| Last updated on December 12th, 2023
William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Signature Card
William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Signature Card
- 20.24% to 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 20.24% to 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
- 30.24% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
- 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date Intro Purchase APR
At a Glance
The William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card earns cardholders 3% cash back on purchases they make at fast food restaurants, coffee shops, and through ridesharing services. Cardholders also earn 2% cash back on purchases they make at restaurants and gas stations. All other purchases earn cardholders 1% cash back. Additionally, new cardholders can take advantage of a reduced APR on balance transfers and purchases for 6 months from account opening date.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- No annual fee
- Earn 3% cash back at coffee shops and fast food restaurants and through rideshare services
- Earn 2% at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% everywhere else
- Enjoy a reduced APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 20.24% to 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 20.24% to 30.24% 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: 30.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Penalty APR: 32.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars; 2% of the transaction amount in other currencies
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- You're an alumni of The College of William & Mary and want to show your affiliation
- You spend frequently on fast food, coffee, and ridesharing and want to earn 3% cash back on those purchases
- You want to earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% on everything else
- You would like to have reduced APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers
- You don’t want to pay an annual fee to use a credit card
The William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card Review
The William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card from Commerce Bank is a rewards card with a tiered earning system. This credit card is intended for alumni of the College of William & Mary. However, you don’t need to be a graduate to apply for this card.
This Alumni Visa® Card doesn’t directly benefit William & Mary. Your purchases don’t contribute to any fund. Inversely, you don’t get any unique perks from William & Mary by using this card.
There are a couple of perks to owning this credit card. However, they are nearly identical to many other Commerce Bank credit cards. Cardholders earn 3% cash back whenever they purchase food or beverages at fast food restaurants and coffee shops. As well, cardholders earn 3% cash back when they use ridesharing services.
Additionally, cardholders earn 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants and gas stations. All other purchases earn cardholders 1% cash back.
What’s more, new cardholders receive a reduced APR for six months on purchases and balance transfers. There is no fee for using this credit card, which is a plus. You can learn more about this credit card in the sections below.
Although the William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card promotes itself as a cash back rewards card, that’s not necessarily true. In reality, cardholders earn points that they can then redeem for cash back. This detail actually gives you more flexibility in how you can use your points. There’s more information on redemption in the next section.
This card offers a tiered points system. This means that you earn different amounts of points depending on what kinds of purchases you make. This actually applies to the type of merchant you purchased something from rather than the type of item, itself.
With all this in mind, earning 3% cash back on fast food, coffee, and ridesharing takes on a deeper meaning. You actually earn three points for every dollar you spend in these categories. Furthermore, you only earn these points if you make purchases at businesses categorized as fast food restaurants, coffee shops, or ridesharing services.
As such, you won’t earn three points per dollar if you bought fast food or coffee at a gas station, for instance. However, you will earn two points for every dollar you spent on those purchases. That’s because you earn two points for every dollar on purchases you make at gas stations and restaurants. And that’s regardless of what you buy at these businesses.
Finally, this Visa® Card earns you one point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.
Using Your Rewards
As previously mentioned, the William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card gives you a lot of options when it comes time to redeem your points. In fact, Commerce Bank might be doing itself a disservice by promoting this card as a cash back credit card.
Now, you can redeem your points as cash back. However, it doesn’t happen automatically. You need to select to redeem at least 2,500 points as cash back on the Commerce Bank Rewards site. As well, you will only receive cash back rewards as a statement credit. There is no option for a cash deposit with this Visa Card.
You can also browse the rewards site for other items from the catalog. These include gift cards, airline tickets, and even fuel discounts. What’s great about the Commerce Bank rewards program is that the rewards catalog isn’t private. That means that anyone can peruse the selection of prizes.
Too many credit card issuers these days (especially smaller banks) do not have publicly visible rewards catalogs. As such, it is exceedingly difficult to see whether a credit card is even worth applying to.
While you can view the Commerce Bank rewards catalog, you cannot see how many points you need to obtain any of those prizes
Introductory APR on Purchases
Besides rewards, the William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card also offers cardholders a promotional APR on purchases. This reduced interest rate is available for six months from the date of signing up for this credit card.
This deal may help some consumers finance a large purchase. However, the purchases shouldn’t be too large because six months may not be enough time to pay off anything particularly large. In short, this deal might be good for purchasing an appliance but not for remodeling a home.
Additionally, keep in mind that the promotional APR begins on the date that you open an account and not the date that you make a purchase. As such, you should have an idea of what you want to purchase before you sign up for this card to maximize your special APR period.
Introductory APR on Balance Transfers
The William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card offers a similar promotion on balance transfers, too. New cardholders receive the same lowered APR on balance transfers for six months beginning on the date that they open an account.
However, this promotion may not be as beneficial to cardholders. For one, six months is a very short period of time to pay off a significant credit card balance.
As well, a reduced APR is still an APR. There are many other balance transfer cards that offer 0% interest for 12 months or longer. Such cards are better equipped to help consumers actually pay off credit card balances in their entirety.
Finally, this credit card charges a relatively high balance transfer fee, even when you transfer a balance during the promotional period. In the end, it may be better to keep your balances where they are than deal with the hassle of this card’s not-so-great offer.
Should You Apply for the William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Card?
If you want to show off your William & Mary pride, this may be a nice accessory to add to your collection of collegiate swag. However, keep in mind that owning this credit card does not benefit the college in any way. In effect, it’s almost like owning an alumni license plate cover. However, a license plate cover won’t charge you an interest rate.
This Visa Card’s rewards system may appeal more to current students than alumni. The fact that the highest earning categories are for coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and rideshare services seems nearsighted, at best. The truth is that Commerce Bank offers the same points system for dozens of other cards, without any regard for the cards’ target consumers.
The introductory APR “deals” are below average. Many credit cards offering promotional signup deals include 0% APR for 12 months or longer. This is in addition to lower interest rates and a rewards program that earns you points on purchases you actually make.
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