With so many larger financial institutions competing for credit card customers, it can be easy to overlook some of the hidden gems. If you live in an eligible state and are looking for a solid cash-back card, the Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard could be a winner.
While there’s no sign-up bonus, the Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard has a $0 annual fee, and its 3% cash-back categories cover many everyday purchases.
1. There are geographic limitations
While you don’t need to be a current Bank of the West account holder to apply for the Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard, the card is available only to residents of 19 states. If you live in an eligible state but aren’t near a branch, you can apply for the card online.
2. High cash-back potential — but mind the cap
You can earn unlimited 3% cash back on purchases at restaurants (including fast food and bars) and on grocery purchases. You can also earn 3% cash back on up to $1,500 spent at gas stations per quarter. All other purchases, including anything over the quarterly limit on gas stations, earns 1% cash back.
It’s not easy to find a card that pays unlimited 3% cash back on both dining out and groceries without an annual fee.
The card isn't ideal for international purchases because of its 3% foreign transaction fee, but if much of your budget goes toward food right here in the U.S., you could stand to earn a lot of cash back.
3. Cash back is redeemable in $25 increments
With the Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard, you can redeem cash back at any time as a statement credit or through direct deposit — but only in $25 increments. That can make it harder to actually use all the cash back you earn. For example, if you've earned $65 in cash back, you'll only be able to redeem $50 right away. Bank of the West also notes that it can take up to 10 business days for redemptions to be processed.
4. You can temporarily lock and unlock your card
If you misplace your Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard, you can keep it secure until you know for sure whether it was stolen by instantly locking or unlocking your card from your computer or phone. This is becoming a more common feature of credit and debit cards that lets you protect your card from theft or put your own spending on hold for a while.
5. There's a 0% intro APR period for purchases
The Bank of the West Cash Back World Mastercard offers 0% for 12 months on purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. It’s not the longest introductory APR period out there, but it does give you some time to pay off a large expense without paying interest. It doesn’t make a good balance transfer card, however, because any balance you transfer from another card will begin incurring interest immediately.