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State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card – Is it the best Insurance Rewards Card?

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The State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a combination of good cash back rewards with the unique option of lower interest on purchases with fixed pay-off periods. It is well suited toward individuals who pay off their card in full most of the time, but may have several large purchases throughout the year that need to be paid off over a longer term. Additionally, it is geared toward users of State Farm’s financial and insurance products, offering slightly better rewards terms for using the card to pay insurance premiums. The higher the spending, the better the rewards with this card, as well, with the best terms being reached when annual purchases exceed $10,000.

The State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card Rewards Program and Card Benefits

The State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card aquires points in the form of State Farm Dollars. The first $10,000 in net purchases earn 1% back in the State Farm Dollars and purchases above $10,000 earn 1.5% in State Farm Dollars. An additional 0.25% is available when using the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card to pay for insurance premiums (as classified by Visa). There is no limit to the number of State Farm Dollars that can be earned.

The State Farm Dollars may be redeemed once at least fifty have been accrued in the account. The State Farm Dollars are applicable toward qualified loans or bank accounts, including checking and savings, money market, CDs, IRAs and HSAs, as well as mortgatge or home equity loans and auto loans. The State Farm Dollars may also be applied to insurance premiums for qualified life, health, auto or homeowner/renter policies. Certain investment products are also eligible, which include mutual funds, stock funds and other investment options.

FixPay and the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card

The FixPay program on the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card offers the unique option to pay select purchases off during a specified period. Under this program, a large purchase may be moved to a lower APR for a set period of fixed payments. FixPay is available for insurance premium payments over $200 or for other purchases over $500. The APR for Insurance premium payments that are set for a six month term is only 2.99%. Other purchase types are eligible for a 5.99% APR on either a six month term for $500 or higher purchase amounts, or on a twelve month term if the purchase amount is $1,000 or higher. A 24 month term is available for transactions of $1,500 or more at 6.99% and a 36 month term for transactions of $2,000 and up at 7.99%. Qualifying purchases can be moved onto the FixPay program within fifteen days of the transaction, but only up to three FixPay installments may be active at any given time. FixPay also does not apply to cash advance or balance transfer transactions, nor can it exceed 75% or the account’s credit limit, or up to $10,000.

Other benefits of the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card include the standard Visa benefits of 24 hour support and ATM network access, as well as purchase protection, zero liability fraud protection and identity theft protection. For travel-related insurance, the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card offers $250,000 in travel accident coverage, car rental collision insurance, reimbursement for lost baggage and more. The card also offers access to shopping and travel discounts.

Introductory Offers for the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card

As an introductory offer, insurance premium payments earn 2% when paid with the card during the first twelve months. Also, there is 0% APR on purchases during the first year before the APR rises to the standard 13.24% to 20.24%.

Costs, Fees and Rates for the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card

The first thing to know about the cost of the Crystal Rewards Visa from State Farm is that it does come with an annual fee of $30. The standard APR for purchases will be between 13.24% and 20.24%, determined by a credit review. This APR will vary with the Prime Rate, and the numbers quoted here are accurate as of November, 2013 with Prime at 3.25%. Balance transfers will carry the same APR as purchases, currently between 13.24% and 20.24%. Cash advances have an APR of 20.24% and are also market based, and subject to varying with the Prime Rate.

Balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 3% of the transfer, up to a maximum of $250. Cash advances carry the slightly higher cost of $10 or 4% of the transaction, per cash advance. Covenience checks provided on the account carry the same costs as cash advances. Foreign transactions cost 3% after conversion to US dollars.

Late payments and returned payments each carry up to a $35 penalty. Statement reprints are $5.

Bottom Line

While the annual fee for the State Farm Crystal Rewards Visa Signature Card is not particularly high, it still designates this card as one that needs to pay for itself through a combination of higher spending or taking advantage of the FixPay program at the reduced APR on larger ticket items that cannot be paid off right away. Because there are other cards on the market that have equal or superior cash back offers, this card is more appropriate to users who frequently must pay their insurance premiums on credit or who occasionally have to make large purchases which cannot be paid off right away and would need to be carried on a credit card account for at least six months.

To make the most of this card, it should be used frequently to pay insurance premiums and for most every day purchases. When the net purchases exceed $10,000, the higher rewards level will be reached, maximizing the benefits of this card. However, to ensure that the card retains its value, it should also be paid off in full every month or specifically utilized to carry specific individual purchases at lower APRs through the FixPay program. Other cards offer better value for frequent travel or foreign transaction fees, so this may not be the best card for users who are looking to maximize their spending power in that direction.

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