Review Of The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard
A great majority of rewards credit cards are for people who have outstanding credit scores. Issuers want to minimize the risk in giving these short-term credit card loans to people who have a strong credit history. The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® is a rewards card that is a bit different: it is available to people with good or fair credit. That means the card is a solid choice for a much greater percentage of the public.
Who Issues The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard?
The Amalgamated Bank of Chicago offers the ABOC Platinum Rewards card. This bank has been around for almost 100 years. It was founded in 1922 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union. Until 1991, it was known as the Amalgamated Trust and Savings Bank.
The ABOC Platinum Rewards MastercardABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® allows consumers to earn cash back for every dollar spent with the card. For every $1 spent, cardholders will earn one ABOC Rewards Point. The rewards can be redeemed for travel, merchandise or a statement credit. There is no limit on the number of points that can be earned and the rewards never expire. There is also an introductory bonus: during the first 90 days from opening the account, consumers can earn a $150 statement credit if they make at least $1,200 in transactions on the card. There are also some enhanced rewards opportunities that are offered each quarter. ABOC awards five points per $1 spent on the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter on these categories:
First Quarter: Monthly Bills (qualifying utilities, cell, cable, Amazon Prime and streaming subscription services)
Second Quarter: Dining and Transportation (grocery, restaurant, several forms of transportation)
Third Quarter: Travel (airline, cruise, car rental, hotel, travel agency, gas, tolls, ride share)
Fourth Quarter: Department Stores (qualifying department and electronics stores, superstores, Amazon.com, and other major online retailers)
Customers simply have to open an account at ABOCRewards.com and register to enjoy these additional rewards points.
There is also an introductory APR offer on the ABOC Platinum Rewards card. New customers receive 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers. The ongoing APR on both balance transfers and purchases is 12.90% - 22.90% (variable) based on your creditworthiness when you put in your application.
Please note: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago has temporarily suspended its balance transfer offer for new accounts due to the current economic environment. ABOC expects to reinstate this benefit in late 2020; in the meantime, new cardmembers can still receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and have the opportunity to earn a $150 statement credit when they spend $1,200 within 90 days after account opening.
There is no annual fee on the card, no foreign transaction fees, and you will not be slapped with a penalty interest rate if you are late with a payment. However, you will incur a one-time fee if you miss a payment. The card is compatible with most of the major mobile wallet apps: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Masterpass, and Android Pay.
Is The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard Right For Me?
The ABOC Platinum Rewards card is a good rewards card for people that may have fair or even good credit. There are not a tremendous number of choices of rewards cards for people in this credit profile, so getting the rewards that this card offers makes it an attractive card for people in this situation. If you have excellent credit, there are more attractive rewards cards on the market which pay 1.5% to 2% on every purchase without any restrictions or registrations needed.
Taking Steps To Improve Your Financial Situation & Credit Score
If you find yourself with just fair or good credit, you may want to make a concerted effort to raise your credit score. While the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® is a solid choice for people with fair or good credit, there are more lucrative rewards cards on the market, but they are only available to people with excellent credit. Here are some things you can do to possibly increase your credit score:
1. Pay Your Bills On Time. Your payment history is the most important factor in determining your credit score. You need to be diligent in paying your bills on time and utilize every resource available to you in order to make this happen. Credit card issuers offer some free tools along these lines: you can receive a text or email reminder of when your payment is due. An even better way to assure your credit card payment is made on time each month is to set up automatic payments made from your checking account. If you are working to increase your credit score, you must not make a late payment on any of your bills.
2. Keep a low level of debt. If you are carrying a high amount of debt, this can negatively affect your credit score. Another important element of your credit score is what is called your debt utilization. For a credit card, the debt utilization is the amount of debt you have divided by the credit limit on that card. Financial experts say the debt utilization figure should be no higher than 30%. So if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and you have $5,000 of debt on that card, your debt utilization is 50%. You need to work hard to lower that debt by $2,000 in order to bring the number to 30%. It is a good sign to the issuers if you can maintain this level of debt.
3. Try paying off your balance each month in full. There is an old credit card adage that says you should not make any charge on your credit card that you cannot afford to pay off by the end of the month. Ideally, you should aim to not carry any balance from one month to the next. That is how you can avoid the steep interest rates commonly found on credit cards. Interest charges on unpaid balances will make an already-bad financial situation even worse. If you pay your entire balance each month on time, using a credit card will be practically free since you will not be paying any interest charges.
4. Closely watch your credit score and credit report. It used to be expensive to get your credit score but it is now available free from a number of issuers each month. Utilize this service and begin monitoring your score on a monthly basis. Take note of any decrease and immediately investigate the reason for such a drop. Similarly, credit reports are also free. You can obtain one free report from each of the three main credit bureaus each year. Contact Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to obtain your copy, or go to annualcreditreport.com. Monitor your credit report to see that all the activity and accounts are valid.
Whether you apply for the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® or another card, taking steps to increase your credit score and solidify your financial situation will help you in securing better rates on future loans.