First National Bank American Express Credit Card Review

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Real opinions always: At Seek Capital, our goal is to provide content that helps you make informed financial decisions. All products featured here are from our partners. That said, our business relationships do not affect our evaluations. Opinions are of the writer alone.

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From Seek Capital - Best for Cash Back

Welcome Offer

$100

$100 statement credit after you use your new Card to make $500 on purchases in your first 3 billing cycles

Earn

1.5%Cash Back
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0Annual Fee
There is no annual fee with this card
$0FICO Credit Report
Each month, you can view your FICO Credit Score online for free
nullFraud Liability
Zero dollar liability on fradulent charges

First National Bank American Express

The First National Bank American Express card provides value not just in the rewards it offers but also in the way it offers them. It's a card custom-designed for people who don't have a lot of time to track rotating bonuses or compare different types of spending to see which one pays out more reward points. Modest monthly spending on the same kinds of products and services you'd buy anyway can yield reward bonuses of $270 a year or more, all without paying an annual fee. Here's how it works.

Rewards Highlights

  • No Annual Fee
  • 1.5% Cash Back on Everything
  • $100 Statement Credit

Expert Review

The Pros

  • No Annual Fee
  • 1.5% Cash Back on Everything

The Cons

  • No Flexible Rewards

Recommended Credit Profile

Rates & Fees

  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR20.99%
  • Great ForShoppingRestaurantsTravel
  • Regular Purchase APR20.99%
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR20.99%
  • Cash Advance APR27.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 5%
  • Cash Advance Fee$15 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee3%

An Easily Accessible Sign-Up Bonus

One great feature of the First National Bank's American Express card is how easy to access the bonus is. It requires very little spending out of the gate.

If you spend $500 in your first three billing cycles on the card, or roughly speaking the first three months, you get a $100 bonus. It's as simple as that.

That's $167 a month, which you can easily do just by using your card to cover a couple of grocery runs or buy the family new shoes.

Earning and Redeeming Rewards is Easy

The First National's American Express card also offers a refreshingly straightforward rewards program that's easy to track. Here's how it works:

  • For every purchase you make on your card, you earn 1.5 percent in rewards. You don't have to worry about tracking which kinds of products earn better rewards than others.
  • Your cash back value and your points are the same thing. You don't have to keep track of points and work out how they might convert to cash value.
  • Rewards can add up quickly over time. If you use your card for most purchases and spend $1,500 a month on it, you'll earn $22.50 in cash back per month. Over 12 months, that comes to a respectable $270.
  • Your rewards don't expire.
  • One of the best features is that the process of redeeming points is automatic. Whenever you earn $25 in bonuses, that amount is simply credited to your account. There's no opting-in or any other kind of process to worry about.

There's a trade-off to the straightforward and automatic process for points, in that you have to sacrifice some flexibility: you can only get your rewards in the form of account credits. Still, the sheer convenience of First National's solution makes this exchange well worth it. The convenience is a huge boon for the busy cardholder who might forgot to redeem points or choose categories to maximize spending if those were requirements.

Other Perks of the Card

First National's American Express card offers several other useful benefits, features and perks.

  • The card provides access to American Express's CONNECT program, a range of special offers that include dining and shopping and access to presale tickets.
  • Its Zero Liability guarantee ensures that you can't be held responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your card.
  • Each month, you can view your FICO credit score online at no charge.
  • Auto rental and travel accident insurance are provided automatically, along with purchase protection and extended warranties on eligible products.

On top of those benefits, the card also comes with Smart Chip technology for added security and convenience.

Fees Associated With the Card

There are fees associated with balance transfers. You can transfer balances from other credit cards to this one at a cost of 5 percent of that transaction or a minimum of $10. Since there's no 0 percent APR offer on this card, we don't recommend using it as a balance transfer card.

There are also fees associated with cash advances. These are actually higher than the balance transfer fee, coming in at 5 percent or a minimum of $15 depending on which is higher. It's probably a good idea to avoid using this as a cash advance card.

This card charges no annual fee, which makes it easy to maintain as part of your credit card collection or as your primary card.

Foreign transactions carry a fee of 3 percent per transaction, which isn't unusual but may not make the First National American Express card your first choice for overseas shopping.

The Bottom Line

Accessibility, simplicity and convenience are the biggest advantages of the First National Bank American Express card. If you have a busy schedule and want to be spared the hassle of working out how to spend and redeem your reward points, this card could be an excellent option.

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