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Die-hard Kansas City Royals fans can show their love not just with their team gear, but also their wallets, thanks to the KC Royals™ Mastercard®.
If you know the difference between George Brett and Bret Saberhagen, and pay to attend Royals games every season, this $0-annual-fee card offers discounts and access to exclusive cardholder events that could ramp up your fandom.
Plus, it has a snazzy design that will let everyone know you’re loyal to the Royals whenever you swipe your card.
But is this card a home run for everyday spending, or do the benefits stop with baseball? Well, the KC Royals™ Mastercard® does offer flexibility in how you can earn rewards and what you can redeem them for. Combined with its other benefits, it could be a good catch.
Here are five things to know about the KC Royals™ Mastercard®.
Nerd tip: As an alternative, you can get an MLB-branded credit card through Bank of America® that can be customized to the team of your choice.
1. Not everyone can apply online
You can apply online for the card if you live in a state within reasonable driving distance of the Royals' home ballpark, Kauffman Stadium, which makes sense because some card perks involve attending games there. You must be a resident of one of these states:
That’s an important restriction. But if you're off the list, you’re not out yet. If you apply in a Commerce Bank branch or through direct mail, then residents of all 50 states are eligible, a bank spokeswoman confirmed.
2. It offers useful reward categories
When you use the KC Royals™ Mastercard®, you'll earn an unlimited:
3% cash back at coffee shops, fast-food establishments and on ridesharing services.
2% cash back at gas stations and eligible restaurants.
1% cash back on all other purchases.
The card's 3% categories are highly specific, which is somewhat unusual for a tiered rewards card. But they could be potentially lucrative on your commute to the ballpark — or if you stop by an out-of-stadium McDonald’s on the way to the game (so much cheaper than eating at a ballpark).
3. Redemptions go beyond cash back
You’d think a baseball-team-branded card might let you redeem points only for peanuts and Cracker Jack, but there are actually several options for cashing in rewards, even though most of the card's marketing mentions the cash-back option. Note that points expire after three years.
Cash back. Cash back comes to you in the form of a statement credit, and you must redeem a minimum of 2,500 points.
Flights. Book flights through the Commerce Bank Rewards Service Center using a minimum of 10,000 points. Choose any available airline, destination, travel date or seat. Terms apply.
Gift cards and merch. Redeem points for gift cards for participating retailers, as well as for Kansas City Royals merchandise.
Give away points. You can also gift rewards points to other Commerce Bank customers who are members of qualified rewards programs, or combine your point earnings from multiple Commerce Bank accounts. Points you acquire this way will expire in one year.
4. Cardholders can get special access and discounts
With the KC Royals™ Mastercard®, you can take part in exclusive Kansas City Royals events, but space is limited and these events require you to redeem quite a few points.
An example of the least pricey option during a recent season included a cardholder appreciation event and access to the Dugout Suite for a home game. For both events, you could redeem rewards in exchange for two suite tickets and complimentary food and nonalcoholic drinks. However, you had to have been available during the specific games when the events took place, and space was limited. The experiences cost 15,000 to 20,000 points.
More flexible (and costly in terms of points) was the Diamond Club package, where 30,000 points could get you comfy seats and access to the Diamond Club bar and concessions. And for 70,000 points, superfans could throw the ceremonial first pitch.
For those who are content to sweat it out in the cheap seats, cardholders get discounted ticket prices. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
5. Introductory APR offers are a mix
The KC Royals™ Mastercard® offers a decent 0% intro APR period on purchase and balance transfers. Even better, the annual fee is $0. It’s great for treating yourself to season tickets and then taking your time to pay them off, interest-free.
But the 5% balance transfer fee is steep. Plus, if your main goal in getting a credit card is transferring a balance, other balance transfer credit cards provide longer 0% APR periods.