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Webster Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Webster Bank’s checking account options

WebsterOne Relationship Checking

Steep maintenance fees and virtually no interest make this checking account hard to sell.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $14.95 if you set up direct deposit and $16.95 otherwise. Read below to find out how you can avoid this fee.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Bank’s maintenance fees are a bit steep, but there are ways to reduce or avoid paying them. For WebsterOne Relationship Checking, you get a couple of dollars knocked off the maintenance fee if you set up direct deposit. The fee can be eliminated, though, if you have a combined total of $4,000 across your Webster Bank checking, savings and money market accounts. Another way to get the fee to $0 is to have $20,000 in business with Webster Bank across your checking account, savings account, money market account, certificates of deposit (CDs), home equity loan and installment loans.

While WebsterOne Relationship Checking comes with only a sliver of interest, it also comes with no fees when you use an ATM outside of Webster Bank’s network. The same cannot be said of most of the other deposit accounts offered by this bank.

How to get WebsterOne Relationship Checking account

You can apply online or in person using your employment information, Social Security number and driver’s license number.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Webster Value Checking

This no-interest checking account has plenty of fees, but most of them are easy to get out of paying.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11.95. Read more below to learn how to avoid this fee. Separately, there is a $2 monthly fee if you do not receive monthly statements electronically.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Value Checking has a slightly lower account maintenance fee than the WebsterOne Relationship Checking option, and getting around the fee is much easier, too. For this account, you have three options to avoid the fee: You can keep a $1,000 average monthly balance in your Webster Value Checking account, make at least 10 non-ATM transactions with your debit card or be 65 and older and have direct deposit set up.

This account bears no interest, comes with ATM fees and will incur a $2 fee per month if you don’t opt into electronic statements. The $2 fee is waived for those 65 and older or 18 and younger.

How to get Webster Value Checking account

Apply online or in person using your driver’s license, Social Security number and employment information.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Webster Opportunity Checking

An account for those who may have been pushed out of the traditional banking system.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11.95 if you set up direct deposit and $16.95 otherwise. Separately, there is a $2 monthly fee if you do not receive monthly statements electronically, unless you are 65 and older or 18 and younger.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Opportunity Checking may look nearly identical to Webster Value Checking, but it’s not. Webster Opportunity Checking is built for those who may have been forced out of the traditional banking system by past financial mistakes or misfortunes. When this happens, many financial institutions will turn you away, making it difficult to manage your money and avoid predatory financial services.

You can earn a clean slate, though, by opening a Webster Opportunity Checking account. There is no way to avoid the monthly maintenance fee with this account.

How to get Webster Opportunity Checking account

You can only open this account by visiting a branch. Be sure to bring a valid government-issued ID and a copy of your Social Security card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Webster Premier Checking

Steeper fees and balance requirements get you a marginal increase in APY with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$0.01
0.01%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $21.95 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: All charges from outside ATM owners will be returned to you the same day
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Premier Checking is an expensive way to access marginally better interest rates. First, it has the largest of all Webster Bank’s maintenance fees, and it can only be waived if you keep $10,000 across your checking, savings and money market accounts, or if you have a combined $50,000 across your Webster Bank checking, savings and money market account, CDs, home equity loans and installment loans.

There is no fee for using another financial institution’s ATM, though. When an ATM owner imposes a fee on its end, Webster Bank will return it to you the same day. Other perks include free wire transfers, free checks and a reduction in interest rates on loan products. You must have this account to take full advantage of the Webster Premier Savings account, which we will talk about shortly.

How to get Webster Premier Checking account

Gather your driver’s license, Social Security number and employment information before applying in person or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Webster Student Checking

This lower-fee account for college students bears no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None for five years
  • ATM fee: First four non-Webster ATM transactions per month are free; each after that incurs a $2.50 fee
  • ATM fee refund: One fee charged by a non-Webster Bank ATM owner will be returned to you per month
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Aimed at college students, the Webster Student Checking account doesn’t bear any interest, but it does come with several other perks. For example, with this type of account you won’t have any maintenance fees for five years. You’ll also get four free transactions per month at non-Webster Bank ATMs, though each transaction after that will cost you a couple of dollars.

You’ll get the first fee that another financial institution charges you to use its ATM returned to you with this account. But that refund will only happen once per month. After that, you’re stuck paying outside ATM owners whatever fee they’re charging with no reimbursement. On top of that potential refund, you can get one overdraft fee refunded to you each academic year.

