The Venmo Credit Card is Here and It’s Not So Bad
Nearly a year ago, Venmo announced plans to release a credit card in partnership with Synchrony. Like most people (presumably), I completely forgot about this ambition until it became a reality earlier this week. At long last, the Venmo Credit Card is here — or nearly here as applications are currently only being offered to select users. So what does the card have to offer for non-Gen Zers? Actually quite a bit.
First of all, the card will carry no annual fee, which is always a win in my book. Additionally, it won’t charge foreign transaction fees. And then there’s the unique card design, that might attract some but might be a turn off to others. Not only does each card feature the user’s Venmo QR code on the front but also comes in some very loud colors. That said, if bright neons aren’t your thing, the black and greys of the “Nightlife” design may be more appealing. Personally, I actually like the “Tropical Islands” color scheme, even if I still think the front design is ugly as sin.
But enough about looks — how are the rewards? Well, instead of having a set multiplier for spending categories, the Venmo Credit Card takes a dynamic approach. When you use your Venmo card, purchases in your largest spending category will earn 3% cashback while those in your second most-used category will yield 2% in rewards. Per usual, everything else will earn 1%. Each month, the cashback rewards earned will then be deposited into your Venmo account, where they can be sent to others, deposited back to your bank account, or presumably spent via your Venmo Card debit card.
While I like this personalized approach to rewards categories, there are some downsides to note. For one, looking at the terms and conditions page, the 3% and 2% rewards categories are limited to $10,000 in annual spend (this limit will reset on your cardholder anniversary date each year). It’s also important to note that there are a select number of eligible spending categories. These include:
- Bills & Utilities
- Health & Beauty
- Dining & Nightlife
To be fair, that’s a pretty comprehensive list. Of course, I could make a case for some to be combined, such as putting “transportation” either with “gas” or “travel.” Still, there are sure to be holes for some cardholders.
Speaking of holes, that’s really what I think this card is best for: plugging holes in your current credit card set-up. For me, that might mean using the card exclusively for “bills & utilities,” since none of my current cards offer multipliers in this category. Then again, I’m not sure how much spending I would have in that category that really makes this card worth my time. Of course, I’m surely not the target market — and, for Gen Zers, I think this could actually be a pretty good choice. Overlooking the gimmicky design, the no annual fee aspect and unique-ish rewards structure could make it a great starter card. With that in mind, those wanting to apply will want to open a Venmo account and await applications to roll out further.