Good news, folks: it’s Commerce Bank credit card time! While it’s fun writing about the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard, it’s also fun to dig into more obscure cards. We thus turn now to Commerce Bank and its surprisingly diverse (for a smaller player) credit card portfolio. I’ve written about the Commerce Bank credit card portfolio twice before: once in reference to its Garfield credit card, which has apparently been discontinued, and once to review the Sustain:Green card.
In a nutshell: there isn’t much to see here with the possible exception of the hotel card. You’d be better off with a simple 2% card like the DoubleCash or the Fidelity Amex than with any of these. But now that we’ve brought it up, let’s start with that hotel card:
The Drury Gold Key Club credit card: The Drury Hotels credit card only gives one point per dollar spent, but consider this:
- No annual fee
- Benefits include best room available within classand possible room upgrades
- 15,000-point sign-up bonus
- Only one purchase is needed to get the sign-up bonus
These points make it the most intriguing Commerce Bank credit card I’ve seen, so I’m filing it away on my list of cards to apply for. Do any of you know anything about Drury Hotels or the Drury Hotels credit card? It seems like they’re mostly in the Midwest, though they do have a few here in the southeast. I checked one near me, and on TripAdvisor it was ranked #1 of 63 hotels in Greenville, SC. Redemptions are 7,500 to 15,000 points per room, so this one isn’t a way to rack up a lot of free rooms. But on the positive side, the Drury credit card is a hotel card that’s not issued by Chase.
Special Connections Visa with Rewards: 1 point per dollar spent. No sign-up bonus. There are rotating bonus categories of 2 and 3%, but then other cards have permanent categories of 2 and 3%, while others have rotating categories of 5%. Pass! Though I should point out that you can get a 0% introductory APR for 6 months if that floats your boat. There is also a Special Connections MasterCard with Rewards version of this card as well.
One thing I don’t like about this card is that it offers 3% cash back on interest charges. What’s not to like about cash back, you ask? It’s the fact that this is a sneaky way of enticing people into debt, and a sneaky way of getting people who are bad at math to think they’re getting a good deal on their interest. Think about it: if your interest rate is 10%, and you get 3% cash back on interest charges, your interest rate is actually 9.7%–NOT 7% as some would think.
And if you’re curious, here’s the Commerce Bank Rewards page.
Commerce Bank Miles and the Commerce Bank Visa Signature: 1 point per dollar spent. No sign-up bonus. Both of these have the same kind of bonuses as the Special Connections Visa, except these two are Visa Signatures, for whatever that’s worth, which is not much. Both have the 0% introductory APR as well. Pass!
Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard: This card is puzzling. It’s got a $125 annual fee, which would suggest that it’s an elite travel card… but it’s not! It stinks. It has the same mediocre rewards as the no-fee cards above, plus you get 2% back for travel and restaurant purchases. There’s no sign-up bonus, either. So how do they justify the high annual fee? They do offer a Lounge Club membership, but big deal… I’ve had one of those for years through my Chase Ink (although it’s being discontinued for that card) and that card has much better rewards, a better sign-up bonus, and a lower annual fee. You can safely skip this card.
Sustain:Green: See my review here. As the headline says, it’s “for environmentally conscious types who don’t understand credit cards.” If you’re starting to think that I’m not a fan of the Commerce Bank credit card scene, you are absolutely right.
The Royals MasterCard and the Blues MasterCard: Can you guess the rewards earning rate with these cards? That’s right: one point per dollar spent. The St. Louis Blues card does give you two tickets when you sign up for it. Perhaps these cards could be used to console Missouri sports fans after the Rams move to Los Angeles? Otherwise, get a 2% card and use the rewards to buy tickets to support the Missouri sports team of your choice.
Kansas City Zoo Visa: Are you ready for a surprise? Here it is: this card earns one point per dollar spent! It does have four different designs, though. Unless you’re a huge fan of the Kansas City Zoo, you can pass on this one.
In conclusion: whatever your reasons for considering a Commerce Bank credit card, the odds are that you’ll do better with a credit card from somebody else. Remember: if you don’t know what you’re doing with credit cards, your best bet is to get a simple 2% cash back card and pay it off every month. Cheers!