Posted by sirtheta on October 9, 2017
Credit Card Review US Bank Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Credit Card

Published on October 9th, 2017 | by sirtheta

23

US Bank Kroger 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa Credit Card Review – More Like 0.5–1–1.5% – Now With $100 Bonus



Update: This card now comes with a $100 bonus after $200 in spend within the first 40 days. Hat tip to nitpickyCorrections

This is the second post in our new So-So Sunday series*, in which we highlight unknown or lesser known credit cards, similar to Weird Wednesday – except the cards are so-so and not likely to be useful.

* originally Meh Monday; direct all adulation for the rechristening of this series to reader Ben.

Card Basics

Benefits

  • 5¢ per gallon discount when redeeming 100 fuel points
  • No annual fee
  • Standard Visa benefits, likely Visa Basic

Earning Structure

  • 3x on Kroger family brands
  • 2x at Kroger family stores, excluding fuel centers
  • 1x on all other purchases, excluding fuel centers
  • 0x at Kroger family fuel centers
  • (Refer to the terms and conditions for a complete list of what counts as Kroger family brands or Kroger family stores.)

Signup Bonus

  • 25¢ per gallon discount when redeeming at least 100 fuel points, for the first year
  • There are a few suburls of 123rewardscard.com with statement credit offers, including this link for a $75 statement credit after your first purchase (expires April 30, 2017) (thanks to reader Robert D). Your local Kroger may have different offers.

Pricing Details

APRs

  • Purchase & Balance Transfer APR: 14.74% to 24.74%*, based on your credit worthiness
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%*
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Grace period: 24 days (minimum, up to 30 days)
  • Minimum interest charge: $2

* Note: these rates vary based on the Prime Rate.

Fees

  • Balance transfer fee: Either $10 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash & Convenience check advance fee: Either $10 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash equivalent advance fee: Either $20 or 4% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.8%
  • Late payment fee: Up to $37
  • Return payment fee: Up to $35
  • Over the limit fee: None

Application Information

There are only 3 even semi-recent DPs on CreditBoards. Feel free to add any information in the comments at the end of this review!

What Credit Score Is Required

Credit scores of 659, 681, and 720 were approved.

What Credit Bureau Does US Bank Pull?

Depends on your state; reference this post.

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Credit limits of $1,000; $1,000; and $4,000 were given.

Rewards Program

Terrible. 1,000 points is $5, which means this card earns 1–2–3 points at 0.5 ¢ per point. I guess US Bank & Kroger decided that the 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa was much catchier than the 0.5–1–1.5 REWARDS Visa.

As far as redemption goes, you’re automatically sent a 1–2–3 REWARDS certificate every quarter if you have 1,000+ points. Certificates can be used at any Kroger family store, and are awarded no less frequently than 4 times per year (so they may come more often).



The fuel discount of 25¢ per gallon (first-year cardholders) or 5¢ per gallon (subsequent-year cardholders) requires you to scan your 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa, redeem at least 100 fuel points, and pay with your 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa. The discount is once per redemption, so you do not earn multiple 25¢ (or 5¢) discounts for redeeming multiples of 100 fuel points at once.

Why’s It So-So?

This card does not have anything going for it except the signup bonus, which is not that great.

There are tens and tens of credit cards that offer at least 2% at all grocery stores, and there are hundreds that offer at least 1% everywhere—and most of them allow you to cash out directly instead of needing to redeem a certificate at Kroger family stores. (Hot tip: it is bad if your credit card compares unfavorably with a 1% cash back card.)

The 25¢ per gallon fuel discount is nice, and Kroger generally has good fuel prices (in my experience and excluding wholesale clubs). The requirement that you redeem at least 100 fuel points is needlessly onerous*, but that’s not a dealbreaker. Given current fuel prices, 25¢ per gallon caps out at around a 12.5% discount ($2.00 per gallon). If I am reading the terms & conditions correctly, though, you never earn points for buying gas at a Kroger fuel center, which (if true) is just bizarre considering the presence of a 0.5% cashback tier.

A $75 statement credit for a single purchase is also nice. Combined with the fuel discount, I could be convinced that there is someone out there who would be served by getting this card for the signup bonus.

* especially if you accidentally use fuel points that are supposed to be available next month because Kroger automatically shows you next month’s fuel points if that balance is higher than your current one.

