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Venmo, the popular PayPal-owned, peer-to-peer payment service, launched its first credit card in 2020, offering cash back rewards based on which categories you spend the most in.
The Venmo Credit Card, as it’s officially known, is issued by Synchrony Bank and earns cardholders heightened cash back on the two categories they spend the most in each month, plus 1 percent back on all other eligible purchases. There’s no need to track or activate the card’s spending categories, making it exceptionally easy for cardholders to earn rewards on the spending they do the most.
Over the past few years, major tech companies have entered the credit card landscape. Senior Bankrate industry analyst Ted Rossman points out the Venmo Card’s similarities to the Apple Card*, including the young user-base shared by both companies, low fees and cash back-focused rewards.
“Like Apple, I think Venmo is trying to create a whole payments ecosystem,” Rossman says. “You could potentially get your pay deposited into Venmo, pay companies and individuals within the platform, etc.”
Venmo Credit Card rewards structure
With the Venmo Credit Card, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back on eligible purchases in your top spend category, 2 percent on the next highest spend category and 1 percent on all other eligible purchases. The eight categories that qualify for 3 and 2 percent cash back include:
- Dining and nightlife
- Bills and utilities
- Health and beauty
You can view your top spend categories within the Venmo app, making it easy to track which categories you’re earning your 3 and 2 percent rewards on.
Using your cash back rewards
In terms of using the rewards you earn with the Venmo Credit Card, the process is fairly simple, though slightly different from standard credit card rewards redemption.
At the end of each card statement period, your cash rewards are automatically transferred to your Venmo balance. From there, you can use the cash to make payments and purchases (with merchants accepting Venmo), transfer cash to your linked bank account, send cash to other Venmo users and even purchase crypto. Note, there’s no credit card fee when you use your Venmo card to pay friends (typically 3 percent).
Within your Venmo account, you can switch on the Purchase crypto feature, and Venmo will use automatically use your cash rewards to purchase your cryptocurrency of choice at the end of each statement period — sans crypto transaction fees. Currently, you can choose between Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Venmo Credit Card benefits
While the main draw of the Venmo Credit Card is its personalized cash back rewards structure and perks for frequent users of the Venmo app, here’s a look at some additional features that may sweeten the deal for potential cardholders.
No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
As a no-annual-fee credit card, cardholders don’t have to worry about spending enough to recoup the cost of card ownership. Further, the card doesn’t charge additional fees for purchases made outside of the U.S.
The Venmo Credit Card is a Visa credit card, meaning that, at the most basic level, it offers access to a zero fraud liability policy, roadside dispatch services, lost or stolen card replacement and an auto rental collision damage waiver.
Just as with the Venmo app, the Venmo Credit Card comes printed with your personal QR code for use in paying (or being paid by) friends. There are also five colorful card designs to choose from.
A virtual version of your Venmo Credit Card is available by pulling up the app, giving you instant access to your card after approval. It can also be added to some other mobile wallets, like Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Is the Venmo Credit Card right for you?
If you’re already an avid user of Venmo and are looking for a flexible, no-annual-fee cash back card that adjusts to your spending style each month, the Venmo Credit Card may be a good fit.
“Other cards have tiered rewards structures that you can customize (like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card), but both of those need to be set ahead of time,” Rossman says. “I like how the Venmo Card makes it automatic.”
There’s also the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, launched in 2021, which automatically offers 5 percent cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle, up to $500 (then 1 percent). The Venmo Credit Card sticks out as the only automatic custom cash back category card without a spending cap.
Don’t forget, Venmo also offers the Venmo Debit Card, through which you can earn automatic rewards based on participating merchants (listed within the Venmo app) — though there’s more earning potential with the credit card.
The bottom line
The Venmo Credit Card can help cardholders earn solid, personalized cash back rewards for no annual fee. And if you’re already a habitual user of Venmo’s app, perks like the card’s personal QR code, lack of a credit card fee when you pay friends and easy rewards tracking can make the card worth applying for.
*The information about the Apple Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.