Friday, November 18, 2011

Perk Street Financial Review- 2% Debit Card but Only for 3 Months

Updated 11/24/2011:

PerkStreet Financial 2% cash back debit card

If you read a lot of finance articles online, you are bound to see an ad from PerkStreet Financial.  They have appeared on this blog many times.  This is what it looks like:

Here is a Review of the Perkstreet Financial 2% cash back debit card:


1) 2% back on everything -
         - Beware, 2% only lasts for 3 months.  Then you go down to 1%
         - Update - You can still get 2% back if you keep a balance of $5,000Thank you for the comment, this makes the deal far more attractive.

2) 5% on rotating categories
         - The categories for November are movie theaters, local bakeries, netflix, hulu and Blockbuster


1)  There is a $4.50 monthly inactivity fee If you don't use your account that month, you will be charged.  If you use the card or cash a check, etc. you won't be charged.

2) 1% is a standard rate you can get with almost any card, but if you keep a $5,000 balance, it will stay at 2%.
     - It is a debit card so you need to pay from this account.  So you will need to keep significantly more than $5,000 in that account.
     - You aren't getting interest on any money in there.  You could be getting as much as 1.30% interest on that money so you have to deduct the 1.30% from any money saved.

3) The 5% rotating categories aren't as cyclicly relevant as Discover's and Chase 

4) Debit cards do not help build your credit history, only credit cards do that.

5) This only works when you hit the "credit" button as you swipe.  If you have to put in a pin, you aren't getting your 2%.  

The bottom line, should I get this card?

Get it, if you will use it every month and you can maintain a $5,000 balance (you probably will need a lot more than that in the account) and you aren't doing anything with that money anyway.  If you don't want to have to think about it, I understand. 

I don't personally think it is worth it.  You could be doing a lot of good with the money that needs to sit in that account.  Go for the 2% Fidelity American Express Credit Card instead

I would also check out these cards for times when you can get more than 2%.


Jenna Walker said...

Hi there,

My name is Jenna and I work at PerkStreet Financial. Given that we like everyone to have honest and accurate information, I wanted to follow up on some items talked about in this post.

After the 3 months are up, you are still eligible to earn 2% cash back on your purchases if you maintain a balance of $5k or more. Below that, you will earn 1%. Earning 1% cash back on all your purchases is still an amazing rate in this environment. In fact, we offer the most unlimited debit card rewards in the nation.

We realize this card isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for high rewards on debit & great customer service, check us out.

Jenna Walker
PerkStreet Financial

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