Best Point Earning Credit Cards

A Credit Union Credit Card with HUGE Potential

small bank credit card with huge potential
Written by Dustin

As banks tighten up, finding a card for everyday earning potential is becoming more important. Let’s look at a card from a small bank, with some huge potential for “free” coach travel.

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I am always looking for a new card that can lead to big rewards. Everyone is a fan a big sign on bonus, but as banks tighten up I have begun to look at everyday earnings. I think I may have found a keeper (now if only I could join this credit union!). The Truity signature reward credit card, is a credit union credit card with huge potential!

Small Bank Credit Card with Huge Potential

The Card:

Now, at first glance it this card doesn’t special, but when you do a little searching that changes. I think this could actually be the best card for domestic coach tickets, don’t worry, I’ll explain soon :-).

truity signature reward credit card

This card come from Truity Credit Union and if you meet the eligibility criteria, this should be a card you think about. Especially, if you fly domestic coach.

Eligibility Requirements:

This card being issued from a credit union, you need to meet certain criteria in order to become a member. You need to be a member to apply.

In order to become a member you need to fall into one of three different groups

  1. Family Eligibility
    • This includes immediate family members such as: spouses, children, parents, sibilings, grandchildren, grandparents, stepchildren, stepparents, adoptive parents and persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit.
  2. Community Partner:
  3. Truity Education Foundation
    • It seems you need to live in Bartlesville, OK, Lawrence, KS or Springdale, AR regions. If you are you are eligible to join. As long as you are part of the education foundation

If you meet any of these requirements, it could be worth your time to join this bank

Earning Rate:

There are 2 different earning tiers to this card:

  • If you are a member, you will earn 2x points on all transactions.

Now the next option is where it gets interesting!

  • If you open a Truity Advantage Checking Account. You will earn 3x points on all transactions!

Requirements to earn 3x:

After you become a member, you would need to open a Truity Advantage Checking account. It will require $5,000 minimum deposit, and you will need to keep an average daily balance to avoid fees.

The Advantage Checking does come with a whole slew of benefits as well.

If you can keep $5,000 in a separate account or decide to use Truity as your main bank this can really pay off!

Travel Benefits:

The Truity Signature Rewards Credit Card is a Signature Visa. You’ll receive the same benefits you are use to with Visa Signature cards.

Other benefits include:

  • No Annual  Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Travel Accident Benefit
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Signature Concierge
  • Signature Perks
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Roadside Dispatch

Redeeming Your Points

truity signature reward credit card

When someone tells you, you’ll earn 2x or 3x, there always needs to be someway to value those points.

I found limited information regarding CU Rewards but what I was able to find, definitely left me intrigued.

The exception could be their airline award chart, which I was able to find the most information on. To me, there are a few places that stand out:

  • Domestic flights- 25,000 points
  • Europe- 79,000 points
  • Hawaii- 40,500 from CA/NV
  • Hawaii- 59,000 rest of the country

Now these are for coach tickets only, so if you prefer a seat toward the front of the plane this probably is a program you should pass on.

There are some requirements too. You need to book at least 21 days in advance,you are required to stay for a Saturday, and roundtrip ticket is required. You stay can’t be longer than 30 days, and there are no black out dates per a representative I spoke to (although there is mention of blackout dates).

Also, I was told you will earn miles for these flights. This is similar if you were to book travel through Chase, American Express, or Citi.

If you didn’t meet the criteria above you can use your points for an nonrestrictive airfare voucher, which I was told from a representative was:

  • $325 for 25,000 points- 1.3 cents per point or 3.9% value on daily spending
  •  $525 for 40,000-48,000- The representative did mention it depends on which program you are enrolled in. But this value is 1.09 to 1.31 cents per point, or 3.2% to 3.9% value on daily spending
  • $750 for 60,000 to 70,000 point. The value for this is 1.07 to 1.25 cents per point, or 3.2% to 3.75% value on daily spending

If you prefer a nonrestrictive ticket, the be best value seems to be $325 for 25,000 points. Although if you were to redeem $525 for 40,000 points it would be similar in value. Redeeming for the high $750 voucher would yield the least amount in value.

If you look beyond the cent per point valuation, you can see this is close to 4% back on daily spend. Which I think is a pretty solid value.

Considering there have been some sub-$400 fares, using a unrestricted voucher seems it could be better avenue than 79,000 points.

Beyond airfare, CU Rewards offer redemption on cruises, hotels, merchandise, and unrestricted airfare vouchers as well.

