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Last updated on October 31st, 2022
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At a Glance
The First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee earns cardholders one point for each dollar they spend on purchases. First Citizens adds your earned points to your account daily – no waiting for your points to appear. There’s no fee for this card, and you can transfer a balance an
Ideal for Those Who:
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee
- Want a rewards card that lets them redeem points for merchandise, gift cards, or cash back
- Plan to spend well over $10,000 a year with this credit card
- Are okay earning 1 point for every dollar spent
First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee Review
The Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee from First Citizens Bank is a basic card that seems almost identical to the Cash Back Visa card. At first glance, the only difference is that this credit card lets cardholders redeem points for items in a rewards catalog in addition to receiving cash back.
However, the devil’s in the details with this credit card. While the cash back card gives you freedom to rack up unlimited rewards and redeem them at your convenience, this rewards card places at more restrictions. Like a lot more restrictions.
Just like the other First Citizens cards, this credit card offers new cardholders 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months. Additionally, cardholders save money by paying no annual fee. Keep reading to learn more about this card’s features and whether they fit your financial needs.
Earn Points for Your Purchases
The First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee offers very basic rewards to its cardholders. You basically earn one point for every dollar you spend with your credit card.
There are many other rewards cards that earn you more points for your purchases. There are even some that offer a tiered rewards system by which you earn more points for certain categories of purchases.
On top of a bare-bones points system, this card doesn’t offer any points bonuses when you sign up. The good thing about this card is that there is no annual fee, which isn’t always the case with rewards cards.
However, you often sacrifice bigger rewards for having no annual fee to pay. For example, First Citizens offers another credit card that offers 50% more points for your purchases in addition to 2,500 bonus points when you sign up. But those earnings may not be as great when you factor in the annual fee.
The value of your points with this card is the same as it is for the other First Citizens Bank credit cards. Each point you earn has a cash value of one cent ($0.01).
The Big Difference Between This Card and The Cash Back Card
So, you might be looking at the First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee thinking that it’s like the cash back card but with the option to redeem your points for items from a rewards catalog. That’s only part of the reality.
The full story is that the Rewards Visa Card makes it very difficult for you to actually use your points for anything other than a cash deposit or statement credit. You have to earn 10,000 points before you can redeem anything through the First Citizens Rewards Center.
That means you have to spend at least $10,000 with your credit card before you can expect to obtain any type of reward. This detail requires that you have a high credit limit, which you may not qualify for or even want.
Additionally, you will need to be able to pay off most of your credit card bill every month to avoid getting into unmanageable debt. What’s more, even if you are able to spend a lot with this card, you can only earn a maximum of 10,000 points per month.
Perhaps you’re thinking that the rewards center has some amazing merchandise you can obtain. You’ll never know until you actually apply for this card. First Citizens is like many issuers these days who keep their rewards catalogs hidden from the public.
With other rewards cards, this can make it frustrating when you are trying to determine how much you need to earn in order to redeem points for something that’s valuable to you. With this particular card, it’s like the icing on the layer cake of unattractive features.
Redeeming Your Points
Fortunately, the First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee gives you the option to convert your points to cash back. This is the most efficient way to use your points, but it also makes this card practically identical to the cash back card.
One of the great features of First Citizens rewards cards is that the bank issues you points every single day. This makes it easy to see how many points you have racked up at any given moment. If you spent an indulgent day at the outlet mall, you could see how many points you’ve earned the next morning.
This might seem like a given on every rewards card, but that’s not the case. Many rewards cards have cardholders wait until the end of a billing cycle (or even the end of a year) until they calculate cardholders’ total points.
You can opt to convert your points to a statement credit or a cash deposit. For the latter, you’ll need to have a checking or savings account with First Citizens Bank. That’s not necessary if you want a statement credit.
What’s great about statement credits with First Citizens is that you can apply them to your credit card balance, personal loan or mortgage you hold with this bank. Additionally, you can redeem your points for cash back at any time and at any amount. However, keep in mind that your points do expire after three years.
0% Introductory APR on Balance Transfers
The First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee offers new cardholders zero interest on balance transfers they make within 90 days of opening an account. Cardholders have 12 months to pay off their balance at 0% APR before it automatically accrues interest.
This is a great feature of this credit card, but it’s not unique to this specific card. All First Citizens Bank’s personal credit cards offer new cardholders this promotion.
Nevertheless, this feature can help you pay off an existing credit card debt you have on a higher-interest card. Just keep in mind that this deal isn’t entirely free. You are still responsible for paying a balance transfer fee.
However, the fee is a fraction of what any bank would charge you in interest. In the end, it may be a small price to pay for paying off your balance interest-free.
Should You Apply for the First Citizens Rewards® Visa® Card with No Annual Fee?
The positive features of this card are almost identical to those of the First Citizens Rewards® Visa® with Unlimited Cash Back. In fact, the cash back card may offer greater benefits.
Redeeming points to use at the Rewards Center is practically unattainable for may consumers. Having to spend $10,000 before being able to use your points is a huge deterrent. While you can redeem your points for cash back, the Rewards Visa Card places restrictions on how many points you can earn per month.
The cash back card, on the other hand has no limits to how much you can earn. With that said, it is better to apply for the cash back card over this card.
If you do want the option of redeeming points at the First Citizens Rewards Center, you may want to consider the Accelerate Your Earnings Visa® from First Citizens. You will have to pay an annual fee, but you earn more points per dollar spent, receive 2,500 bonus points, and don’t have to worry about earning limits.