in print with the card via postal mail. Some companies do a better job at being transparent about fraud protection, such as offering zero liability. Fidelity does, in fact, have a strong customer protection feature for account holders, but this is not exactly the same for credit card fraud.
What sets Fidelity apart is that their Rewards Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee, a fixed APR (at a lower rate) and only a 1% Foreign Transaction fee. Most companies charge a standard 3% fee for foreign transactions in different currencies. These features make having a credit card with Fidelity more cost-effective. Cardholders also get access to digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, a feature that wasn’t available through the Fidelity American Express’s issuer, FIA Card Services, a division of Bank of America®. Also noteworthy is their rewards system, which allows customers to funnel points earned through their VISA card to other Fidelity account holdings (if you’re a Fidelity banking customer). For example, you can transfer rewards earned to your 529 College Savings Account as cash deposits.
If for some reason you pay your credit card bill late, Fidelity charges an additional Late fee up to $35. This goes against the $25 limit set by the 2010 Credit Card Act while being similar to many credit cards offered by other companies. The fee is high compared to some, who charge under $30. At $35, you could be left paying more than your actual minimum balance, so it appears they benefit more if you’re late on your payments.
Building Credit/Student Cards
While some companies offer cards for students or for those who want to build credit, Fidelity’s VISA card is solely a Rewards card for those with acceptable credit. This card is not a “starter” card or a secured card for customers with bad credit.