If you’re looking for a Mastercard with a low APR and a favorable rewards program, the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Union Strong Credit Card may be the right choice for you. It’s available to people with good to excellent credit score, which makes it quite a rare gem. There are very few credit cards requiring good to excellent FICO scores that offer all the benefits that come with this card. It also has low approval requirements, which makes utilizing it even more comfortable.
Who Is This Card for?
This credit card is designed with labor union members in mind, so it offers some great union-friendly benefits. If you are a member of a union, this ABOC card may make your life much easier. You can get this card even if you’re not a union member. Every union supporter with a credit score within the required range is welcome to apply. However, non-union cardholders cannot unlock those few union-specific perks. As already mentioned, it’s for people who want to enjoy credit card rewards, that is, collect reward points on every purchase.
Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Union Strong Card Benefits
This card comes with several compelling advantages that seem to outweigh the disadvantages.
- Low APR. The 0% intro APR on purchases within the first 12 months of being a responsible cardholder is very attractive. You also get 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months after opening an account. The standard APR after the introductory period is one of the lowest available. It’s variable, which means the bank sets the rate depending on your creditworthiness.
- No Annual Fees. This card has zero annual fees. So, by using it for your everyday purchases, you can actually save more money, earn on interest, and earn redeemable reward points.
- Rewards on Every Purchase. The rewards program is generally favorable, as you can earn a lot of reward points on all your purchases. There’s no limit on the number of points you can earn, and they never expire. You lose your points only if you default or close your account.
- Sign-Up Bonus. The Amalgamated Bank of Chicago welcomes every new cardholder with a sign-up bonus, that is, statement credit. You can receive it only after you’ve spent a specific amount of credit within the first 90 days of being a cardholder. The set amount is usually very low, so it’s easy to get the bonus.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. The fact that there are no foreign transaction fees makes this card great for frequent travelers. It’s also ideal if you plan on using it for online purchases at foreign merchants.
Make sure you transfer your balance within 90 days of the account opening date. Otherwise, you’ll lose your chance to enjoy the full intro APR period, as you’ll incur standard APR.
What are ABOC Union Strong Card Disadvantages?
No credit card is perfect for everyone. Depending on what you need, you may find the following drawbacks a deal-breaker.
- Good to Excellent Credit Score Needed. To get approved for this card, you need a FICO score of 670 or higher. So, if you have a fair credit score or lower, you should look into other rewards cards.
- Rewards Categories Rotate Quarterly. You can earn 5x reward points on specific bonus categories. However, they rotate every quarter, so you may not always be able to leverage specific categories. For instance, you can usually earn travel points only during the summer months. There’s also a set maximum limit on how many points you can earn on those bonus categories.
- Poor Redemption Values for Reward Points. You can choose how you want to redeem your reward points, and you can also give them to other ABOC cardholders. But low redemption values don’t make it very enticing, and you shouldn’t expect a particularly high cashback.
- Some Benefits Are Only Available to Union Members. If you’re a union member, the bank may allow you to skip several minimum payments. You’re eligible only if your union is on strike for at least a month, or if it has selected “no pay” option months. However, although there would be no late payment fees, you would still need to pay interest on your unpaid balance.
Making a late payment will instantly incur a standard APR, so make sure you provide full, on-time payments during the intro APR period. Doing the same later on will help you avoid interest on unpaid balances and late payment fees.
Should You Use This Card?
If you have good to excellent credit and want the benefits of a good rewards program, then this card might be a great choice, especially if you’re a member of a union. But even if you’re not, this Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Union Strong card can be an excellent choice. However, if the quarterly-rotating bonus categories don’t really fit your needs, you might want to look into other rewards cards. The same goes if you’re looking for a higher cashback than this card offers. The issuing bank also offers the ABOC Platinum Rewards Card.
Best Union Strong card alternatives available for application