Today we are going to review the new 5% rotating category credit rewards card from ABOC, which stands for the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, and backed by Mastercard. This was a card that previously existed, but they've modified how it worked in 2019
It's a pretty exciting card mostly because of the 5% back since a lot of people value that. Diving right into the card, you're going to earn 5x points back on up to $1500 on different categories; pretty similar to the Discover IT card.
The card has no annual fee, and there does not seem to be a requirement to have any affiliation with ABOC, and it also doesn't seem that you need to be a resident of Illinois or Chicago to apply for this card.
Is it worth it?
In the short term, there's a welcome bonus of 150 dollars after $1,200 a minimum spend in the first 90 days. There's also a 0% APR offer for the first 12 months. For the signup bonus, it's fine, but there is going to be lower hanging fruit available, so if you are someone earlier in the game there are other cards you could probably go for first. For the sign-up bonus, the minimum spend is a bit higher than average but it really just depends on whether it makes sense for you and whether you can hit that spend.
In the long term, we need to look into the categories for 2019 to see whether it makes sense. For Q1 we know that it's dining, groceries, and pharmacy. Q2 is home improvement, wholesale and, warehouse clubs. Q3 is travel. Q4 is automotive parts, service, as well as repair purchases.
5x points back on up to $1500, and then everything after that is going to earn 1X back. Assuming that you maximize your spend here it's going to be 1500 times 5x, so 7,500 points. If you want to redeem the points for a statement credit, it's going to be worth 0.75 cents per point, and for travel portal it's going to be 1 cent per points.
This means that if you are someone after cash back you are going to be looking at 0.75 cents per points, so 0.75 times 5x is going to be 3.75. Our recommendation is to liquidate this through travel because even if you do one trip a year it's going to help pay for that.
Should you get the ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card?
If you are someone in the early game there are going to be better options than this card because there are better short-term ones; some offer 150 to 200 dollars sign up bonuses, other have welcome offers for $500 minimum spend, etc.
In the mid-game, once you have your Chase cards, and once you have other cards you want, this isn't too bad to add in as an option, especially if you do have a lot of spending in those different categories. Automotive, for example, there's not really any other cards that focus on that much. There are a lot of dining cards and travel cards and hotel cards, but not really to these specific things. In the long term the card makes sense just because, again, another 5x card for no annual fee seems like a no-brainer.
For people who are doing heavy travel, this card might not make sense because the sign-up bonus isn't high enough and you might have other priorities either for minimum spins or to generate free nights and similar perks.
ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card fees
Anual membership fee
foreign transaction fee
0% introductory APR for 12 months from date of account opening. Then 15.15% to 25.15% based on your creditworthiness.
3% of transaction amount
Main benefits and perks
Mastercard Zero Liability
Unlimited Rewards Points that don't expire
Extended warranty for purchases on your ABOC Platinum Rewards Card