Last Reviewed: 10/4/2010
The Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card is definitely one of the most heavy-hitting cashback cards available, but you absolutely need to know how to navigate its rewards structure in order to get the most from this card. Perhaps the only modest drawback is the limited acceptance of American Express versus Visa-but this card should still give you plenty of bang for the buck.
Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card Details
The table below summarizes some of the key aspects of the rewards program:
|Rewards||2 points per dollar spent.|
|Redemption requirements||See below for detailed explanation of Fidelity Rewards as well as Cash Rewards.|
|Sign up bonus||None|
|Rewards expiration||Points expire 5 years from the end of the billing cycle in which they were earned.|
|International Transaction Fee||1.0%|
Click here for detailed information on the Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card rewards program.
Deep Dive into the Fidelity Investment Rewards AMEX program
Because this rewards program leverages the Bank Of America WorldPoints program, it’s fairly complex. There are 2 classes of rewards: Fidelity Rewards, and Cash Rewards. Within the Fidelity Rewards section, we cover Basic Rewards, Flex Air Rewards, and car/hotel rental rewards.
Fidelity Basic Rewards
Fidelity’s Basic Air rewards actually give you the opportunity, in the best possible scenario, to earn about 3.2 cents per point-pretty amazing. You probably won’t be able to achieve that nirvana state, but certainly a mid-point between 2 cents and 3.2 cents is very achievable with some advance planning.
The way it works is that there are a certain number of points required for a given flight, and a maximum dollar value (MDV) allowed for that ticket. The MDV includes all taxes, destination fees, etc. Finally, to qualify for the Basic Air Reward, reservations require a minimum 21-day advance notice and must include a Saturday night stay. For most international travel you must stay at least 7 days but no more than 30 days. The table below shows both the points required for specific routes, as well as the maximum allowed value of the ticket.
|From 48 continuous states to:||Points (coach)||Max Dollar Value (coach)||Max $ val/point|
|48 continuous states||25,000||$400||$0.0160|
|Canada, Mexico, PR||35,000||$600||$0.0171|
|Alaska, Hawaii, Bahamas, Berumda, Carribean||45,000||$600||$0.0133|
|Central/S.America, Asia, Africa, S.Pacific||85,000||$1,150||$0.0135|
Flex Air Rewards
Fidelity’s Flex Air Rewards apply to any ticket purchasing situation that doesn’t meet the qualification for a Basic Reward. It is always preferable to use a Basic Reward when possible.
Flex Air Rewards start at 15,000 points but have no corresponding maximum dollar value. They cost $0.01 per point. Thus, if you want to buy a $300 ticket, it will cost you 30,000 points-that simple. Obviously, the dollar value per point for this redemption method is $0.01, assuming your ticket costs at least $150.
Car Rental and Hotel Rewards
You can redeem in increments of 5,000 points for $50 credits towards car rentals or hotel stays. You can also use your Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card to make up any shortfalls. For example, if a hotel room costs $120, you can use (2) $50 credits and then pay the remaining $20 with your Fidelity credit card. The only significant requirement here is that all bookings be made at least 7 days in advance. There are no minimum stay requirements.
Direct Cash Rewards
Fidelity also offers you the ability to just get good old fashioned cash in exchange for your points. As long as you are patient here and wait to accumulate a sufficient number of points before turning them in (25,000 to be exact), you can definitely achieve a $0.01 per point exchange rate. The table below highlights this:
|Points||Cash Back||$ Value/Point|
A Clever Way to Get Cash Back at a Lower Points Requirement
Per above, to get direct cash back at $0.01 per point, you need to accumulate 25,000 points, a bit of a slog for most. However, if you open a qualifying Fidelity account (including all Fidelity non-retirement, IRAs, and 529 Plan accounts that accept ACH deposits), you can transfer your points into these accounts, with a minimum transfer requirement of only 5,000 points. And the best part is the exchange rate is $0.01 per point. If you don’t mind setting up a Fidelity account, this is your best route. Special thanks to a dedicated GetDebit reader for pointing this one out!
GetDebit’s Final Assessment of the Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card
This is definitely one of those special cards that, in the hands of an aware, patient user, can earn the user up to 3.2 cents per dollar spent, although a better estimate is probably somewhere around 2.6 cents per dollar spent. This is achievable through the use of Basic Rewards, as discussed above. Even if travel is not your thing, as long as you can wait to accumulate 25,000 points, you can get your still-amazing 2% cashback rate. The only other cashback card that rivals the Fidelity Investment Rewards AMEX card is the Discover Escape Card.
You can apply for the Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card here.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.