Back in September, I wrote about how there was a 5,000 point (or $50) signup bonus on the Fidelity American Express Credit Card but now the link from that post seems to have died. While doing research for my next round of credit card applications, I was able to find a new working link for the 5,000 point signup bonus if you spend $500 within 60 days of account approval. The offer is valid through July 29, 2015 and the offer code for this bonus is VACD37.
For those questioning why I am posting about a measly $50 signup bonus offer, it is rare to see a no annual fee card that earns 2% cash back on ALL spending, with no caps or category restrictions, to have a signup bonus. In fact, the only other time I know of a publicly available signup bonus on a 2% cashback card was the same offer on the Fidelity card back in September. The main competitor to the Fidelity American Express is the Citi Double Cash which does not have a signup bonus nor has ever publicly offered one.
If I were to chose one 2% cash back no annual fee card, I would chose the Fidelity American Express since there is an actual signup bonus on the card. The signup bonus is the equivalent of spending $2,500 on the Citi Double Cash. What would you rather do – spend $500 on the Fidelity American Express for $60 cash back ($500 x 2% + $50 bonus) or $3,000 on the Citi Double Cash ($3,000 x 2%) for the same $60?
The main arguments for the Citi Double Cash are greater acceptance (due to being a MasterCard) and not needing a Fidelity brokerage account. While slightly annoying to create a Fidelity account first, I don’t consider that a deal-breaker especially since the cashback, which gets deposited into your Fidelity account, can be swept to your normal bank account easily online. I think the whole lack of Amex acceptance is overblown and unless you only shop at small mom & pop shops out in the countryside, I think it is very rare you will run into a problem with a vendor not accepting American Express in the United States (don’t think of using this card or the Citi Double Cash overseas due to the foreign transaction fees).
Lastly, there are some benefits to having an American Express card that is not issued by American Express but that’s for another time and place.