ABOC Union Strong Credit Card Review: No Annual Fee, a Low APR, and Great Rewards

ABOC's Union Strong Credit Card provides a generous sign-up bonus and the chance to earn bonus rewards on rotating purchase categories.
10/29/19 | By Christy Rakoczy

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation when you click links to products or services mentioned in this story. The opinions and recommendations are the author's own and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Learn more about how we make money.

If you're a union member or a supporter of unions, you should take a look at ABOC's Union Strong Credit Card.

ABOC, or Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, has a long and proud history of offering financial products to labor unions, including auto workers, textile workers, communications workers, and more. The bank's Union Strong Credit Card is one of the affordable products offered to both union members and those who support worker's rights to organize.

The card charges a $0 annual fee, has a very low APR, provides a generous sign-up bonus, and offers a very competitive rewards program — all while making it easy to redeem rewards for travel or merchandise. There's plenty of reasons to sign up for it, and this ABOC Union Strong Credit Card review will help you to decide if this card's key features make it the best credit card to keep in your wallet.

Easy rewards, no annual fee

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

Benefits

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Earn up to 5X rewards on bonus categories
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Must be a union member to access some benefits
  • Reward maximums in bonus categories


Who should get this card?

If you are a labor union member or union supporter that wants to get credit from a bank with a long history of working with organized labor, you may be prompted to take a close look at the ABOC Union Strong Credit Card.

When you do, you're likely to get excited by what the card offers — especially if you are looking for a low APR card, are a frequent traveler, or often spend on the types of purchases that earn you extra rewards with this card.

Not only is the Union Strong card's standard APR well below what many cards charge, but you'll also benefit from a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for a full 12 months after account opening.

To cash in your rewards, you’ll need to sign up for an ABOCRewards.com account. Doing so is easy and you'll effortlessly be able to redeem points online or via phone once you've started earning them. You should also be ready to spend $1,200 within the first 90 days as a new account holder if you hope to earn the card's $150 statement credit sign-up bonus.

Card Basics

Annual Fee $0
Intro Bonus Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 on purchases in the first 90 days
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months

0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months

Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top Card Benefits

  • Easy-to-earn welcome offer: Spend just $1,200 on your new ABOC Union Strong Credit Card within your first 90 days as a new cardholder and you will earn a $150 statement credit. This $1,200 spending minimum is less than what many competitors require to earn a sign-up bonus.
  • Intro APR: ABOC's Union Strong card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. Plus, the standard APR after 12 months is well below what many competitors charge.
  • Simple rewards program with bonus categories: Earn 5X rewards on up to $1,500 in quarterly bonus categories, and 1X rewards on all other purchases. That rate of reward is competitive with the top cashback cards on the market.
  • Flexible redemption options: You can choose how to redeem points, whether it’s towards travel, gift cards, or a statement credit. Points don't expire and you can redeem easily online or via phone. 
  • Union-friendly perks: Union members may be eligible to skip monthly credit card payments if they’re on a union-sanctioned strike that has lasted 30 or more days — provided the union notifies ABOC. Skipping a payment is also possible when the union has chosen a no-pay option month.

Earning & Redeeming

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn points on your Union Strong card is to max out the card's bonus categories each quarter, which allow you to earn 5X points on rotating bonus categories such as travel, home improvement, or grocery purchases (up to the first $1,500 spent each quarter)). You can find the quarterly calendar on ABOC's website.

The 2019 categories where you can earn 5X points include:

  • Grocery and dining purchases: From January through March, cardholders were eligible for 5X points on purchases at grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants.
  • Home improvement purchases: During the months of April, May, and June, cardholders could earn the bonus 5X points on purchases made at home improvement stores as well as on qualifying home improvement purchases at warehouse and wholesale clubs.
  • Travel: July, August, and September were ideal months for jetsetters who could earn bonus cash back on qualifying purchases with airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. Cruises and car rental purchases also provide bonus cash back.
  • Automotive purchases: From October through December, bonus cash back is available on service, repairs, and car parts purchased with the ABOC Union Strong card.

You can also earn additional points by shopping with partner merchants directly from ABOCRewards.com. Whenever you plan to buy, start at this site and see if you can click through to a partner merchant to maximize the points you earn.

Maximizing redemptions

The good news for those looking for a flexible card is that the ABOC Union Strong Card provides plenty of redemption options through ABOCRewards.com.

You can also book travel, purchase merchandise, request a statement credit, or buy merchant gift cards with your points. The value of your points will vary depending on how you redeem, however, so compare offers when redeeming to choose the one that offers the best deal.

Common Questions

Am I eligible for the ABOC Union Strong Credit Card?

You do not have to be a union member to get the Union Strong Credit card as the card is open to both union members and supporters of labor unions. You are also not required to live in Chicago to get the card. However union members get additional benefits, such as the ability to skip payments during a sanctioned strike, which are not available to non-union members.

Do ABOC reward points expire?

Rewards points do not expire with your ABOC Union Strong credit card. But if your account is no longer in good standing because you default or if you close your account while you have remaining points, you could lose the points you have.

Can I prequalify for the ABOC Union Strong Credit Card?

Eligibility for the Union Strong credit card depends on your creditworthiness. You cannot prequalify for the card and, although you can apply online, you'll need to be aware that this will result in a hard credit check.


Other Cards to Consider

While the ABOC Union Strong Card offers great features and generous rewards, there are also some other cards out there with no annual fees to consider. Here are a few others to take a look at when deciding if the ABOC card is right for you.

  • Discover it Cash Back: The Discover it Cash Back Card is similar to the ABOC Union Strong Card in that it too offers 5% cash back at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and more (up to the quarterly maximum), along with 1% cash back on all purchases.

    But it offers some benefits the ABOC Union Strong card doesn't, including a longer 0% intro APR period of 14 months. New cardholders can also automatically get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of any cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. The ABOC Union Strong Card, however, stands apart because it has a lower standard APR than the Discover option once the promotional rates expire.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn't provide extra rewards in bonus categories, but its standard unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases beats the ABOC Union Strong’s rewards in regular categories.

    The Freedom Unlimited’s regular APR is also higher than the ABOC Union Strong Card's, but Chase has a longer 0% promotional APR for 15 months.

Easy rewards, no annual fee

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

ABOC Union Strong Credit Card

Special Offer

Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 on purchases in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Discover it Cash Back
Discover it Cash Back
  • 5% cash back in several categories
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months
  • Cash back match your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Advertising Policy

FinanceBuzz.com is an independent, advertising-supported website. Some of the offers that appear on this page are from third party advertisers from which FinanceBuzz.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear).

FinanceBuzz.com does not include all financial or credit offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace. FinanceBuzz.com does not include all companies or all available products.

FinanceBuzz has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. FinanceBuzz and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.