There is one fascinating quirk to this card, though: the Kroger family of stores includes Fred Meyer Jewelers, Littman Jewelers, and Barclay Jewelers! The marketing genius behind “Earn FREE groceries with every qualifying purchase!” missed the opportunity of a lifetime: “Earn FREE diamonds* with every purchase!”

* or, you know, not diamonds due to the ethical quagmire and rapid depreciation, but I digress.

FREE diamonds

See?

Questions, comments, etc.? Drop them below.

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23 Responses to US Bank Kroger 1–2–3 REWARDS Visa Credit Card Review – More Like 0.5–1–1.5% – Now With $100 Bonus

  1. Ryan says:

    I got an offer if I spent 200.00 I got 100 statement credit plus the fuel perks. Cha-Ching. I signed up and just got my card!

  2. Matthew says:

    I love this headline. Wish all card companies could be that forthcoming.

  3. Marshall Brown says:

    Wow my best friend has this card and uses it for all of his grocery shopping. 0.5, 1, 1½ is a really, really cheap credit card.
    If he spends $1,000 on groceries that’s only $10. That is really cheap. He can get the BOA rewards card and make double that on groceries and even more on gas plus bonuses is with a BOA bank account.

  4. F798 says:

    additonal 25 cents off for every 100 fuel points? So $3.5 off for 1000 fuel points?

  5. Tom says:

    Does the fuel discount with the card stack.
    Example: if I have 1000 points available I can already get $1 off per gallon
    If I used the card also do I get $1.25 off ?

  6. Chucks says:

    It also gives a 50% boost to Kroger iwireless rewards. If you’ve already rigged up a system to milk out fuel points this card (or the debit) could help to further maximize it.

  7. Dee says:

    Can you pay the bill at Kroger with a debit card? possibly a pin-enabled VGC?

  8. Julia says:

    I got this card for the sake of $75 bonus after 1st purchase. All the other points it gives are not worth it.

  9. Fred says:

    Has anyone else observed that they are earning points on this card even though they are not spending anything on it? I have not used this card in over two years, but I see that it has been earning points over the last two statement cycles.

  10. Don L says:

    Received a Mailer for 6/4/2 first year, and $100 statement credit after $200 spend.

    Still not so great, but maybe one day

  11. Billie says:

    How much can you take off for cash advance?

  12. scott says:

    Another Sirtheta winner. 🙂 So-so-Sunday worthy nomination indeed. Nice to see somebody give this awful card the “spotlight” it deserves. “A little piece of me dies” each time I see this card hawked at my local Kroger — or worse, when I see folks charging large orders on it…. 😉 Maybe this will help with the re-education needed.

    ———

    Yet speaking of Kroger & its fuel points program (which I’ve long enjoyed), did a key policy change recently? I had thought that the maximum discount per gallon was $1.00. (Yet when filling up in Richmond, VA the other day, and I had 1,200 points in the account, I got the surprise option to deduct $1.20 per gallon — off of 35 gallons. (which I do with extra 5 gl cans in the van)

    Has me wondering if Kroger is responding yet again to competition? (At Martin’s and some Giant’s, I can deduct unlimited points against price of the gas…. — up to 25 gallons) Maybe what I encountered was just a fluke — or a local policy? (I see Kroger web site still says $1.00 off max per gallon)

    • Walter says:

      Kroger has been known to alter the redemption limit at specific locations. There were once reports of “no limit” somewhere. As with all unbelievable deals, this wasn’t anywhere near where I live.

  13. projectx says:

    Lousy rewards program for high priced groceries. I have a neighbor that thinks this is the greatest savings on earth… blows my mind. You can get this card, or get Arrival+ and shop at Aldi. $400 bonus, 2% back, and save 40% on your grocery bill.

  14. Gary says:

    Thank you for doing an honest review of this card! I’ve seen lots of people on Reddit and even this site seriously consider this card, but at best its 1.5% cb on groceries. Their are dozens of cards better for groceries than this, and its really easy to save $1 per gallon on gas at Krogers if you buy gift cards for fuel points at 4x

  15. weixou says:

    Just adding on that I received a mailer for $150 statement credit for $200 spent, rather than the $100 for $200 spent

  16. Keron Cyst says:

    One of my friends has 635-Equifax and 646-TransUnion. Would it be worth the risk of her trying out for this card given her zero credit history?

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