Posted on August 31st, 2012
You’ve heard of cloud computing, but cloud purchasing?
It’s a new concept that tech startup Wallaby is introducing into the payments space. The Wallaby Card aggregates all of your credit cards into “One Card to Rule Them All”—a smart card that uses cloud technology to store your credit card information.
Launched earlier this year, the startup’s goal is to help consumers maximize their credit card rewards mid-purchase.
How does it work?
When you sign up for Wallaby, you’ll indicate which credit cards you have in your wallet and what kind of rewards you’re interested in earning, whether it’s cash back or airline miles. After applying, you’ll receive your Wallaby Card in the mail. Through your online account, you can add your credit cards to the new card. The Wallaby Card stores the cards’ information so you can use it to make purchases. That’s where the Wallaby Card really shines.
Let’s look at a couple of for-instances. Say you’re paying for a tank of gas. The Wallaby Card will automatically send the purchase to the credit card that gives you 5 percent cash back on gas purchases. Then, when you’re buying a plane ticket, the Wallaby Card will route that purchase to the card that gives you double points on airline miles. You don’t have to pick which card to pay with; Wallaby does it for you.
Also, you can set up your own purchase rules by using your online Wallaby account or mobile app. If you want to make sure that you don’t exceed the recommended 30 percent credit utilization on your cash back card, you can designate that rule.
The Wallaby Card is not an actual credit card, so applying for one won’t prompt a hard inquiry on your credit report or affect your credit score at all. It just stores your credit card information so that it can decide for your which credit card will give you the best deal on your current purchase.
So, what’s the catch?
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, there is a small catch. The Wallaby Card comes with an annual fee of $50, although beta members get to use the card for free for six months.
When consumers can already get a great cash back rewards card like the Chase Freedom Visa without paying an annual fee, will they even consider the Wallaby Card? Maybe, if Wallaby really does fulfill its promise to maximize credit card rewards.
As it stands, the Wallaby Card might be right for you if you have a wide range of rewards cards that have become unmanageable, not just one or two. According to Credit Karma data, the average consumer carries more than five credit cards. Our wallets are bursting with plastic, and Wallaby wants to help.
Would you try the Wallaby Card?
Posted on August 6th, 2012
Here are five things to pay attention to when picking a great rewards credit card.
Rewards You Can Use
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when searching for a new card is to choose one that gives you rewards that you won’t actually use. What’s the point of racking up airline miles if you’re terrified of air travel? Instead, focus on those rewards cards that will get you what you want, whether it’s cash back—like Blue Cash Everyday Card—hotel perks or special event offers.
Interest That Doesn’t Eclipse Rewards
Cash back is great, isn’t it? But if you tend to leave a balance on your credit card from month to month, and your interest rate is sky-high, you’ll likely pay more in interest than you’ll receive in cash back. That rewards card just turned into a regular, boring credit card, didn’t it? The best thing to do is to set a precedent that you’ll never leave a balance on your credit card. Alternatively, do the math to make sure that the cash back rewards you receive each month is more than the interest you pay. Or choose a rewards card with a lower APR, like the Escape card. The APR on this card starts at just 10.9 percent.
The Annual Fee
Don’t get me wrong, paying an annual fee can be worth it if you’re getting amazing rewards. But for some cards, even a low annual fee can cancel out the benefit of rewards. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to rack up enough rewards to warrant paying an annual fee, get a card that comes fee-free, like the Capital One Cash Rewards card.
Revolving Cash Back Categories
Some of the best rewards cards offer 5 percent cash back on your purchases. The catch? You have to make sure you enroll in the seasonal category before the deadline. These big-bucks categories typically change each season, so to maximize your rewards, you have to be paying attention. If you choose the Chase Freedom Visa, make sure to mark on your calendar when it’s time to enroll in the next cash-back category.
Get ‘em while they’re still here! These offers usually include bonus cash back after you spend a certain amount. The Blue Cash Everyday Card will get you $100 extra if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. However, the cards that give you the best bonus offers usually require a higher credit score for approval. For instance, according to Credit Karma data, the Blue Cash Everyday has an average approved credit score of 732. Check Credit Karma’s credit score approval data before you apply for a big-bonus card.