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A new credit card on the way from telecom giant Verizon makes it easy to rack up rewards — but those rewards are redeemable only toward spending with Verizon wireless or the company's Fios fiber-optic internet service. That’s helpful if you have high Verizon bills to offset, but it’s not as flexible as a general cash-back credit card.
The Verizon Visa Card, issued by Synchrony, isn’t publicly available just yet. There's a waitlist to apply, which is accepting sign-ups through June 25, 2020, at 9 p.m. EDT.
You must be a Verizon wireless account owner or account manager on an account with 10 phone lines or less to apply for the Verizon Visa Card.
If you join the waitlist, apply for the card and are approved, you’ll split an early-access bonus of 1 million "Verizon Dollars" with other early adopters. Verizon Dollars are the card's rewards currency. Each Verizon Dollar is worth $1 when applied toward eligible Verizon or Fios purchases.
The maximum bonus per cardholder in the early-access promotion is 1,000 Verizon Dollars, but the payouts will probably be a lot less. If only 1,000 applicants (or fewer) are approved, then each could earn the maximum 1,000 Verizon Dollars. If 100,000 are approved, however, the individual share could theoretically drop to only 10 Verizon Dollars. (UPDATE Sept. 10, 2020: The early access bonus turned out to be $411.35, which means 2,431 customers qualified for it.)
Beyond the early-access bonus, the card offers new cardholders up to $100 in wireless bill credits over 24 consecutive months when they use their Verizon Visa Card to pay their monthly Verizon bill. That comes out to $4.17 a month.
Unlike some retailer-branded credit cards that can be used only at specific stores, the Verizon Visa Card can be used anywhere that takes Visa. That makes it easier to build up a stash of Verizon Dollars, especially considering the high rewards rates:
4% back at gas stations and grocery stores.
3% back on restaurants, bars, fast food establishments and takeout.
2% back on Verizon purchases, including at Verizon stores, on Verizon.com, over the phone with a Verizon representative or at an exclusive Verizon authorized retailer. (This includes purchases of devices and accessories, as well as paying your Verizon wireless or Fios bill.)
1% back on all other purchases, including Verizon services offered at retailers like Best Buy and Walmart.
Nerd tip: If you set up your Verizon account to autopay with the Verizon Visa Card, you will be eligible for the provider's $5- or $10-per-line monthly autopay/paperless-billing discount. (The amount of the discount depends on your plan.) Ordinarily, you can get the discount only if you pay from a bank account or with a debit card, but not with credit cards.
There are no limits on how many Verizon Dollars you can earn through your spending, and Verizon Dollars won’t expire as long as your card account remains open and active. You must have at least one line on your Verizon Wireless account as well.
Other benefits of the card include two TravelPass days each calendar year. (TravelPass allows you to use your phone in more than 185 foreign countries for just $5 a day in Canada and Mexico and $10 a day elsewhere.)
While you can earn rewards on every purchase, you can redeem those earnings only in very specific ways:
To pay your Verizon wireless or Fios bill in stores, online or over the phone.
To buy or pay down the balance for devices or accessories in stores, online or over the phone.
To pay the down payment of a device payment agreement at a Verizon authorized retailer.
To use your points, you’d opt to redeem them at the time of purchase. Verizon Dollars can’t be used to purchase gift cards or make security deposits for Verizon Wireless or Verizon Fios account services.
» MORE: Verizon cell phone plans