When it comes to spending bonuses, credit cards get all the buzz–and deservedly so, since the profit model for that product allows for generous subsidies to the enlightened consumer. But I’ve found an obscure prepaid card which gives a barely-believable 5% back on purchases at CVS.
Say hello to the Edge Prepaid card, offered by the National Restaurant Association. As prepaids go, it is for the most part not particularly remarkable. You can load it via Direct Deposit, ACH, or Western Union. It doesn’t seem to have a cool billpay function like Bluebird, nor does it have Bluebird’s low fees. However, it does have one interesting characteristic, and that is an unusual rewards program.
If you click on that link you’ll see a mention of 5% cash back at CVS, plus pretty good rebates at other merchants as well, including Lowe’s and Marriott.
This sounds too good to be true–Is this for portal shopping only? What’s the catch?–so let’s check out the terms and conditions:
Using Cash Rewards. Cash Rewards are statement credit rewards automatically posted to your
EmployeeEdge card within 90 days after using your EmployeeEdge card to make a purchase at a
participating merchant. The 90-day window is to allow time for merchants to be invoiced for their
participation in the program, and for Heartland Payment Systems to credit your card with the
reward commission due. In no event will posting times extend beyond this 90-day window. No
coupons or opt-in are required, and there is no fee to receive Cash Rewards discounts. The
amount of the statement credit is based upon a percentage of the purchase price. The exact
percentage is set by the merchant, and will typically vary from three to ten percent per
transaction. Participating merchants may set their percentage higher than ten or lower than three
if they choose. There is no maximum dollar amount that will be credited on any given transaction,
nor is there any minimum purchase amount required to enable Cash Rewards.
“No maximum dollar amount” sounds nice, but that sounds like a clunky system, and I imagine there would be issues with redemptions sooner or later. So that’s a hitch in my book.
Incidentally, you may have noticed the references to the “EmployeeEdge Card” above. What’s that all about? Is this only available via employers?
This card apparently was set up as a product for restaurant employees. However, as per the website’s FAQ:
Do I have to work in the restaurant industry to get an Edge card?
No – the Edge card is available to everyone. The National Restaurant Association designed this card as a benefit for the hard-working employees in our industry. However, it is available to anyone who wants to participate. After all, half of all American adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their lives.
So that explains that. But there’s another hitch, and that is the issuer:
The Edge Discover prepaid card is issued by The Bancorp Bank.
And that’s an issue, as those is the know will tell you that Bancorp Bank does not take kindly to customers who repeatedly capitalize on a good deal. This one, though quite tempting, does not seem to be worth it to me. As always, your mileage may vary. Anybody going to try this one out?