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2% Cash Back Credit Card at Countrywide Bank with Savings Account

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Update 12/02/08: Countrywide Bank is no longer offering this credit card.

Countrywide Bank is offering the Countrywide Rewards Platinum Visa Card which offers an effective 2% cash back when you choose to redeem points to your Countrywide Bank savings or money market account. You earn points on all purchases, and there is no cap on the rewards. Also, there is no annual fee. You have to earn 2,500 points before you can redeem the points for a $50 deposit.

You can also choose to redeem the points towards the balance on an existing Countrywide mortgage. For half the redemption amount, you can choose gift cards or a check to use toward home improvements, supplies and more. There does not seem to be any end date to the 2%.

This card has been available for some time, but it didn't used to allow you to redeem points to your savings account.

This credit card page link is located on Countrywide Bank's home page on the left under "products". The credit card is serviced by First USA/Chase. A reader who emailed me this special mentioned that he was able to call and have one of his other Chase credit cards converted to this new Countrywide Bank card.

Last September FNBO Direct came out with a promotional 2% cash back credit card that's similar to this. The one difference is that the 2% has no expiration. The FNBO Direct's 2% deal is only good for the first 12 months.

Countrywide Bank's Savings and Money Market Accounts

Countrywide's savingslink account still has a yield of 4.05% APY on balances over $10,000 (3% APY for under). In addition to a history of high rates, it offers a fast ACH transfer service in which you can link up to 5 external accounts. The minimum opening deposit is $1,000, but there are no monthly fees regardless of balance. For those who need limited check writing, Countrywide's money market account is also a good deal. The interest rate is a little lower and there's a monthly fee if the balance drops below $1,000. Readers have reported that Countrywide no longer does a hard credit inquiry when you apply.

Latest Countrywide News

The latest news on Countrywide is that its CEO and president will be rewarded a combined $19 million in stock as part of the pending takeover by Bank of America. It seems excessive when you consider its role in the subprime mortgage crisis.

With news of Countrywide being investigated by the FBI for possible securities fraud, there's some concern that Bank of America's acquisition of Countrywide might not be a sure thing. Thus, it seems prudent to stay below the FDIC insurance limits. To review Countrywide Bank's FDIC information, please see their FDIC page.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this credit card.

  Tags: savings account

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Comments
16 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Countrywide is merging with Bank Of America therefore I don't understand why they have a relationship with Chase. Maybe they really don't have plans to merge?

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
AN FYI: Chase's online system only seems to allow for 4 credit cards with them.

Won't bother converting one card cause if Countrywide really does merge with BOA it will be a BOA branded card soon.

I have 2 Chase Freedom CC's, Flexible Rewards, and Amazon credit cards. Would have to convert one of the Freedom CC's over and it is not worth the risk since that Countrywide account will likely be a BoA branded account.

1
Comment #3 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
If and when the B of A takeover of Countrywide is consummated, I would imagine B of A would offer a similar plan to entice people away from their Chase credit cards, hoping they will switch to a B of A card.

But I think B of A would have to first worry about people leaving Countrywide if B of A offers the same ultra-low interest rates they offer on their own savings accounts.

Off topic: Regarding Alliant Credit Union's 4.35% APY Savings Account...I called Alliant this morning. I was told by a CSR that their rate has not changed this new month.

I also asked: If I sign up for National PTA, National PTA mails out the membership card. Do I have to wait for the card? The CSR said I didn't need the actual card. Just indicate on my membership form that I am a member.

Regarding Alliant's ACH Transfer Rules: The CSR confirmed that they have a $10,000 ACH daily limit. I asked if there would be a limit if the ACH transfer is initiated from an external bank? The CSR wasn't sure. Can you believe that? Not sure?

I have a WaMu account, and WaMu has no daily limit on ACH transfers.

I am guessing that if one initiates a transfer from the external bank, there would be no limit imposed by Alliant. I think this is important because as we all know, a bank can drop their rate by a lot at any time, thus making us want to remove our money.

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Comment #4 by Bowling Peddler (anonymous) posted on
Bowling Peddler
I imagine you will want to get in on this before the B of A merger. I can see B of A killing this card or reducing it to a 1% when they can similiarly what they did when they took over FIA Card Services.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Question: I have 4 Chase cards, 2 Freedom's, 1 Amazon and one Flexible Rewards.

The problem is I have the Freedom World card on one and a regular freedom on the other and the regular freedom is the one I have been using and it has the rewards points on it. I really do want this card since I am using Countrywide as my primary bank . Smartypig is 4.30% but at the same time requires preset goals and gift cards rather than allowing in multiple transfers so Countrywide is still my bank.

Chase's website allows up to 4 CCs apparently.

I wonder what I will wind up doing.

Any suggestions?

I think that 0% APR Credit cards for purchases are still better than 2% straight cash back cards for the 1st year. A postponed purchase of $1000 paid back after 12 mths would be equivalent to a 4% interest rate right now instead of 2%.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I still find FNBO better since you can get cash back after just $25 and not $50. I will wait to complete one year before I have to worry replacing it.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BofA recently took over LaSalle Bank. Chase issued the LaSalle Bank credit cards. All of the credit cards remained with Chase and the LaSalle customers were issued new credit cards with the Chase brand on them. I don't know what happened to rewards programs (or if there even were any).

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You mean new cards with Bank Of America brand on them as per the website of Lasalle Bank.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I don't see this card listed at chase site http://www.firstusa.com/cgi-bin/webcgi/webserve.cgi?partner_dir_name=browse_our_list&page=index . I would like to convert my existing chase card to this countrywide card. can someone please tell me the process? Thanks in advance.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Don't bother converting right now. Bank Of America will take over the account. As soon as the merger consummates, the high rate at Countrywide is likely going to be gone.

The same happened when Superior Savings wound up merging with North Fork and then Capital One.

High rates are teasers and fluctuate in the marketplace. The Countrywide deal is good up till the day that Bank Of America takes them over. After that its likely we will have to shop around again as I doubt Bank Of America will have 2 seperate tiers of accounts with them as Bank Of America is also subject to deposit threshhold caps.

So I will not be signing up for this credit card which has a limited finite lifespan in all likelyhood.

Countrywide's days are numbered for depositors. The day it changes hands I will just close it out and stop by the branch if necessary.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A WORD OF CAUTION about this card: I read the "fine print" at the Countrywide site and it appears that you only get the 2% if you pay INTEREST on your account -- it looks like if you only do purchases and pay off your balance each month, you only get 1% cash back -- NOT 2%

Check this out before you get this card!

1
Comment #12 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for looking into the fine print. Are you referring to this?

You will earn 1 point for each $1 of net purchases and 1 point for each $1 of interest.

This is the first sentence of footnote 1 at the bottom.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I think the caution above was misguided. You only get 1 point for every $1, but when you get 2,500 points, you get $50 into your Countrywide Savings Account. So that's where the 2% comes from (not from the interest fine print part).

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Comment #14 by brian s. (anonymous) posted on
brian s.
That's a rewards program that's just as good as most others; perhaps even better than some (better than my discover card, for sure). Can i earn rewards points on cash advances? Because of the nature of my business, I tend to use them fairly frequently and am looking into finding someone that's going to reward me for it.

1
Comment #15 by cashback (anonymous) posted on
cashback
interesting info makes me think twice about the card.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Chase has taken over the Countrywide card and does not have the 2% rewards and is unwilling to match it. This is the only reason we got a Countrywide card to start with. Now with Chase you need to accumulate 10,000 points to get a $100 check sent to you and wih Countrywide for every 2500 points they'd send a $50 check to your mortgage. I want to drop the card as soon as a I can.

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