A new type of credit card hit the market this summer — one that gives users rewards not in cash or travel miles, but in precious metals.
The Bullion Card lets users apply points toward purchases of precious metals like gold and silver, or toward investments in precious metals.
It’s a first for both the credit card industry and the precious metal industry, said Patrick Yip, director of business development for online gold seller APMEX.
With the price of gold recently hitting record highs and expected to reach higher still, the option comes at a good time for consumers interested in expanding their wealth in a new way.
“This is the perfect card to get you exposure to gold without a lot of the complexities,” Yip said. “You just spend as you normally would on your card and you’ll be exposed to precious metals.”
How It Works
The card is a joint venture between APMEX and online investment platform OneGold. The rewards you get depend on where you apply.
If you apply through APMEX, you can rack up points to buy precious metal products on the site. Users will get 4 points per dollar spent on purchases on APMEX.com and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Those points can then be spent like a gift card on the APMEX site to buy precious metals.
For cards through OneGold, points earned on purchases will translate to money you can invest on the site. The card through OneGold has the added benefit of automatically applying your points toward the investment you choose. This allows you to passively get involved in precious metals without having to own and store gold bars or other physical assets.
Why You Might Want Rewards in Gold
In times of economic uncertainty, the value of gold goes up as people turn to the tangible asset instead of the stock market. When the value of stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency and cash are all declining, precious metals increase in value.
“Gold is currently hot,” Yip said. “People are running to gold as a safe-haven asset.”
Creators are billing the Bullion Card as a way for new customers to be exposed to the asset without the complexities, or for seasoned gold buyers to have easy access to metals.
The Card’s Other Benefits
The Bullion Card has no annual fee, and points don’t expire — as long as you have card activity or new purchases on OneGold or APMEX at least every two years.
Users can get 15,000 bonus points by spending $1,500 within 90 days of opening an account — a $150 value.
Users with a spending limit of at least $5,000 will get access to the benefits of VISA Signature: travel accident benefits, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance, auto rental damage waiver, purchase security, travel and emergency assistance service, trip cancellation and interruption insurance and extended warranty protection.
APMEX card users will be added to the site’s Elite Club. It provides early access to sales or offers from the site, including discounts and notifications about product availability. After two purchases, users will receive special offers on their first, third, fifth, seventh and 10th anniversaries.
Be Aware of These Pitfalls
Several of the card’s best features are introductory, meaning they’ll go away eventually.
The 4 points per dollar spent on the sites will drop to 3 points per dollar after Feb. 28, giving users less than a year to benefit. Worth noting for big gold investors: Users can earn only 500,000 points at that rate per calendar year before the reward drops to 1 point per dollar on purchases on the sites.
Additionally, the card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first year. After that, rates will increase to 15.74% to 25.74% based on a user’s creditworthiness.
The points can’t be used as a credit on the balance you owe on the card.
The Bullion Card Key Features
Key features include:
- Get rewards for buying or investing in gold or silver.
- No annual fee.
- Bonus points for spending $1,500 within 90 days.
- APR: 0% for 12 months, 15.74% to 25.74% after that.
- Annual fee: None.
- Rewards: 4% back on gold or silver purchases through APMEX or OneGold, 1% back on all other purchases.
- Rewards for use on APMEX or OneGold.
- Balance transfers: 0% APR for 12 months on transfers made within 60 days.
Apply through APMEX or OneGold, depending on where you want to use your rewards.
Contributor Cassidy Alexander is a Florida journalist with experience writing about education, local government and personal finance. Reporting from former Penny Hoarder contributor Steve Gilman is included in this report.