E*TRADE Credit Card
E*TRADE is a discount brokerage firm that focuses on individual customers rather than institutions. They offer an extensive online platform for investors. The company is operated out of New York City and began the business in 1982. While the company does offer 30 retail locations for investors to obtain services, most of their business is completed through online transactions.
The E*TRADE credit card is available only to E*TRADE customers. The card earns rewards that offer discounts which can be used as statement credits, trades without commissions, merchandise or travel rewards and gift certificates. The highest value of the rewards is when the cardholder uses the points as a deposit in an IRA account.
E*TRADE Rewards program
Rewards are offered in the form of 1 point being earned for each $1 that is charged on the card. There is no limit on the number of rewards that can be earned and the points do not expire as long as the account is active. The sign up bonus is 2000 points that is received after the first purchase is made.
Benefits to the E*TRADE Rewards Card
There is no annual fee with the E*TRADE card and it is only available to E*TRADE account holders. The interest rate is very attractive at prime plus 3.39%. This puts the rate in the single digits, where most credit cards are over 10%. Periodically sign up bonuses are offered, but as a general rule, the card does not provide attractive bonuses for new applicants.
The purchase interest rate of prime plus 3.9% is also offered for balance transfers. The cash advance rate is only 12.9% plus prime which is much lower than the 21% and up found on most cards. The penalty rate, which is charged if a late payment is made is at prime plus 6.9% on the first occurrence. If a second payment is missed the rate jumps up to prime plus 10.9%. The missed payment penalty rate will apply for late payments in a rolling 12 month period. This means if the cardholder misses one payment and then 13 months later is late on another payment the additional increase in rate will not apply. If the 2 payments are missed within a 12 month period then the higher rate will become applicable. If the penalty rate is applied, the new rate becomes permanent.
For balance transfers there is a 3% fee charged on the amount of the advance, or $5, whichever is greater. There is, however, a maximum fee of $50 charged on balance transfers. Cash advances are charged a 3% fee with a maximum charge of $50 as well. Late payment fees are charged if the payment is beyond the due date. These fees will apply if the payment is even one day late. The fee can be as much as $29 depending on the outstanding balance at the time of the late payment. There is also an over the limit fee that can be assessed. This fee can be as much as $29 when the credit limit is exceeded. The charged amount is determined by the credit limit and the amount the account goes over the limit.
Other benefits to the E*TRADE credit card include insurance for car rentals and travel insurance that covers accidents when the cardholder is on trips or traveling away from home. Extended warranties are offered for purchases made with the credit card. This can provide additional coverage for appliances and electronics.
E*TRADE Customer Service
The E*TRADE credit card is serviced by an overseas call center. This has led to complaints about customer service and the ability to get things done when working with representatives once over phone. The card also offers online account management. This is a way to view spending, pay bills and manage the account. Many services that are traditionally handled over the phone can now be dealt with through the online system.