Looking Beyond Cent Per Point:

As I have mentioned many times before, I think outside of the bonus people should be finding value based on spending. It is more difficult since there are many variables, but I believe it gives a more accurate picture of value you are receiving.

Let’s look at a few examples. I’ll stick to one airline and same dates for these examples. These were selected at random and the lowest price ticket was used.

Example 1: Boston to Rome for 1 week

truity signature reward credit card

Now, this ticket was the lowest priced ticket at $720. If you look at the cent per point value, you will redeem 79,000 points for 0.9 cents per point, which is not a great cent per point value.

To earn 79,000 points, it will take $26,333 in spending. If you look at it based on spending, you will actually redeem at 2.7% of your spending. Not too bad for a roundtrip trans-Atlantic coach ticket.

Example 2: Boston to Honolulu for 1 week

truity signature reward credit card

The lowest price ticket on from Delta to Honolulu is $1160. Since Boston is outside California or Nevada, this ticket will cost 59,000 points.

Looking at the value from a cent per point, you’ll redeem around 2 cents per point. Definitely, not bad for a coach ticket. Now, you’d need to spend $19,666 in order to redeem for this ticket. Meaning you’ll redeem at 5.9% of your spend.

I think if most of us could be earning and redeeming at this rate, this could reduce the number of cards in wallets.

Example 3: Boston to Los Angeles for 1 week

truity signature reward credit card

Now, I think this is where CU Rewards is probably going to be the best value.

Flying from Boston to Los Angeles would cost $505, this was the cheapest ticket and also non-stop. At a cent per point value, you’ll redeem at 2 cents per point. A solid value for coach travel.

If you look at daily spending, since it will only require $8,333 in spending to earn this ticket. You are earning around 6% on your daily spend with for this ticket.

I completely understand that this will not always workout to be this great of a return. I think I would gladly give up the rotating of 6 or more cards for a single card where I can earn these types of earnings.

Manufactured Spending

I don’t take part in this activity, but I am sure some of you do. This could make your returns even higher if you do, since you are buying points at a low rate.

I don’t know much about this credit union (it seems their customers really like them) and I am not sure of threshold for allowing MS on their cards. They seem to offer a really solid product, so in general proceed at your own risk.

Conclusion:

There is no secret that big sign up credit card bonuses are the best way to earn lots of points and miles. As banks continue to restrict bonuses, making it harder for approvals, I think moving to cards with better daily earning potential is going to be something we see.

The Truity Signature Rewards Credit card isn’t perfect, but it does offer (which seems to me) a great value for daily spending. I think hurdles for this include becoming a member, and if you can keep $5,000 in their accounts to maintain the 3x earnings.

Overall, if you are someone who doesn’t mind flying coach, this seems like a very solid card. Depending on your travel goals, this could be a great way to reduce the number of cards in your wallet and earn “free” flights.

Have you heard of CU Rewards? What are your thoughts on this card?

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About the author

Dustin

After completing 6 years of pharmacy school, I finally had the time to travel. I started investigating ways to travel for less and when I redeemed my first award flight for my honeymoon, I knew I was hooked! Fast forward a couple of years and places I had never dreamed of visiting like Budapest, Honolulu, Bermuda and many other places where all within my reach, and for little to no money out of my pocket. Now, I have collected well over a million points and miles, and try to help people travel for less on their wallet.

6 Comments

    • Hey Mike,

      Will everyone be able to get this card, no. The list of employers who give you access to this credit union is actually quite long though.

      Thanks for reading,
      Dustin

  • Must not know much about CU’s either…

    “I don’t know much about this credit union (it seems their customers really like them)”

    Credit unions have members, not customers 😉

    • Hey CU worker,

      Thank you for that note. It gave me a good laugh 😛

      I do belong to a credit union though, now I can’t remember if they call me a member or customer.

      Thanks for the comment :-).
      Dustin

  • Dustin, thanks for this write-up, but I think if you want to keep people reading what you write it might be wise to:

    1. Use topic sentences. Give the keys up front – don’t make us read just to learn we’ve wasted our time.

    2. Dial back the hype: “HUGE Potential” and then 4 accolades later “I think this could actually be the best card for domestic coach tickets, don’t worry, I’ll explain soon :-).” It’s already getting too late. Explain sooner. Unless you are getting paid by the word, in which case, never mind.

    3. Proofread to get rid of stuff like this: “Now, at first glance it this card doesn’t special”

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