How to get Webster Student Checking account

Open your account online or in person with your student ID card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Webster Bank’s checking accounts compare

The fee structure on Webster Bank’s checking accounts is a lot to keep up with. While it’s wonderful that there are ways to avoid many of the fees, each one comes with an added asterisk that you’ll have to remember throughout every month. Individually, the fee waivers are simple, but when considered holistically it’s likely to be difficult to keep up with them.

On top of that, Webster Bank’s checking account rates are not anywhere near competitive. We highly recommend shopping around for other checking accounts before deciding to open your account here. Because there are so few options for shopping around when you’ve been booted from the traditional banking system, Webster Opportunity Checking may still be a desirable account if you’ve gone through that experience. But otherwise, you can find better rates elsewhere.

Webster Bank’s savings account options

Webster Value Savings

This account is essentially the same as Passbook Savings, except you can access it online.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 unless you have a consumer checking account with Webster Bank or maintain an account balance of $300
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Value Savings is very similar to Passbook Savings, except it can be accessed online. The other difference is that besides age and balance potentially getting you out of the monthly maintenance fee, you can also dodge this fee by having a checking account with Webster Bank. Remember that you cannot make more than six withdrawals per month as this is a savings account.

How to get Webster Value Savings account

You can apply online or in person with your employment information, Social Security number and driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

WebsterOne Savings

This account boasts better — though still low — interest rates. But you’ll have to have a corresponding checking account to earn them.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.05%$25,000
0.15%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 unless you maintain a balance of at least $300
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

With WebsterOne Savings, you start to see interest rates creeping up, but they are still low compared to the rest of the market. Besides that, the minimum balance requirements for the higher interest rates are quite steep. To earn these interest rates, you must have a WebsterOne Relationship Checking account. If you don’t, your WebsterOne Savings account will only pay the going interest rate of a Webster Value Savings account.

To get out of paying the monthly maintenance fee, you must maintain a balance of $300. The only other way out if it is age: Those younger than 21 or 65 and older do not have to pay this fee. But they are still subject to the rule of six withdrawals per month.

How to get WebsterOne Savings account

Gather your driver’s license, Social Security number and employment information so that you can apply in person or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premier Savings

Get slightly higher interest rates in exchange for having a Webster Premier Checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.05%$10,000
0.10%$25,000
0.15%$50,000
0.25%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

While Webster Bank’s Premier Savings account offers higher rates, they are still low. To earn these interest rates, you will have to have a Webster Premier Checking account in your name, too. Otherwise, you’ll only be rewarded with the marginal Webster Value Savings rate.

This account comes with no maintenance fee and a limit of six withdrawals per month.

How to get Webster Bank’s Premier Savings account

Use your driver’s license, Social Security number and employment information to open this account online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premier Savings Extra

This savings account offers a small bump in APY in exchange for a higher balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$0.01
0.30%$25,000
0.40%$50,000
0.50%$100,000
0.55%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

If you want to earn about half a percentage point more, you can do so with Premier Savings Extra. This account has slightly higher interest rates, and the monthly maintenance fee can be waived if you maintain a balance of $10,000 or more. You will also need a Webster Premier Checking account. Otherwise, you’ll only earn the rate offered for Webster Value Savings.

How to get Webster Bank’s Premier Savings Extra account

Come prepared with your driver’s license, Social Security number and employment information when you apply for this account online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Passbook Savings

This account can only be accessed by visiting a brick-and-mortar location.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 unless you maintain a balance of $300
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Passbook Savings is an in-person savings account. That means you will not have access to online banking, and every transaction you want to make will have to be completed at a brick-and-mortar location. Also, you’ll have to call the bank to check for the current rates. This may be no big deal if online banking makes you uncomfortable, or if you want to make it harder to get money out of your account for self-disciplinary reasons. But for most other people, it’s an inconvenience.

This account does come with a monthly maintenance fee, but it can be waived if you maintain a balance of $300 or more. It can also be waived if you are younger than 21 or 65 and older – even if you have less than $300 in your account.

Savings accounts fall under certain federal rules, including Regulation D. This regulation states that you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month. If you do and it is your first offense, Webster Bank will send you a warning letter. If your behavior persists, the bank will be forced to shut your account down.

