Universal, FNBO Announce More Details on Rewards Credit Cards
After teasing new co-branded credit cards earlier this year, Universal Destinations & Experiences and FNBO have released more details on their two rewards cards.
About the Universal Rewards card:
Starting with the no-annual-fee Universal Rewards Visa, this new card will include both spending rewards and in-park perks. In terms of the former, cardholders can earn 2% back in Rewards on eligible Universal purchases. All other purchases earn 1% back in Rewards. Earned Rewards can be loaded onto a Universal FUNds Visa Prepaid Card, which can be used for on-site purchases at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, Universal Volcano Bay and Universal Studios Hollywood.
As for perks, cardholders can get 10% off select merchandise as well as food and beverage purchases at select locations throughout Universal theme parks. This discount will also apply to select Universal CityWalk locations in both Orlando and Hollywood.
The Universal Rewards Visa is also launching with a welcome bonus. At this time, new cardholders can earn a $50 statement credit after spending at least $100 on the card within their first billing cycle.
Finally, as promised, the Universal Rewards Visa will offer multiple card design options. At launch, three options are available: A Despicable Me Minions design, a Jurassic Park/Jurassic World design, and a Universal Destinations & Experiences design featuring icons from the theme parks.
About the Universal Rewards Plus card:
For those who want more from their card, Universal and FNBO have also launched the Universal Rewards Plus Visa. This version carries a $99 annual fee (which is not waived for the first year) but does include some additional benefits.
First, the Universal Rewards Plus increases the Universal purchases rewards category to 4% back (double the regular card’s 2%). Additionally, the card earns 2% back in Rewards for travel purchases, 2% on gas, and 2% on dining purchases. All other purchases earn 1% back in Rewards.
Meanwhile, the “star feature” of the Universal Rewards Plus card is the Anniversary Bonus. Cardholders who spend at least $6,000 on their card during a membership year (12 billing cycles) will earn ) a 1-Day theme park general admission ticket valid for entry to Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood. This bonus will arrive on or “shortly after” eligible cardholders reach their account anniversary.
Another difference with the Universal Rewards Plus Visa is the welcome bonus. Currently, new cardholders can earn a $100 statement credit when they spend at least $100 on the card during their first billing cycle.
Lastly, with the Universal Rewards Plus card, members will have access to the Visa lounge inside Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida. However, this perk is listed as “coming soon.”
Interestingly, it looks as though the Universal Rewards Plus card will offer the same three designs as the no-annual-fee card with no distinguishing features or exclusive options.
On the whole, I don’t think that either of these cards is a good deal for most consumers. However, of the two, I’d be more inclined to go with the Universal Rewards Plus. That’s because the $100 statement credit welcome bonus effectively covers the first-year annual fee while the 1-Day park ticket would more than make up for the fee in subsequent years. Then again, unlocking that ticket will still require $6,000 in spending. Plus, those Rewards can only be used at Universal — and, by the way, the whole prepaid Visa card redemption is surprisingly clunky.
Because of this, although I recommend it a lot, I once again need to highlight the Capital One SavorOne. With that card, customers can earn 3% back on Entertainment, including theme parks like Universal Studios. Plus, that card offers “real” cashback that you can redeem for statement credits.
So, unless you’re a hardcore Universal fan, I think both of these options are ones to skip.