Pet Credit Cards: PetSmart Pet Perks Visa, PetRewards Visa

As a doting pet owner, this post at SD about the PetSmart Pet Perks Visa caught my eye. It offers:

  • 3 points per $1 spent at PetSmart, and Banfield, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else,
  • 0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers (with no fee within the first 90 days)
  • $20 PetSmart gift card after first purchase
  • Personalize your credit card with your pet’s photo

As you can see, the offer is not much to “woof” about. (Compare this to the Chase Freedom card, for instance, which trumps this offer in nearly every respect.) But it did remind me of the Pet Rewards Visa, a card which I had previously panned. When looking at the Pet Rewards offer with fresh eyes, however, it actually looks to have a good niche use:

  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent at participating veterinary clinincs, pet food retailers, farm and feed stores, and neighborhood pet stores; 1 point per dollar anywhere else
  • 0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers (with no fee)
  • 500 points after first purchase
  • Personalize your rewards card with your pet’s photo

Now, on the surface these benefits look pretty similar to the Petsmart card. The redemption opportunities for the PetRewards credit card, however, make the difference. You can redeem 1000 points for $20 worth of vet expenses at any veterinary office, turning this card into a 2% card for general use, or 4% if your pet care expenses are with participating vendors. The main issue with redemption, of course, is the convenience factor, as you’ll have to fill out a form and return receipts in order to be reimbursed. For those with pet expenses who don’t mind sending in receipts, however, this card represents a reasonable option.

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