While as a rule I'm no fan of store-branded credit cards, every rule has exceptions. The Kroger-branded 1-2-3 REWARDS card might be one.
This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com.
When the vast majority of your expenses are made at the same store, getting a store-branded credit card can be helpful. Normally I’m against retail-branded cards for reasons ranging from high rates to lack of flexibility. But if you really spend a lot at a specific store, some might be worth a look.
Example? The 1-2-3 REWARDS Visa Card offers bang for your buck at all Kroger family stores, and comes with a decent 0 percent intro APR. Kroger family stores include Kroger, King Soopers, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, and QFC.
- Save on gas bonus. Cardholders receive 25 cents off every gallon of gas from Kroger stores fuel centers in the first three months they have the card when they redeem 100 fuel points.
- Earn extra points from Kroger. The 1-2-3 REWARDS Visa Card offers 3 points for each dollar spent on Kroger family products, 2 points for each dollar spent in the Kroger family of stores, and 1 point per dollar spent anywhere else Visa cards are accepted.
- Redeem points for free groceries. Cardholders can redeem every 1,000 points earned for $5 in free groceries. Grocery credits are sent automatically each quarter.
- 0 percent APR introductory period. The card offers a 0 percent intro APR for nine months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period expires, the APR reverts to the variable APR between 13.99 and 23.99 percent, depending on credit quality.
- No annual fee. There is no annual fee to use the card.
- Balance transfer fee. While the 1-2-3 REWARDS Visa Card offers a decent intro period of 0 percent APR on balance transfers, it still requires a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3 percent of the amount of the balance transfer, whichever is greater.
- Narrow rewards program. The card only offers rewards redeemable at the Kroger family of stores. If you don’t shop at these stores, then the card obviously isn’t for you.
- Poor return. Unless you’re shopping exclusively at Kroger family stores, the card offers a paltry return on spending.
Get it if: You shop often at Kroger family stores and are enticed by the extra rewards, and free groceries, to be had.
Forget it if: You don’t shop at Kroger family stores, or if you want a longer intro period of 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers.
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