How to get Webster Bank’s Passbook Savings account

To open this account, bring employment information, your Social Security number and your driver’s license to your local branch. This account cannot be opened online.

Holiday Club Savings

This savings account can help you save for the holidays with a low APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Holiday Club Savings accounts help you save for holiday spending by automatically transferring some money from one of your other accounts every month. This set-it-and-forget-it method ensures that you’ll be socking money away even if you forget.

Every year during the third week of October, Webster Bank will issue you a physical check for the amount you have saved in your Holiday Club Savings account. From there, all you have to do is deposit it and get shopping.

How to get Webster Bank’s Holiday Club Savings account

You can get the process started in person or online with your employment information, Social Security number and driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Webster Bank’s savings accounts compare

Webster Bank’s savings accounts don’t hold a candle to some of the best savings rates on the market. These higher rates can be found at traditional banks and credit unions, but the majority of them are offered by online-only financial institutions that do not have to pay the overhead costs of maintaining brick-and-mortar location.

If the idea of a Holiday Club Savings account sounds appealing to you, know that Webster Bank is not the only one to offer it. Typically, you’ll find these accounts at credit unions. If you shop around, you’re likely to find one with a far higher interest rate.

Webster Bank’s CD rates

Traditional CDs

This CD product offers middle-of-the-road interest rates with a unique fee formula.
TermAPY
11 months2.25%
16 months2.40%
24 months1.50%
36 months1.65%
60 months1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Early withdrawals on 11-month CDs incur a $25 fee plus 1% of the amount you withdraw; all other CDs incur a $25 fee plus 3% of the amount you withdraw.

Webster Bank’s traditional CDs don’t have the worst rates around, but they’re not the best, either. Be sure to shop around for the top CD rates to ensure your money has a chance to grow quickly.

A relatively unique feature of these traditional CDs is that you can withdraw money even if it puts your balance below the minimum opening deposit amount. Your fees are structured a bit differently, too.

Most CDs have early withdrawal penalties based on the amount of interest your certificate has accrued. But Webster Bank charges a flat-rate fee plus a percentage of the amount you withdraw. It’s still never a great idea to withdraw money from a CD as withdrawal penalties — however they’re formulated — can eat away at your earnings.

How to get Webster Bank’s traditional CDs

You can open your traditional CD with your employment information, Social Security number and driver’s license online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bump Up CD

The lower interest rate on this CD has potential to grow.
TermAPY
36 Months1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25 plus 3% of the amount you withdraw

The Bump Up CD is offered in a 36-month term. You may notice that the rate on this 36-month CD is slightly lower than a traditional 36-month CD. But with the Bump Up CD, you have the option to “bump up” your interest rate once during your term. That means if rates go up, you’ll be able to take advantage and potentially score a higher rate than even the traditional CD for the remainder of your term. It’s not a guarantee, though — rates could go down or stay stagnant, in which case you’re not going to want to bump your rate at all.

To get this kind of CD, you must have either a Webster Premier Checking or WebsterOne Relationship Checking account.

How to get Webster Bank’s Bump Up CDs

You’ll need your employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number when you go to open this CD in person or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Webster Bank’s CD rates compare

Webster Bank’s CD rates aren’t horrible, but they aren’t the best CDs on our list, either. They also come with some unique features you aren’t likely to find at other financial institutions. These features can be bad, such as the mandatory nature of certain checking accounts, or good, such as the ability to withdraw money beyond the floor of the minimum opening deposit.

Shop around to make sure you’re finding those better rates, keeping these CDs’ unique features in mind.

Webster Bank’s money market account option

Premium Money Market Savings

You’ll find a low rate of return on Webster Bank’s only money market product.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%$0.01
0.02%$10,000
0.05%$25,000
0.15%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 waivable fee
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for non-Webster Bank ATM transactions
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 on overdrafts more than $5. If your account remains overdrawn for more than five days, you will be charged an extra $5 fee each day it remains overdrawn.

Webster Bank’s Premium Money Market Savings account doesn’t earn a high rate of return, regardless of which tier your balance places you in. There is also a maintenance fee, which not all money market accounts have when competitors offer them. But this fee can be waived if you maintain a balance of $2,500 or more.

Money market accounts fall into the savings account category, which means that they are also subject to federal Regulation D. You are allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month without risking getting your account closed shut down by the bank.

