Many of the best cashback credit cards provide easy ways to earn cash back on everyday purchases. You typically have cards that earn an unlimited rate on any purchase or cards that earn bonus cash back in certain categories, such as groceries or gas.
The Venmo Credit Card was likely designed to compete with these cards by further simplifying the rewards process while still offering high cashback rates. But does it offer enough value to take on more established credit cards?
Below, we cover the basics of the Venmo Credit Card and five important things to know about it. This will help you decide whether the Venmo Credit Card’s rewards and benefits are worth it for you.
What is Venmo?
Venmo is a financial services app that was created in 2009 as a way for friends and family to make fast and safe payments between each other. This could include paying a friend for dinner, sending a roommate rent money, or chipping in on gas on a family road trip. Venmo is owned by PayPal and has more than 60 million users. The Venmo app is available on both iOS and Android devices.
To expand its financial services, Venmo has recently started offering branded financial products. This includes the Venmo Debit Card and the Venmo Credit Card. Venmo users can apply for the Venmo Debit Card in the Venmo app, but the Venmo Credit Card is available (as of Jan. 18, 2021) only to select Venmo users with the latest version of the app. However, the Venmo Credit Card is slated for a full release to all U.S. Venmo users in the coming months.
To prepare for its release, learn more about how the Venmo Credit Card works.
Venmo credit card: The basics
Although the Venmo Debit Card is a Mastercard, the Venmo Credit Card is a Visa card issued by Synchrony Bank. It earns cashback rewards on any purchase you make, though the process to earn bonus rewards is unique compared to other cashback cards. The Venmo Credit Card links with the Venmo app, so it’s easy to manage all your Venmo services from the same place.
5 things to know about the Venmo credit card
1. Cashback rewards program is unique (maximized rewards to what you spend the most on)
The biggest draw for cashback credit cards is earning cash back for every purchase you make or for specific types of purchases you frequently make. If you can get a quality cashback rate in categories where you typically make purchases, you’ve likely found an excellent cashback card.
The Venmo Credit Card offers three cashback rates for purchases: 3%, 2%, and 1%. However, you don’t have any specific categories attached to each rate. Instead, the Venmo Credit Card will automatically assign 3% cash back to your top spend category during a given statement period. The 2% rate is assigned to your second-highest spending category, and the rest of your purchases get the 1% rate.
So if you spend $500 on bills and utilities, $300 on dining, and $200 on gas in a statement period, you’d earn 3% cash back on $500, 2% cash back on $300, and 1% cash back on $200. Your total cash back for the period would be $23. This system of automatically assigning increased cashback rates to your highest spending categories may make the Venmo Credit Card one of the best credit cards for Venmo.
Although personalized cash back can be an attractive perk, keep in mind that you can earn cash back only on the first combined $10,000 spent each year in the 3% and 2% categories. After you’ve hit the $10,000 annual spend limit, all your purchases earn 1% cash back. This may turn some people off, but getting at least 2% cash back on the first $10,000 you spend each year is still a decent return.
Specific spend categories for the 3% and 2% rates include:
- Dining and nightlife
- Bills and utilities
- Health and beauty
Any cash back you earn with the Venmo Credit Card is applied to your Venmo balance. You can use your Venmo balance to make purchases or payments through Venmo or send money to another Venmo user. You can also transfer your balance to a linked bank account or debit card.
Having your cashback rewards applied to your Venmo balance is the only redemption option available on the Venmo Credit Card. This seemingly limits your options, but being able to transfer your balance to a bank account gives you virtually unlimited options for your cash back.
2. Custom, handy features and perks
The Venmo Credit Card’s earning potential is the main benefit, but you also get additional features and perks to increase the card’s value. These perks include:
- Virtual card number: Your card details are always available in the Venmo app if you need them. This makes it easy to continue using your card for online purchases, even if you don’t have your physical card on hand. This could be especially useful if you’ve lost or misplaced your card or if you’re waiting for your physical card to arrive in the mail.
- Custom colors and unique QR code: Choosing the color of your card isn’t necessarily helpful, but many people like to have options for card customization. Available colors include Cotton Candy, Night Life, Denim, Campfire, and Tropical Islands. The front of your card will also get a unique Venmo QR code so your friends can scan it and quickly pull up your Venmo profile to split purchases.
- Contactless payments: The best contactless credit cards make it easy to breeze through in-store checkouts without touching any surfaces. The Venmo Credit Card features secure, contactless technology that works with contactless-enabled terminals. Look for the contactless symbol (it looks like a Wi-Fi symbol) to find a compatible payment terminal.
- No annual fee: Annual fees reduce the value of credit cards, but you don’t have to worry about an annual cost with the Venmo Credit Card.
