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Late last year, I promised myself that 2021 would be a year of re-evaluating my definition of “reward” for credit card costs. Whether my Chase Ultimate Rewards points played a role in my decision to quit my day job, travel would not be the focus for me (or anyone), I wanted to see if I could take an alternative approach. miles and points can change.

This spring I decided to give Stash a test drive. It’s an investment program that aims to differentiate itself from Robinhood by focusing on long-term investment strategies rather than day-to-day stock memes.

Read more: Stash review. An investment program that is good for beginners who need help investing

I chose the login account level of $ 1 per month, which comes with a prepaid debit card. Use it for your transactions և you will automatically receive an investment rewardև in the company if it is public. For example, if you buy a new laptop charger from the Apple Store, your rewards are a small portion of Apple shares.

If you are shopping in a small business or a non-governmental company, you can choose different investment options for your reward points. The thinking is simple. Instead of earning points that you want to spend next month, earn some equity to help you increase your savings.

Each time I open the Stash app, the top of the screen greets me with a “Get $ 500” message inviting me to refer friends and receive extra cash. Here, however, is the thing. I would not refer it to anyone.

It has a punitively low interest rate

Take a look at the best reward credit cards in your wallet and you will find that 1% of cash is the minimum. Depending on what you buy, you can make significantly higher payments, such as 3% in restaurants և pharmacies Cha Chase Freedom Unlimited or 2% back on Citi® Double Cash Card (1% when shopping և 1% when you pay). Now, let’s compare these payments with my Stash card split.

Read more about the best 2021 Cash Credit Cards

In two weeks, I spent $ 89.85 and earned $ 0.11 worth of stock. So while I would have earned 89 cents (1%) on the most basic rewards program, my Stash investment investment reserve was almost 90% lower, only 11 cents. Throughout the year, that small payment, 0.125%, will seriously damage my rewards, gaining strength.

Limited protection = limited reasons to actually use it

A Stash ombudsman can offer a guiding principle for pre-mocking the reward rate. The more you invest now, the more you can gain in the long run. That’s really true. So if I were to spend all my money on Stash now, maybe those rewards would earn dividends, accelerate a healthy stock market, and start my path to retirement on a beach property.

Read more. 4 reasons why you should use a credit card instead of a debit card

However, for most debit cards, not only the big drawback of Stash is that there are fewer guarantees, which makes its use a not-so-wise decision. Last month I went to Denver, I stayed because of my Chase Sapphire Preferred® card `card cancellation արկման cancellation insurance, travel delay insurance կոր lost luggage compensation և և, of course, double hotel stay potential, flights). ույթ car rental).

Outside of travel, I also would not use a Stash card for big tickets. Extended Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card և Purchase protection provides meaningful trust as opposed to non-existent Stash card coverage.

The fee is still increasing

Many credit card holders have begun to question whether the high annual fees are worth the cost, especially since they stayed home during the epidemic. The Stash fee seems almost nominal – only $ 1 per month, but the reality is that $ 9 a year is still delaying your finish line. Remember, my 11% premium means the card actually cost me 89 cents. I will have to spend a lot more money to even get to the extreme.

Instead of paying for this card, I would recommend looking at the best credit cards that do not charge an annual commission նել consider repaying your accumulated cash at a convenient low price or free investment options. Nothing prevents you from using the cash you earn as an investment. That is the beauty of cash back. With it you can do whatever you want.

Read more. The Best Credit Cards To Turn Your Daily Expense Rewards Into Investments

Although I did not like using the Stash card, I did appreciate the tighter control over the debit card. Because I had to transfer money to the account, it made me look at each transaction in more detail. It was a good reminder of my credit card costs.

To make sure I maximize my rewards, I periodically review offers within Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal and immediately repay my purchases. So for now, my definition of reward remains the same. Traditional milestones and miles are hard to come by.

Credit cards submitted by our partners

Remarkable reward

100,000 points

Credit required

Better Excellent

Remarkable reward

3 free nights (each valued at up to 50,000 points) after spending $ 3,000 for the first 3 months plus $ 10x for a total of $ 2,500 spent up to $ 2,500 for your selected category purchases during your first 6 months.

Credit required

Better Excellent

Remarkable reward

$ 200 for $ 500 purchases in the first three months after opening an account

Credit required

Better Excellent