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Commerce Bank Kansas City Zoo Visa Credit Card – Really Benefits Animals?


No doubt about it, a credit card that supports local zoos is certainly different, and that goes for the Kansas City Zoo Visa card offered by Commerce Bank. One of the major highlights of the Kansas City Zoo Visa card is that every one of your purchases benefits the Kansas City Zoo. If you’re of a philanthropic nature, this card certainly offers a unique idea in that it claim to offer benefits one of the most popular attractions any city can offer – the zoo!

Kansas City Zoo Visa Card Basics

First off, the Kansas City Zoo Visa card offered by Commerce Bank gives cardholders the option of choosing a zoo animal for their card image, and with the name Kansas City Zoo emblazoned in the upper left portion of the card, you and merchants who accept your card will have no doubt where your benefits are going. Kansas City Zoo Visa card offers a 0% introductory APR and the same for balance transfers for six months. After the introductory period ends, you can expect to pay anywhere from 10.99% to 16.99% on top of the prime rate APR, depending on your credit history and perceived credit worthiness. Sure, the APR is competitive, but it helps to know what sets this card apart from others.

The rewards offered with the Commerce Bank Kansas City Zoo Visa card are focused on the Kansas City Zoo. Commerce Bank pledges to donate 1.00% of your net purchases made with your Kansas City Zoo Visa card to the Kansas City Zoo’s “Friends of the Zoo” program.

The benefits that your purchases provide to your local Kansas City Zoo are tracked on your monthly statement.  Last but not least, cardholders of the Kansas City Zoo Visa card are eligible to receive unique offers from the zoo throughout the year.

The card also comes with a variety of additional perks, which include but are not limited to:

  •  eStatements
  • Online accessibility
  • Auto pay
  • Zero liability coverage (the bank states that a customer must notify the bank  within 60 days after receipt of a statement with questionable or unauthorized account activity)
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • $100,000 travel accident insurance

Of course, many of these perks are also available with other credit cards, so nothing much exciting there.

In addition, the Commerce Bank Kansas City Zoo Visa website doesn’t mention whether you have to be a member of the Kansas City Zoo “Friends of the Zoo” program in order for your rewards to go there.

The Kansas City Zoo website itself has some information on the benefits of using the Kansas City Zoo Visa card, including the fact that a portion of purchases are given to the Kansas City Zoo to provide healthcare and feed its animals, which number over a thousand.  In addition, if a cardholder makes a purchase within three months of the account opening, the Friends of the Zoo get $20 and you, the cardholder, get a variety of additional perks, including a Zany Zoo Packet. The Zany Zoo Packet includes round-trip tickets to ride the African Star Safari (worth $8), one free child’s admission after purchasing to adult admission tickets ($8.50 value), and five dollars in “Zoo Bucks” as well as a 10% off coupon for a one time shopping experience at the zoo’s gift shop.  Last but not least, you’ll also receive a photo of their famous polar bear named Berlin.

Oh, and as a Kansas City Zoo Visa cardholder, you’ll get $5 off any Friends of the Zoo membership when you pay for it with your Kansas City Zoo Visa card, but be aware that benefits may change without notice.

So, do the perks above entice you to apply for the Kansas City Zoo Visa card? You can only decide that if you determine your expenditures based on the APR, fees and interest rates applied to this card.

Terms and Conditions

When it comes to the Commerce Bank Kansas City Zoo Visa card, a number of interest rates, interest charges, and fees apply. Do they balance with the perks you get? That depends on why you want the card in the first place. As mentioned earlier, the card comes with a 0.0% introductory APR for the first six billing cycles, after which the APR will be anywhere between 14.24% and 20.24%, based on your credit history. The same rates apply to balance transfers.

However, when it comes to overdraft and non-overdraft cash advances, you can expect to pay 25.24%. If you happen to make late payment (60 days following the payment due date), your account APR will rise to 27.24%, which will remain until you make six minimum payments by the due dates, in consecutive order.

The card also comes with several additional fees. Transaction fees for balance transfers amount to $10 or 5% of the balance transfer, whichever is larger. The same monetary and percentage rate apply to non-overdraft cash advances as well as overdraft cash advances.  When it comes to foreign transactions, expect to pay 1% of every transaction you make in US dollars, but you’ll pay 2% of every transaction you make in a foreign currency.

If you make a late payment, you can expect to pay a day $25 fee for the first occurrence, and thereafter, $35 in late payment penalties fees are applied. You won’t be charged returned payment fees, but do keep in mind that Commerce Bank, or any bank for that matter, can change their terms and conditions at their own discretion. Visit the bank website for additional information regarding highlights, fees, the rewards program, and other benefits.

 Bottom Line

The Commerce Bank Kansas City Zoo Visa is an okay credit card, especially for those who have an interest in supporting the local Kansas City Zoo. It’s nice to know that rewards you earn can go toward meaningful endeavors such as taking care of your local zoo and feeding the animals there rather than material objects. At the same time, other credit cards out there offer cashback bonuses, credits to statement, and other beneficial rewards as well.

It was difficult to determine exactly what kind of special offers card holders may obtain from the zoo, as the link from the website was not working, nor was the link to the “Friends of the Zoo” page regarding additional information on exactly how your membership in this rewards program benefit the Kansas City Zoo itself.

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