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The Owner’s Rewards Card by M1, a tech company offering various financial products and services, is a cash-back card aimed at investors. The base earnings rate is 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but you’ll earn additional cash back up to 10% when you make purchases at companies you own stock in. You can reinvest cash-back rewards into your investment account (though redeeming for cash is also an option). In a way, this encourages users to put their money into companies they believe in, both as an investor and as a customer.
The card, which is issued by Celtic Bank, is part of a growing trend of credit cards that are evolving beyond the more common cash-back and travel rewards programs. However, you need to have an established investing relationship with M1 in order to get the card.
Here are five things to know about the Owner’s Rewards Card by M1.
1. You need an M1 investing account to qualify
The Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 doesn’t pair with the brokerage account of your choice. Rather, it’s designed to work in tandem with existing M1 accounts. To earn that extra cash back on stocks you own, you must hold those securities in a qualified M1 investment account (custodial and trust accounts through M1 are excluded).
2. Earn extra cash back on purchases with companies you own shares of
You can earn 2.5%, 5% or 10% cash back when you shop at select merchants you own shares of in your eligible M1 investment account. These merchants are selected because they’re the most-held companies among people who invest through M1. As of December 2021, some of those merchants include Peloton, Amazon, American Airlines and Starbucks, among others. According to Ben Reid, general manager of M1 Spend, M1 will refresh the list of eligible merchants every six months to reflect their updated popularity with investors.
If you buy shares of a company you haven’t yet held in your M1 account before, you’ll begin to earn higher cash-back rates on purchases at that company as soon as your trade is settled. No activation is required.
Note that you can earn a maximum of $200 cash back per month.
3. You can reinvest rewards or redeem as cash
When you want to redeem rewards, you have two options: reinvestment into your eligible M1 investment account, or cash back in the form of a deposit into your M1 Spend account (which functions similarly to a checking account).
4. Investing through M1 is automated
If you opt to reinvest your cash back, you’re not buying shares of the companies you shopped at to earn those rewards. With an M1 investing account, you designate your “pie” — a stock portfolio where you determine what percentage of the pie is invested in which company. You can also select a predesigned “expert pie” created according to different investment strategies. Any reinvested rewards you earn with the Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 will be allocated according to your pie.
For example, let’s say you created a pie that is equally divided among five companies. If you redeem $200 worth of rewards, 20%, or $40, will be invested into each company.
5. You’ll get a free year of M1 Plus before the price jumps
The Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 charges a $95 annual fee, but this is waived if you join M1 Plus, a program offering additional perks for your suite of M1 accounts. M1 Plus costs $0 for the first year, then $125.
M1 Plus goes hand in hand with carrying the Owner’s Rewards Card by M1. It also includes features like earned interest on your M1 Spend account, more monthly ATM fee reimbursements and the ability to open custodial investment accounts. You’ll also be charged a lower interest rate if you open an M1 Borrow line of credit, which allows you to borrow against your investments.