Money at 30: M1 Finance Owner's Rewards Credit Card Overview M1 Finance Owner's Rewards Card Review (2023)
M1 Owner's Rewards Visa Card

Money at 30: M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Credit Card Overview

For a time, it seemed as though every FinTech was rolling out its own debit card — including some that broke the mold with some interesting features. Since then, some neobanks have moved on to creating unique credit card products instead. Among them is M1 Finance, which originally launched its Owner’s Rewards Card in 2021. Since then, the card has undergone some tweaks, but the idea remains largely the same: earn enhanced cashback rates at select retailers and automatically invest those funds.

Given that premise, is the M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card actually worth it? Let’s take a closer look at the current card, what it offers, and what some of the drawbacks may be.

An Overview of the M1 Owner’s Rewards Card

M1 Owner's Rewards Card

No annual fee (technically)

Although the M1 Owner’s Rewards Card originally carried an annual fee for non-M1 Plus customers, that has since been removed. That said, as you’ll see, there’s not really much benefit to having the card if you don’t also have an M1 Plus membership. Thus, the “no annual fee” seems like a technicality but it is, indeed, true.

What is M1 Plus?

On that note, currently, M1 Plus comes at a cost of $125 per year (after a free trial). In addition to unlocking most of the benefits of the Owner’s Card with this subscription, you’ll also enjoy other perks such as a high-yield checking account, a wider variety of brokerage account options, and, soon, a high-yield savings account as well.

At the time of this writing (in January 2023), new customers can get a three-month trial of M1 Plus for free. After that, the $125 fee will apply.

Rewards

Let’s start with the less exciting part of the M1 Owner’s Rewards card: it earns at least 1.5% cashback on all purchases. If you’re not an M1 Plus member, that rate will apply to all purchases. For those with M1 Plus, that’s the base rate that will apply to purchases that fall outside of the Owner’s Rewards Program.

So what’s the Owner’s Rewards Program? It’s a collection of popular brands where Owner’s Rewards cardholders can earn increased amounts of cashback. In fact, these rates range from a pretty strong 2.5% to an amazing 10% — with an impressive 5% category thrown in the middle.

While the line-up of brands is subject to change, here’s a look at the current lists as of January 2023:

10% Cash Back Brands

  • Adobe
  • AMC Theatres
  • Dropbox
  • Dollar General
  • Lulu Lemon
  • Netflix
  • Peloton
  • Stich Fix
  • Spotify
  • Tesla
  • Ulta Beauty

5% Cash Back Brands

  • American Airlines
  • Amoco/BP
  • Chewy
  • Chipotle
  • Chevron/Texaco
  • Delta
  • Domino’s
  • Etsy
  • Reverb
  • FedEx
  • GameStop
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • McDonald’s
  • Converse/Nike
  • Purple
  • Burger King/Popeye’s/Tim Hortons
  • Starbucks
  • HomeGoods/HomeSense/Marshalls/Sierra/TJ Maxx
  • United Airlines
  • UPS
  • Wayfair
  • Exxon/Mobil
  • KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell

2.5% Cash Back Brands

  • Apple
  • Airbnb
  • Amazon/Audible/Twitch/Whole Foods/Zappos
  • Best Buy
  • Spectrum
  • Comcast
  • Doordash/Caviar
  • Ebay
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Lyft
  • AT&T
  • Target
  • T-Mobile/Sprint
  • Uber/Uber Eats/Postmates
  • Verizon
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade
  • HBO/Discovery+
  • Walmart/Sam’s Club/Moosejaw/Bonobos

In addition to these 2.5%-10% categories being exclusive to M1 Plus customers, there is one other catch to note. At this time, cashback earnings are capped at $200 per calendar month. Note that this cap doesn’t just apply to the bonus categories but will also impact the 1.5% base if you reach the $200 per month limit.

illustrated credit cards

Breaking down the rewards

Looking at the list of Owner’s Rewards Program participants, you could lump a few into certain categories that would be comparable to what more traditional credit cards might offer. For example, the card earns 10% back on select streaming services and entertainment, 5% back on select dining, 5% back on select flights, 5% back on select gas, 2.5% back on select cable and telecom purchases, etc. By that measure, the card really shines against other cards in its class.

Of course, the “select” is the key here, which is why matters are more complicated. Still, if the brands featured are among those you’d turn to for these categories anyway, then this could be a slam dunk.

Metal card

True to trend, the Owner’s Rewards Card is made of metal. M1 doesn’t specify a weight for the card, but it’s likely between 12g and 18g based on my experience with other offerings.

Investing your rewards

When you earn cashback with your Owner’s Rewards Card, it will be deposited into your qualifying M1 Invest Account. What’s more, you can arrange to have your earnings automatically invested in your Pie (AKA your portfolio). By the way, rewards can’t be paid out to Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Trust Accounts, or Custodial Accounts.

FYI

One last thing to note is that M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card isn’t actually issued by them. Instead, the offering is “powered by Deserve” while Utah-based Celtic Bank is the issuer. This probably won’t matter too much to many people but, just so you know, everything is on the up-and-up.

Final Thoughts on the M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card

M1 Finance logo

There’s no doubt that the M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card is an intriguing idea. What’s more, the line-up of brands featured in the 2.5%, 5%, and 10% back categories is not only impressive but also quite lengthy. At the same time, while the card lacks an annual fee in the conventional sense, there’s little value for those who aren’t M1 Plus members. Thus, for the purposes of math, expect to pay $125 a year to hold this card.

On that note, if there was ever a credit card that demanded realistic calculation and consideration on the part of applicants, it’s this one. In order to get the most from the Owner’s Rewards Card, you’ll need to regularly shop at several of the brands featured in the upper tiers. Luckily, there are several practical options on the list, so you will likely find a few natural use cases. Then again, for those who prefer to shop at small and local businesses, you’ll largely be out of luck with this one.

Overall, if you’re already an M1 customer or are willing to go all-in on their ecosystem, you could very well benefit from the Owner’s Rewards Card. In fact, accounting for the M1 Plus fee, those who use the card to its full potential could earn up to $2,275 a year (with that $200 monthly cashback cap in place). If that sounds good to you, then it may be worth giving M1 Finance and the Owner’s Rewards Card a try.

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Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Money@30's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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