How to get Webster Bank’s Premium Money Market Savings account

Open your account in person or online with your Social Security number, driver’s license and employment information.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Webster Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Webster Bank’s money market account compares

The rates offered by Webster Bank fall entire percentage points behind the competition. Money market accounts were originally meant to offer much higher rates than your typical savings account. You can still get that benefit today if you shop for money market accounts. Unfortunately, you won’t find competitive rates at Webster Bank.

Overall review of Webster Bank’s banking products

All the deposit accounts offered by Webster Bank fall behind the competition. Many of them also require high balances or tandem accounts to avoid monthly maintenance fees or score a slightly higher APY.

The only account that may be worth checking out is Webster Opportunity Checking. But that account is only useful to consumers who are having trouble finding a financial institution that will allow you to open an account. Everyone else should shop the competition to potentially nab higher interest rates and lower fees.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

The Platinum Card from American Express Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

If you’re a frequent traveler looking for a top-of-the-line luxury credit card with lounge access and other premium perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express might be the card you want to carry. It charges a high annual fee of $550, but it comes with unparallelled airport lounge access, statement and travel credits which can help you cut down on the cost of the annual fee and a strong welcome offer, among other perks.

We’re going to look at the details of where this card stands out and where it falls short, and help you determine how well it fits your spending habits and travel needs.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Where The Platinum Card® from American Express stands out

Lounge access. This is where The Platinum Card® from American Express outshines its competitors. You’ll get access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection®, which includes more than 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries.

Annual airline fee statement credit. You can select one qualifying airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year to cover incidental fees (such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments) that are charged to The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Annual Uber credit. When you link this card with your Uber account, you can get up to $15 per month (and up to $20 in December) in Uber Cash. That adds up to almost $200 a year.

Welcome offer. 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Rewards. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Points are worth varying amounts depending on how you redeem them — booking airfare and hotel stays through American Express Travel will net you good value, with each point being worth 1 cent when redeemed that way.

You can also transfer your points to the following airline loyalty programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • AeroMexico Club Premier (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,600 Premier Points)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Aeroplan Miles)
  • AIR FRANCE KLM Flying Blue (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Flying Blue Award Miles)
  • MilleMiglia Alitalia(1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Alitalia Miles)
  • ANA Mileage Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 ANA Mileage Club Miles)
  • Asia Miles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Asia Miles)
  • Avianca LifeMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 LifeMiles)
  • British Airways Executive Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • Delta SkyMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 miles)
  • El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid Points)
  • Emirates Skywards (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Skywards Miles)
  • Etihad Airways Guest (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles)
  • Hawaiian Miles HawaiianMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 HawaiianMiles)
  • Iberia Plus (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (250 Membership Rewards points = 200 TrueBlue points)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (500 Membership Rewards points = 500 Qantas Points)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Flying Club miles)

And you can transfer your points to the following hotel loyalty programs:

  • Choice Privileges (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Choice Privileges)
  • Hilton Honors (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 2,000 Hilton Honors Points)
  • Marriott Bonvoy (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points)

Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. You can get a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or a credit of up to $85 for TSA Precheck when you use this card to pay. If you purchase both, you’ll only get a credit for the one that’s charged to your card first.

You can get the Global Entry credit once in a four-year period or the TSA Precheck credit once in a 4 ½-year period.

Additional benefits

Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. Receive complimentary benefits at more than 1,000 properties, such as daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and a room upgrade when available.

Where The Platinum Card® from American Express falls short

Annual fee. At $550, the annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express is in the top tier for what it charges you as well as for the perks it offers. If you’re only a casual traveler, you may be better off with a mid-tier travel card charging an annual fee in the $95 range.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Another big name among premium travel cards is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Here’s how it stacks up against The Platinum Card® from American Express:

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Welcome offer

60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Credits

Up to $200 in statement credits per year to cover incidental airline fees. Up to $200 in Uber Cash each year.

Up to $300 in statement credits each account anniversary year as reimbursement for travel purchases.

Rewards

5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Annual fee

$550

$450

Annual fee for additional cards/authorized users

$175 for up to three additional cards. $175 per card for each card after that.

$75 for each authorized user.

Both of these cards offer significant value for frequent travelers who have the funds to cover a high annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is slightly less expensive than The Platinum Card® from American Express, but when you factor in the value of the annual credits offered by both cards, the two annual fees are relatively similar.

