Thursday, July 9, 2009

ARCO Debit MasterCard Details

I keep hearing about this new Arco card on the Radio and thought I'd take a look at it.

Details on the Arco Website

Basically you get a Card that Links to your existing checking account and you can earn rewards.

Regular Card (No Annual Fee)
  • 1 point per PIN transaction
  • 2 points per Signature Transaction
Preferred Debit Card
  • $24.99 Annual Fee
  • 2 points per PIN transaction
  • 4 points per Signature Transaction

The Rewards 5000 points = $5.00 onto your Debit Card

The Break Down:

Points Dollars Spent Cash Returns
1 $ 5,000.00 0.10%
2 $ 2,500.00 0.20%
2* $ 2,524.99 0.20%
4* $ 1,274.99 0.39%

*Includes Annual Fee

Why would you get one? To save a $0.45 transaction fee for using your Debit Card.

However the FINE PRINT is interesting:

** Rewards are not earned for ampm, ARCO and non-ARCO gasoline brand purchases.
So you save $0.45 at ARCO for purchasing their gas and you do not earn any rewards for it.

Let's look at the card with the Annual Fees.

24.99/0.45 = 55.5

If you filled your car with Gas 56 times via debit you'd get your "money back" from the annual fee, however you'd have no rewards points.

Long story short:
This is probably a ploy to get people to sign up for the Preferred card and earn DOUBLE points. I would say most people are better off getting a Credit Card that gives them Cashback on Gas purchases. And if memory serves correct you can still use your Debit Card like a credit card at Arco, Make sure you press Credit before inserting your card.

There are actually some Arcos that accept Credit Cards, the one I've seen has a sign that says Credit Card price and Cash price.

There is a report that use of the Debit MasterCard can sometimes put a $100 hold for each gas purchase you do. It clears once the bank receives the sales draft. However that's still a $100 hold you may not expect when you've only filled up $30 worth of gas.

This still doesn't change my review.


AnnieO said...

That’s real interesting about the credit pricing. What cities did you see this in? I’d like to check them out

Data Is Gold said...

Hi AnnieO. All over Los Angeles and San Diego counties I've seen signs that list Credit Price/Cash Price for gas. I'll try to post a picture of one of them.

Anonymous said...

Arizona has the same cash/credit pricing.

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