ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard Review – Is It Worth It?

ABOC Platinum Card

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The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® is a good rewards card for people with excellent credit (a FICO score of 720 or above) that want to earn bonus rewards without having to pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. You can even earn 5x rewards in common spending categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive!

On the downside, the ABOC Platinum Rewards card comes with a high APR that can equal big fees if you miss a payment. Since the spending categories also change quarterly, the path to earning maximum rewards requires the cardholder to keep up to date on the bonus categories. This can be annoying if you prefer to be less hands-on with your rewards earning.

This article will look into some of the reasons why the ABOC Platinum Rewards card can be a good card for you and also discusses some alternative options.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card at a Glance

Credit CardBenefits and Info
ABOC Platinum Rewards card
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases (within the first 90 days).
  • Rewards: Earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined spending on categories that change each quarter. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar.
  • Interest Rate: 0% on purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.90% to 22.90% variable APR.
  • Fees:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
    • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer (minimum $5)
    • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%
    • Cash Advance Fee: 5% (minimum $10)
    • Late Payment Fee: $35
    • Annual Fee: $0

The ABOC Platinum Rewards card is issued by the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago. This card offers the opportunity to earn 1x rewards on your everyday spending and 5x rewards if you can keep up with the rotating bonus categories.

These rewards can be used for a variety of things, such as statement credits, airline miles, merchandise, gift cards, or even a combination of rewards types. It’s also good to note that your rewards never expire!

If you have a big purchase on the horizon, you can also take advantage of the introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months and the $150 statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.

The ABOC Platinum Rewards card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees but does have a balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer (with a minimum fee of $5) and a cash advance fee of 5% (with a minimum fee of $10).

The card is also compatible with digital wallets, such as Masterpass, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. This means that you can use your card with your mobile device and continue to earn ABOC Platinum Rewards Points conveniently and securely.

This card also comes with some additional Mastercard-related benefits. These additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Travel assistance services
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection
  • 60-day price protection
  • Fraud protection

Hot Tip: You can read more in the Mastercard Guide to Benefits that details all of the program terms and conditions.

Card Application and Approval Odds

ABOC Platinum Card Application
Image Credit: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

You can apply for the ABOC Platinum Rewards card online and securely input all of the required information into your application. Your approval odds for the ABOC Platinum Rewards card are low unless you have excellent credit (meaning a FICO score of at least 720).

However, even if you have excellent credit, this doesn’t guarantee you will be approved for this card. In addition, your APR (beyond the initial 0% for 12 months) can vary based on your creditworthiness.

It may take up to 14 days to hear if you were approved for this card, but you can check your ABOC Platinum Rewards card application status by sending an email to [email protected]. Remember to provide your full name and zip code.

Bottom Line: This application will result in a hard credit check that can negatively impact your credit score. Try to limit the amount of credit you apply for in a short time period.

Online Account

ABOC Platinum Card Login
Image Credit: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

Use ABOC’s website to log in to monitor your ABOC Platinum Rewards card account activity, pay your bill, view transactions, analyze your spending, see your rewards balance, and review your monthly statements.

Paying Your Card Bill

There are multiple options you can use to make payments on your ABOC Platinum Rewards card. Note that you must pay at least the minimum payment shown on your monthly statement each billing period. If the new balance is more than $15, the minimum payment is $15 or 2.5% of the new balance, whichever is greater.

Online

To access your account, log in to your account online. You can also access your monthly bills, enroll to receive paperless statements, and make payments via direct deposit or bank transfer.

Be sure to submit your payments by 5 p.m. CST to ensure that they’re credited on the same day.

There is a mobile app you can access as well, available for both iOs and Android.

ABOC Platinum Mobile App
Image Credit: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

By Phone

You can make payments by phone by calling ABOC at 844-431-0820. A customer service agent can help you pay your bill.

By Mail

You can send a check or money order (that notes your name and full account number) for mailed payments.

Payments and payment coupon should be mailed to:

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago
P.O. Box 1106
Chicago, IL 60690-1106

Hot Tip: If you’re mailing in your payment, be sure to allow at least 7 business days for the payment to arrive. 

How to Earn and Redeem ABOC Rewards

You will earn 1 ABOC Rewards Point for every $1 spent. You also have the opportunity to earn 5x points throughout the year on a revolving category (based on MCC code).

ABOC Rewards Categories
Image Credit: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

You don’t need to register for these awards each quarter — once you have registered the first time for the ABOC Rewards program you’ll automatically get 5x on your first $1,500 in purchases for the following categories for each quarter:

  • January, February, March — monthly bills
  • April, May, June — dining and transportation
  • July, August, September — travel
  • October, November, December — department stores

There are no caps on the points you can earn, and points never expire as long as your account is in good standing.

You can redeem points through the ABOC Rewards portal for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or cash (in the form of a statement credit). You can also gift points to other ABOC Rewards members.

Bottom Line: Unfortunately, this card doesn’t have the option to transfer miles to airline or hotel partners like many other rewards cards.

Redemption values vary, but travel rewards (including flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages) generally offer the best value at about 1 cent per point. These travel items can be purchased directly or booked completely with ABOC Rewards Points by using a combination of points and charges to the user’s ABOC Platinum Rewards card.

Hot Tip: A minimum of 15,000 points for flights and 5,000 points for all other travel must be used if combining points and card charges.

Statement credit and merchandise redeem for about 0.75 cents per point, while gift card rates vary between 0.7 cents and 0.93 cents per point.