We also like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® better for ongoing rewards, as it offers 3X points on a wide variety of travel purchases, whereas The Platinum Card® from American Express has a more limited category for earning a higher rewards rate — airline tickets (booked either directly with the airline or via American Express Travel) and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. Plus, you get 50% more value when you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

When it comes to airport lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a Priority Pass Select membership (you’ll need to complete a one-time enrollment), which can get you into more than 1,300 lounges around the world. But this is territory where The Platinum Card® from American Express truly excels. The American Express Global Lounge Collection® allows you access to the following:

  • Air Space
  • Delta Sky Club®
  • Escape Lounges
  • Plaza Premium
  • The Centurion Lounge
  • The International American Express Lounges

In short, if wide-ranging lounge access is what you’re looking for, The Platinum Card® from American Express is probably the card for you.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to travel in luxury, you’ll find a lot to like about The Platinum Card® from American Express. It stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to airport lounge access. And if you make use of the annual airline fee statement credit (up to $200) and the annual Uber statement credit (also up to $200), that knocks the effective annual fee down to a more reasonable $150.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Sallie Mae Accelerate Credit Card Review

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If you’re looking for a cashback credit card, the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM offers an OK flat APR along with an interesting incentive — bonus cash back when you use your rewards to make a payment on a student loan. At a time when American college students and graduates are facing daunting levels of debt, this could be another weapon in your arsenal to apply toward paying down student loans. Let’s take a look at the details of what this card offers, where it falls short and how it stands up against other cashback cards.

Where the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM stands out

Chance to earn bonus cash back. Unlimited 1.25% cash back on every purchase. Earn a 25% bonus on your cash back rewards used to pay down your student loans. You can earn the bonus toward both federal and private student loans.

No annual fee. This card’s annual fee is $0, and since it’s targeted at recent college grads who are often on a tight budget, that’s important.

Additional benefits

Intro APR. Get a 0% Introductory APR for purchases for 12 months. After that, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable applies. The intro purchase APR is a decent amount of time to purchase a big-ticket item and pay it off without accruing interest charges, but there are cards with longer intro periods listed on our site.

Cellphone protection. When you pay your cellphone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 per claim in cellphone protection. Note that this is secondary coverage only (meaning it kicks in after any other insurance) and each claim is subject to a $50 copay. Terms apply.

Free FICO Score. The FICO® Score is one of the most common credit score models around. If you apply for a credit card, car loan or other credit product, it’s likely the bank will check your FICO Score before approving or declining you. Your FICO Score will influence the interest rate that you can get approved for – it’s smart to keep an eye on it.

Read: View Your Free FICO Score for all 3 Credit Bureaus

Where the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM falls short

Low cashback rate. It’s pretty easy to find a credit card that offers 1.5% cash back, and some offer up to 2% — and that’s just for flat-rate cards. You can earn up to 5% cash back with cards such as the Discover it® Cash Back, which offers a 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate, then the rate drops to 1% cash back).

Earning 1.25% on the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM doesn’t cut it. And while it’s true that you can earn a 25% bonus on your cash back when applied toward a student loan, that’s likely not a big enough bonus to make up for getting a subpar cashback rate on all your purchases.

The minimum amount of cash back to redeem is $25.

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Foreign transaction fee. If you use the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM outside the United States, there’s a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. It’s better to leave this card at home and travel with a card that charges no foreign transaction fee.

Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

One of the best cards around for earning flat-rate cash back is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Let’s take a look at how the two cards compare:

 

Sallie Mae AccelerateSM

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Rewards

Unlimited 1.25% cash back on every purchase. Earn a 25% bonus on your cash back rewards used to pay down your student loans.

Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

Purchase APR

0% Introductory APR for purchases for 12 months. After that, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR applies.

15.49% - 25.49% (variable)

Balance transfer APR

14.74% to 24.74% variable

Intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, a 15.49% - 25.49% (variable) APR applies.

Annual fee

$0

$0

Foreign transaction fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

3%

The clear winner is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, with a cashback rate that’s 0.75% higher than the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM. Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. (We recommend paying your card in full each month if possible.)

Another strong choice for flat-rate cash back is the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The bottom line

Earning bonus cash back when you use your rewards toward student loan payments is an interesting feature offered by the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM. However, the card’s cashback rate is subpar, and a card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or the Discover it® Cash Back can put more rewards back in your pocket.

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Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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