3. For active Venmo users only
The Venmo Credit Card is only available for active Venmo users. This means you need to have a Venmo account to apply for and use the Venmo Credit Card. Fortunately, it’s free to sign up for and use Venmo. In addition, the Venmo app is free to download on both the App Store and Google Play.
As mentioned above, the Venmo Credit Card isn’t currently available (as of Jan. 18, 2021) for everyone to apply. Only select customers with the latest version of the Venmo app are able to apply right now. This is likely to change in the coming months with a full release for all U.S. Venmo customers.
4. Two versions of the Venmo Credit Card
Synchrony is the card issuer behind the Venmo Credit Card, but the card functions on the Visa payments network. This means cardholders get additional Visa benefits, including global credit card acceptance in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Qualified Venmo Credit Card applicants will receive one of the following versions of the card: a Visa Traditional card or a Visa Signature card. Visa Traditional benefits include:
- Cardholder support: Call cardholder support any time from anywhere in the world for assistance with your card account.
- Zero-liability policy: You’re covered for any unauthorized transactions made with your card if it’s lost, stolen, or fraudulently used.
- Lost or stolen card replacement: Contact Synchrony’s 24/7 support line for assistance with getting a replacement card shipped to you wherever you are.
- Emergency cash: Contact Visa to arrange an emergency wire transfer to a nearby location if you need it.
- Roadside dispatch: Access a pay-for-use roadside assistance program if you need a jumpstart, tire change, standard towing services, lockout services, fuel delivery, or standard winching services.
Visa Signature benefits include all Visa Traditional benefits, plus these additional benefits:
- Visa Luxury Hotel Collection: Receive exclusive benefits at hotels within the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection. This includes a best available rate guarantee, room upgrades when available, food and beverage credit, free daily breakfast, VIP guest status, complimentary Wi-Fi when available, and late checkout when available.
- Silvercar discount: Receive up to 15% off qualifying Audi rentals from Silvercar.
- Golf benefits: Receive 10% off at more than 95 golf courses worldwide.
- Sonoma County benefits: Receive complimentary benefits at select wineries in Sonoma County. This may include preferred pricing on non-wine purchases, savings on same-day wine purchases, and a complimentary tasting with the purchase of a standard tasting.
- Visa Concierge: Enjoy 24/7 access to a Visa Concierge for help with special reservations, bookings, or gift purchases.
5. Manage your account in the Venmo app
The Venmo Credit Card and Venmo app are linked, so it’s easy to manage everything card-related directly in the app. This includes common things like checking your Venmo Credit Card balance and viewing your rewards activity. However, the app also lets you adjust your autopay settings, request a new virtual card number, view your credit card transactions, and disable or enable your physical card.
So if you want to analyze your spending trends in your transaction history and view past credit card statements, the app is the place to go. It’s also a convenient way to view and pay your credit card bill each month.
FAQs about the Venmo Credit Card
Is the Venmo Credit Card worth it?
The Venmo Credit Card is well worth it for Venmo users who can take advantage of its earning potential and benefits. With no annual fee and up to 3% automatic cash back on your highest spending category, it competes with other similar cashback credit cards.
What credit score do you need for the Venmo Credit Card?
You likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Venmo Credit Card. A good FICO score starts off around 670, and an excellent FICO score is greater than 800.
Does the Venmo Credit Card earn rewards?
The Venmo Credit Card rewards you for every purchase you make with it. You’ll earn 3% cash back on your highest spending category each statement period and 2% cash back on the next highest spending category. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1% cash back.
The 2% and 3% rates are capped at the first $10,000 of combined spend each year. After you hit the $10,000 combined spend, you’ll earn a 1% cashback rate on purchases.
Can you add the Venmo Credit Card to Apple Pay?
Synchrony Bank, the card issuer for the Venmo Credit Card, is included as a participating bank for Apple Pay. However, not all cards from participating banks are supported by Apple Pay. Reports from users and Synchrony customer service state you can’t add the Venmo Credit Card to Apple Pay.
Alternative cards to consider
The Venmo Credit Card provides a unique system for automatically earning bonus cash back on your two highest spending categories, but the annual $10,000 limit on the higher cashback rates decreases the card’s value. If you’re interested in two excellent cashback credit card alternatives, consider the Citi Double Cash Card and Chase Freedom Flex.
The Citi Double Cash is an ideal choice if you want to earn unlimited cash back without worrying about different categories. You can earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. This is potentially better than what the Venmo Credit Card offers because there’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn each year.
The Chase Freedom Flex has set bonus categories and rotating categories, like gas or groceries, which change each quarter. You can earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores. You earn 1% on all other purchases.
Overall, the Freedom Flex has a higher earning potential than the Venmo Credit Card because of its increased earning rates, though the categories would need to align with your typical spending habits.
Seriously Powerful Cashback Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% cash back on all other purchases