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Last updated on July 16th, 2021
University of Idaho Rewards Visa®
1.99% APR for the First 6 Months
- Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
- Processing Network Visa
- No annual fee
- 3% back on fast food, coffee shop, and rideshare purchases
- 2% back on gas and restaurants
- 1% back on all other purchases
- Rewards expire after 3 years
- Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater
- Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars; 2% of each transaction made in currencies other than U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The University of Idaho Rewards Visa is a no annual fee credit card that rewards Vandals’ alumni with points for every purchase. The card, from Commerce Bank, features 3% back on fast food, coffee, and ride shares, and comes with an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are a University of Idaho alumnus
- Want a no annual fee card to use for everyday purchases
- Frequently use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft
University of Idaho Rewards Visa® Review
The University of Idaho Rewards Visa lets Vandals alumni support their school and earn rewards at the same time.
How to Earn Rewards
The University of Idaho Rewards Visa® earns 3% cash back on coffee shop and fast food purchases, plus 3% back on rideshares. The card also earns 2% back on other restaurant purchases and at gas stations, with all other purchases receiving 1% back.
The 3% back rate on fast food and coffee shops makes the card an ideal addition to a night on the town or weekend catch up with friends or family. The “night out” credentials of the card is further bolstered by 3% back with rideshare apps, like Lyft and Uber. After all, who doesn’t enjoy getting 3% back for late-night eats and a ride home?
That’s not to say that the card doesn’t also work for those who prefer fine food to greasy grub. 2% back on dining isn’t an exceptional amount of rewards, but it is certainly respectable. The addition of 2% cash back on gas station purchases places the University of Idaho Rewards Visa firmly in the same league as the Discover It chrome. Both feature no annual fee and 2% back on gas and dining. The Idaho Rewards, however, also features those 3% back categories, giving it the edge.
Every other purchase with the card earns a flat rate of 1% back. There are no limits to the total number of rewards a cardholder can earn. Rewards expire after three years, however. Fortunately, that leaves plenty of time to build-up quite the haul of rewards.
How to Redeem Rewards
Rewards apply to the Commerce Bank Rewards program. While the card states that rewards are a percentage back of the purchase, this is something of a fib. Rewards are actually points. This means that instead of 3% back on rideshares, the cardholder gets 3X points. Points apply to a variety of reward options, including cash back. Other redemption options include travel, gift cards, merchandise, fuel discounts, or as gifts to friends or family.
Cash back rewards are one of the best options for points, especially as the valuation of points through this method is one cent per point. This means that 2,500 points have a value of $25. Coincidentally, 2,500 points are the minimum number of points Commerce requires for any form of redemption.
Gas discounts are another popular redemption method, though the value of this option depends heavily on where you live. Rewards apply towards discounts with the BP Driver Rewards Program. As such, the points are only valid at select BP locations. Rewards do not carry over after a redemption, with a maximum redemption of 20 gallons. This means to get the most value, you must get the full 20 gallons of fuel – otherwise, you will leave money on the table.
Special Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers
The University of Idaho Rewards Visa offers more than quality rewards with every purchase. The card also benefits from two special introductory APR offers. New accounts enjoy 1.99% APR for the first six months on both purchases and balance transfers.
Once the introductory period ends, cardholders can anticipate a variable APR that is competitive with similar rewards cards – but not exceptional. While co-branded Commerce Bank credit cards never offer interest rates that are tough to beat, they also never provide extortionate rates.
The combination of a low introductory APR followed by an average interest rate doesn’t make the card a can’t miss. Rather, it makes the University of Idaho Rewards Visa a decent balance transfer option for those who have a small balance they want to pay off – or those planning a purchase they want to pay down over time.
Other Card Features
Beyond the rewards and decent introductory APR offer, there really isn’t much to talk about with the University of Idaho Rewards Visa. The card charges a foreign transaction fee of up to 2%, which is frustrating for those who either plan to travel abroad or use their card for making purchases in foreign currencies. The card also charges a penalty APR. While penalty APRs aren’t uncommon, they are still frustrating. Fortunately, Commerce provides a 60-day window in which to make payments before assessing the penalty.
Should You Apply for the University of Idaho Rewards Visa®?
The University of Idaho Rewards Visa has a minimal reach. After all, the card is marketed with the University of Idaho’s name. For those students, alumni, parents, or even Vandals fans, however, the card offers value with every purchase.
No annual fee rewards cards like the Idaho Rewards Visa are ideal as an everyday tool. That’s because they offer rewards on the types of things people spend heavily on – even if they don’t recognize it. Rewards on gas are something everyone can enjoy, but the real value comes from getting the most out of our busy lives.
3% back on coffee shops, fast food, and ride shares makes the card a valuable addition to any night out or best friends catch-up. The 2% back on dining means that even if meeting up with friends is at a charming bistro rather than the local burger joint, you still get rewarded for staying in touch.
Ultimately, the University of Idaho Rewards visa is a niche rewards card that serves that unique base very well. The card earns rewards in a variety of places and offers a satisfactory APR. With the addition of no annual fee, you get an everyday purchasing tool that works well on campus, at the big game, or anywhere else life takes you.