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ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Review

ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Review

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This article was last updated Nov 15, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is a solid card offering 5x rewards points in rotating categories. While not a cashback card, it faces competition from a couple of the most popular 5% cashback cards on the market, but carves out a niche for itself by being available to consumers with fair/good credit scores.

In this article:

Where the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card stands out

  • $150 Statement Credit

  • 0% for 18 months

  • 0% for 12 months on purchases

Highlights
  • 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months and Balance Transfers for 18 months; after that the variable APR will be 14.40% – 24.40%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Earn $150 Statement Credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening
  • Earn 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive
  • No upper limit on the points you can accumulate, and since points never expire, you can save up for a big award!
  • Earn Points on Every Purchase! It’s simple: $1 = 1 Point
  • No Annual Fee
  • Select Your Rewards Your Way

See additional details for ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

More Info

Rewards. 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive. 1x unlimited points on all other purchases. The 5x categories for 2019 were:

  • January-March: Dining and grocery purchases
  • April-June: Home improvement purchases
  • July-September: Travel purchases
  • October-December: Automotive purchases

There’s no limit to how many rewards points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as your credit card account is in good standing.

One unique feature of this card is that you only have to activate 5x rewards once compared to competing cash back cards, such as the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom®, where you must remember to activate a new category each quarter.

Points earned with the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card are worth varying amounts depending on how you choose to redeem them:

  • Travel = $.01 per point
  • Statement credits = $.0075 per point
  • Gift cards = $.008 per point

Good intro APR offers. Get an intro 0% for 12 months on purchases (after that, a 14.40% - 24.40% Variable APR applies) and an intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers (after that, a 14.40% - 24.40% Variable APR applies).

While there are credit cards offering longer 0% APR introductory periods, this is a solid offer and can give you the opportunity to pay off a large purchase — such as furniture or electronics — or debt from another card without accruing interest charges during the introductory promotion period. Do note that if you use the card for a balance transfer, there is a fee of 3% of each balance transfer (minimum $5).

Decent sign-up bonus. $150 statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening. The spending requirement is a little on the high side for the size of the bonus, but if you break it your spending to $400 a month, that should be achievable if you’re putting the bulk of your purchases on this card.

Additional benefits

No annual fee. The annual fee on this card is $0, which means you have the chance to earn net rewards or take advantage of the intro APR offers without worrying about an annual fee.

No foreign transaction fee. Don’t worry about paying a foreign transaction fee on each purchase when you use this card outside the United States — there is none.

Chance to earn extra points. ABOC provides a portal where you can shop online with participating retailers and earn extra rewards points.

No penalty APR. If you pay late, you’ll be charged a late fee, but your APR won’t go up because of your late payment. However, you should always make sure to pay on time, because that’s the most important factor for maintaining a good credit score.

Where the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card falls short

There are a variety of ways to redeem your rewards points, but the value of those points varies depending on how you redeem them. There is a rewards site where you can register and view details once you have a card. Ways to redeem points include:

  • Cash in the form of statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Cruises
  • Airfare

Points are worth 1 cent each if you redeem them for travel — but are worth a smaller amount if you choose a different redemption option. This means that even though the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card earns 5x rewards on certain purchases, it’s not quite up to par with an actual 5% cashback card that offers a set value for rewards regardless of how you redeem them.

Compare it with the Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.. The annual fee is $0. From its sign-up bonus to its ongoing rewards, it offers cardholders an excellent value.

Here’s how the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card and the Discover it® Cash Back stack up:

ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card Discover it® Cash Back
Sign-up bonus $150 statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening. For new cardmembers, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*
Rewards 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive. 1x unlimited points on all other purchases. 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Purchase APR Introductory 0% for 12 months. After that, a 14.40% - 24.40% Variable APR applies. Introductory 0% for 14 months. After that, an APR of 13.49% - 24.49% variable applies.
Balance transfer APR Introductory 0% for 18 months. After that, a 14.40% - 24.40% Variable APR applies. Introductory 0% for 14 months. After that, an APR of 13.49% - 24.49% variable applies.
Annual fee $0 $0
Foreign transaction fee None None

With both of these being no-annual-fee cards, the Discover it® Cash Back has an edge on the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card. The Discover it® Cash Back’s sign-up bonus has the potential to be worth a significant amount if you use this card for most of your spending during the first year of having it, and there’s no need to worry about what your rewards are worth — you earn cash back rather than points of varying value.

The only potential downside is that Discover is still not as widely accepted in some places as Mastercard. While it’s not likely to present a big problem in the United States, cardholders might find it to be more of a factor if traveling outside the country.

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • Any amount, any time. Cash back rewards never expire*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

Another 5% card with rotating cashback categories (each quarter you activate) worth considering is the Chase Freedom®. For more details, check out our evaluation of how the Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® Cash Back compare.

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 16.49% - 25.24% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey?

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

However, the Discover it® Cash Back is aimed at those with excellent/good credit, and the Chase Freedom® looks for excellent/good credit as well. If you’re worried that your credit score doesn’t quite measure up, you might have a better chance of getting approved for the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card.

Plus, if you don’t like having to remember to activate new categories each quarter, the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card offers the convenience of registering for an ABOC Rewards account one time, and automatically getting 5x rewards in rotating categories going forward.

The bottom line

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is a decent choice if you’re looking for a card that offers 5x rewards and charges a $0 annual fee. However, because points are worth varying amounts depending on how you redeem them, the Discover it® Cash Back and the Chase Freedom® could provide better value overall.


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See additional details for Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

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