Interesting Credit Card — Fidelity American Express 2% Cash Back or 2 Air Canada Aeroplan Miles Per Dollar

TM Travel World reports that the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express from Bank of America earns 2 points per dollar spent and 5000 points auto deposits into a Fidelity brokerage account as $50. That amounts to 2% cash back.

There’s also apparently an option to turn off direct deposit of cash into Fidelity and convert points one-to-one into Air Canada Aeroplan, which means you earn 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent. It’s a no annual fee card to boot. Interesting deal! Haven’t done full due diligence yet but it’s got my attention. Anyone out there with experience on this one?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If it works like my 2% back Schwab Visa, you only get 1 point per dollar, and then 1 point converts to 2 cents in your schwab account…

  2. Do you know how you turn off direct deposit of cash into Fidelity and convert points one-to-one into Air Canada Aeroplan? Thanks!

  3. I have this card through FIA card services (not B of A). I’m not aware of the Aeroplan option, but I have been receiving a 2% cash rebate, deposited into a Fidelity money market account

  4. As it is issued by American Express, then it would not be from Bank of America, which is a different company.

  5. You get 2 BofA Worldpoints for every dollar spent. 5,000 translates into 50 bucks into your Fidelity account. You can have this automatically converted, or you can just hoard the Worldpoints and convert them into money in your Fidelity account as you wish. OR you can use those Worldpoints just like any other. i.e. transfer them to Aeroplan. Admittedly, I have not done this with my Fidelity card (just got it) and probably won’t. But I have transferred Worldpoints to Aeroplan from my other BofA card… it was easy, and instantaneous.

  6. I just received a mail yesterday from Schwab that the 2% cashback card will no longer under the Schwab name but back to the FIA (BofA) itself starting Oct. 1. Maybe it will adopt this Worldpoint program?

  7. I’ve got the card through FIA services and it’s great. Plus, if you have the cash deposited directly into your Fidelity retirement account, it’s tax free!

  8. Interesting card. Unfortunately, it seems that I can’t see the reward catalog without getting the damn card.

    Also, match.com gives your 47 points/dollar. At that rate, you’re buying Aeroplan miles at ~2cpm. Not very good, but that’s the regular offer so if bonuses come along…

  9. @John,

    I received the same notice from Schwab. The only reason I carried the card was to avoid international fees while earning the 2% cashback. Without the cash back, I have no use for the card and cancelled it. What’s the new optimal international travel card?

  10. @vp

    The new Hyatt card has no international transaction fees so if you want hotel points and two free nights, that card would be a good choice.

  11. @vp

    The Priority Club card is also good for international travel if you want your points to go to PC instead of Hyatt.

  12. For the past two months, I have moved essentially all of my spending to my new Fidelity AmEx (2 points/$) and Visa (1.5 points/$ for first $15k/year, 2 points/$ thereafter). Both cards have no annual fee.

    The $200/year “private client” variant of the Fidelity AmEx, which is perhaps the cheapest airport lounge access card if you don’t need privileges of bringing guests and offers a few other travel perks like free breakfasts at some hotels (click on “travel benefits” at https://wwwa.applyonlinenow.com/us/fidelityprivateclientcard/ for more details).

    Cons: Online is primitive, but improving. Until recently, arranging to pay the full amount or minimum balance required filling out a paper form. Now you can set it up online at https://autopay.fiacardservices.com/Default.aspx , but that facility is largely disconnected from their standard auto-pay system which only lets you pay a fixed amount each month. For example, you have to speak to phone support if you want to suspend the variable auto-pay for a month. When I signed up, FIA was experiencing a bug where you couldn’t attach multiple credit cards to a new account, which they fixed in a couple of weeks. I get the impression that they know their web interface is their weakness and they are working on it. That said, their web site is worth tolerating for the rebate. You can see recent activity, points summary, pull money from US bank accounts, etc., and I haven’t noticed any annoying animation or spam. I was charged a 3% foreign exchange fee on the Visa for Skype. Initial funding of a SunTrust checking account from Visa was treated as a cash advance, but, then again, that was also printed on the credit card machine receipt that SunTrust mailed me.

    Pros: phone support from knowledgeable friendly patient native English speakers 24 hours/day with reasonable hold times. MyConcierge (Visa) and LesConcierges (Amex), neither of which I’ve used. The Visa, but not the AmEx, supports making virtual credit card numbers that you can limit to $x or $x/month. I got points for buying a small amount of coins from the US Mint using the AmEx. Over the phone (but not from the web site) you can set up automatic monthly redemption of points to Fidelity deposits, but maybe that’s no longer the best deal with 1 point / 1 aeroplan mile offer.

    I was not previously aware of the Aeroplan redemptions, but they look like a great deal. At first glance, Air Canada’s rewards charts looks good, but I have to study Air Canada’s fees, stop-over policies and other rules before having a firm opinion. I am definitely going to suspend my automatic points to dollars redemptions until I have studied this more carefully. By the way, I must say that this Aeroplan redemption is just a typical example of how it seems every other time I visit View From Wing I make money.

    Other details not completely pro or con:

    On foreign exchanges, the Fidelity AmEx charges 1% (up from 0% for cards obtained two months ago) as opposed to Fidelity Visa’s 3%, but the AmEx’s conversion is done at AmEx’s asymmetric “retail” rates, so I’m not sure if this is a good deal at all.

    Points covert at 1 pt/$ into a Fidelity account in blocks of $50 each. I think you used to be able to get this same redemption rate without a Fidelity account if you redeemed in units of $250. There are no maintenance fees for (all?) basic Fidelity accounts. My understanding is that, contrary to Fidelity’s website’s claims, there is no minimum balance for the basic varieties of each type of Fidelity account. The $1000 minimum that they refer to is just if you want to earn interest on the cash portion of the account. Fidelity, separate from FIA, also has friendly knowledgeable native English phone support with short hold times, and, as recently as a few months ago, it was possible to qualify for their frequent flyer promotions by transferring money in and out of a Fidelity account repeatedly at no charge. A non-cyclic way to achieve the cumulative deposit requirements is to deposit your paychecks to the brokerage account and then transfer it to your bank account if you can stand the 1 week hold. I have parked my modest portfolio with Fidelity in thanks for the miles, although I have no complaints about e-trade See http://www.freefrequentflyermiles.com for various Fidelity sign-up offers.

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