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*Disclaimer: This article is accurate as of the publish date July 25, 2013
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Students who are ready to start college for the first time or who are already in college have likely been receiving credit card pre-approvals in the mail for weeks. It’s important to do your research on all the cards on the market today instead of applying to the first offer you receive. You should take into consideration the annual fee, interest rate, rewards, penalty fees, and other prudent information. One card worth considering that you will not likely be receiving in the mail is the Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards® American Express® Card. This is one of the only cards that allows you to put your rewards towards college tuition. In fact, Sallie Mae recently reported that 17% of families used 529 college savings plans to pay for college in 2013. Let’s take a look at everything this 529 card has to offer.
Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards® American Express® Card Features:
- No Annual Fee
- No Limit on Cash Reward
- Earn 2 Points for Every $1 Spent on Everyday Purchases
- Retail Purchase Protection
- Zero Liability on Fraud Protection
- Travel & Emergency Assistance
What We Love:
Not only was this rated as “One of the Best Credit Cards” for 2011& 2012 by CBS Money Watch, this card also has multiple 5-star reviews. The Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards® Card from American Express® is the perfect card for those who are in college because rewards can be used towards funding your education. All you need to do is use your card for everyday purchases that earn you 2 points per every $1 you spend, which is better than a lot of rewards cards that typically give you 1 point per dollar. You will need a Fidelity-managed 529 account to be able to do this and members can set up automatic redemption to have rewards placed into your account. For every $2,500 you make on purchases, the equivalent of 5,000 points, a $50 contribution will be placed into your Fidelity account. That’s a two percent contribution you get towards your college fund! What’s more, family members and friends can link their Fidelity 529 College Rewards Cards to one 529 account to amp up the college fund contributions.
Additional benefits include 24-hour customer service, no annual fee, unlimited rewards, and merchandise purchase protection.
What We’re Not so Crazy About:
There’s not too much negative to say about this card since the focus is on college funding, so I’ll stick with a few FYI’s. Although there is no cap on the number of rewards you earn, they do expire after five years, but most card members should find it relatively easy to use the rewards in due time. Rewards also have no cash value unless they are converted into a cash deposit, and if you cancel your card, all rewards are forfeited. There is no intro APR offered and you must have a Fidelity account in order to use the rewards program.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, this is a great card to have if you are interested in using your rewards for college funds, either for yourself, or a family member. This is also one of the only rewards programs I know that allows you to link multiple Fidelity Rewards cards to your own Fidelity account to amp up funding accumulation. Rewards can also be redeemed in other ways, like traveling with no blackout dates, merchandise, gift certificates, and more. This card comes with a competitive APR rate at 13.99% and the APR for balance transfers is 0% for the first 7 statement closing dates following the opening of your account for transactions made in the first 60 days of opening your account.
Other Fidelity Rewards Cards:
If you are not a student but interested in the rewards the Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards® Card from American Express® offers, consider the Fidelity Investment Rewards Card or the Fidelity Retirement Rewards Card. The terms for both are the same as with the College Rewards card, but with the Retirement Card, family and friends may not link up to your account.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.