Die-hard Kansas City Royals fans can show their love for the team not just with their wardrobes, but also their wallets, thanks to the Commerce Bank KC Royals™ Mastercard®.
If you already spend the bulk of your entertainment budget on attending games every summer, this $0-annual-fee card offers discounts and access to exclusive cardholder events that could be worth your while.
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 a card a home run for everyday spending, or do the benefits stop with baseball? Well, the Commerce Bank 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.
1. Interesting reward categories
- 3% cash back on ride-sharing services, taxis and wireless providers.
- 2% cash back at gas stations and eligible restaurants.
- 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Some important points to note: The 2% cash back includes all gas station purchases, including those in service stations — but the restaurant category doesn’t include fast food, which is a potential bummer.
The card’s 3% categories are also somewhat unusual for a tiered rewards card. But they could be potentially lucrative on your commute to Kauffman Stadium — or as you pay the cell phone bill that allows you to check the box score or monitor the team’s Twitter feed when you can’t be there in person.
Cash back comes to you in the form of rewards points, and each percent of cash back you earn translates to one point. There’s no limit on how many rewards points you can earn, but your points expire after three years.
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.
2. Redemptions aren’t just for Royals tickets and merch
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 your rewards.
The most basic is cash back in the form of a statement credit. You must redeem a minimum of 2,500 points.
You can book flights through the Commerce Bank Rewards Service Center using a minimum of 10,000 points. You can choose any airline, destination, travel date, or seat, provided there is availability. Terms apply.
You can also redeem points for gift cards for participating retailers, as well as for Kansas City Royals merchandise.
Previously, new cardholders had been able to earn two ticket vouchers for 2018 home games after spending $100 in merchandise purchases in the first 30 days after their accounts opened. However, this season is over for the Royals, and it hasn’t been announced whether this will be available for 2019. If this perk is your main reason for considering this card, you may want to wait and see.
3. Cardholders can get special access and other perks
With the Commerce Bank 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. The least pricey during the 2018 season included a cardholder appreciation event and access to the Dugout Suite for a home game.
For both of these 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 (there were only 13 Dugout Suite packages available, for one night only, during the 2018 season). These experiences cost 15,000 points.
More flexible (and costly in terms of points) was the Diamond Club package, where 25,000 points could get you comfy seats and access to the Diamond Club bar and concessions. And for 65,000 points, superfans could throw the ceremonial first pitch.
For us mere mortals who are content to sweat it out in the cheap seats, cardholders get discounted ticket prices. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
4. The introductory APR is generous …
The Commerce Bank KC Royals™ Mastercard® offers 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 22.24% Variable, which is a nice, long time frame. Even better, the annual fee is $0. It’s great for treating yourself to season tickets and then taking a year to pay them off, interest-free.
If you’re in the market for a general rewards card with an even longer introductory 0% APR, an alternative could be the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card:
- 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR.
- One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
- A $0 annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fee.
5. … but this isn’t the best card for balance transfers
You’d get to enjoy a year of intro 0% APR for a balance transfer, but for a price: The 5% balance transfer fee is on the steep side. Plus, if your main goal in getting a credit card is transferring a balance, other balance transfer credit cards provide longer 0% APR periods.
The aforementioned Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example, charges a 3% balance transfer fee. Another possibility is the Discover it® Balance Transfer, which offers 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR. It, too, has a 3% balance transfer fee. Plus, Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.