Benefits of the ABOC Platinum Rewards Card

ABOC Platinum Card Benefits
Image Credit: Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

Rotating 5x Bonus Rewards Categories

The ABOC Platinum Rewards card features 5x rewards (up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500) on categories that change each quarter (and 1% back on all else). You don’t need to opt-in each quarter to earn these rewards, unlike other big names in the rotating-bonus-category card, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card and select Discover cards.

Introductory Offers

This card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months and the potential to receive a $150 statement credit if you use your card to spend $1,200 within 90 days of account opening.

No Annual Fee

Unlike many other high-earning rewards cards, the ABOC Platinum Rewards card doesn’t have an annual fee. This means that you can hold onto this card for a long time — and since rewards don’t expire and there are no caps on rewards you can earn, that makes this card is pretty appealing!

Drawbacks of the ABOC Platinum Rewards Card

High Minimum Credit Required

While this card was previously an option for consumers with fair and good credit scores, the ABOC Platinum Rewards card now requires applicants to have excellent credit to qualify. There are many rewards cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card that only require good credit.

Not Good for Cash Back Rewards

If you’re not interested in travel, this card isn’t the best choice because all non-travel redemptions are poor. As we’ve noted earlier, statement credit and merchandise redeem for about 0.75 cents per point, while gift card rates vary between 0.7 cents and 1 cent per point.

If you’re looking to redeem your rewards for cash, a cash-back card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card could be a better pick.

Complex Rewards Categories

With the ABOC Platinum Rewards card, you’ll have to keep track of its rotating bonus categories every 3 months to maximize your reward earnings. 

No Balance Transfer Offers

The ABOC Platinum Rewards card has eliminated its 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, but this may be reinstated.

ABOC notes: “Amalgamated Bank of Chicago has temporarily suspended its balance transfer offer for new accounts due to the current economic environment. ABOC expects to reinstate this benefit in late 2020; in the meantime, new cardmembers can still receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and have the opportunity to earn a $150 statement credit when they spend $1,200 within 90 days after account opening.”

How to Contact ABOC Platinum Rewards Card’s Customer Service

To contact customer service directly, call 800-365-6464 (internationally: 636-722-7111).

If you prefer to contact by mail:

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago
P.O. Box 1106
Chicago, IL 60690-1106

Alternative Credit Cards (Our Recommendations)

If you want to learn about some different card options, especially those that earn lots of rewards, we have a few alternative recommendations.

First, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is incredibly similar to the ABOC Platinum Rewards card in that is has no annual fee, a 0% intro APR for 15 months (compared to 12 months), and the ability to earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. The rewards structure doesn’t offer 5x rewards, but still offers 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, 2% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

The Freedom Unlimited card also offers no annual fee, a 0% intro APR for 15 months, and the ability to earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months. The rewards structure is much easier to keep track of with unlimited 1.5% cash-back on all purchases.

Lastly, the Freedom Flex card could be a good option. This card also offers no annual fee and a 0% intro APR for 15 months and the ability to earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months. In terms of reward potential, this card offers 5% cash-back on travel (through the Chase portal) and a quarterly bonus category (that you must activate), 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% cash-back on all other purchases.

Final Thoughts

The opportunity to earn 5x rewards on select purchases makes the ABOC Platinum Rewards card an attractive option. In fact, this card can compare favorably with its competitors when you consider that the reward categories are broader, you don’t have to “activate” your reward categories every month and it has no annual or foreign transaction fees. If you prefer these benefits, then you should consider the ABOC Platinum Rewards card.

If you’re looking for a less-confusing rewards structure or a card that has higher cash-back redemption rates, you should look at some of the alternative cards we’ve suggested. In addition, the high credit score requirement might prevent you from qualifying for this card. There are plenty of great rewards and cash-back cards that have a lower credit requirement that would be a better option for you.


Frequently asked questions

What does ABOC mean?

ABOC stands for the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, the company that issues the ABOC Platinum Rewards card. This card is a Mastercard, so it can be widely used domestically and abroad. It also has a rewards program that is free to join, so you can earn rewards for your everyday spending.

What is a rotating bonus category?

The ABOC Platinum Rewards card has a rotating bonus category that changes every 3 months. This means that you can earn 5x rewards in a category that changes. You must keep track of the rotating categories in order to maximize your rewards. The categories consist of travel, dining, department stores, and recurring payments for 2020.

What credit score is needed for the ABOC Platinum Rewards card?

You will need an excellent credit score (meaning a FICO score of at least 720) to get the ABOC Platinum Rewards card. This alone doesn’t guarantee that your application will be approved since ABOC will also review your other financial information when making a decision to approve or deny your application. This additional information includes the number of delinquent accounts in your credit reports, hard inquiries, debt, and income.

How much is the starting ABOC Platinum Rewards card credit limit?

There is no standard credit limit for the ABOC Platinum Rewards card credit limit, but your creditworthiness will play an important role. The higher your credit score is, the higher your ABOC Platinum Rewards card limit will be. Your existing credit, debt, and disposable income will also be factored in.

Christy Rodriguez

About Christy Rodriguez

Christy was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but lived in Texas the majority of her life. Now, work has her living in the Bay Area with her husband and yellow lab. Her first international travel experience was for a summer study abroad program in Italy. After that, she knew that she was destined to travel as much as possible. Luckily, her husband worked at Southwest Airlines, so they were introduced to the exciting world of “non-rev” travel.

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