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Schwab Invest First Visa Update: Welcome the FIA Cash Rewards Visa

Nov. 17, 2010
Credit Cards
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Back in April Schwab stopped handing out Visa cards to new applicants, much to the dismay of the rewards-seeking public. Before it was discontinued, this was one of the best rewards cards deals out there – 2% cash back, paid at the end of every month, no foreign transaction fees, plus it’s a Visa so it’s accepted nearly everywhere.

Then in September, Schwab handed control to FIA Card Services.  Apparently having the best rewards on the block is not a profitable exercise, so Schwab had to fold their credit card business and let FIA take full ownership.  Now the question on everyone’s minds is – what’s going to happen to the rewards?

There are still a ton of card users holding onto these cards, many even still bearing the Schwab logo, and they want to keep their rewards coming.

So where does it stand now?

FIA Card Services recently made their first move as new owners, and thank the stars they didn’t change much.

The card has been renamed the “Cash Rewards Visa”, but the rewards are the same.  Users still earn 2% cash back on all purchases, and as far as I can tell they haven’t increased their foreign transaction fee (knock on wood).  The only difference now is that users can choose which account they want their rewards deposited into, and even if they want the cash divided into different accounts.

The ties between Schwab and FIA have been fully severed, which will actually be a boon to many cardholders.  If the only reason you had a Schwab brokerage account was for the credit card rewards, now you can cancel that account and just have the rewards deposited into your checking account, eTrade account, or wherever.

Now I’m still not too hopeful about the future of the rewards program on this card (given what happened to Schwab), but since we’ve got our rewards for the time being, I’m going to call myself “cautiously optimistic.”