I’ve used Venmo to send and receive small amounts of money for years. It’s my go-to way to hit friends and family back for picking up the dinner tab, buying groceries for a weekend getaway, reserving tickets for the big game, and much more.
I also review credit cards for a living and have more active credit card accounts than I care to admit. So I was excited to hear that Venmo launched a new cash-back credit card, the aptly named Venmo Credit Card.
If you’re familiar with Venmo’s payment solutions, you may know about the Venmo Debit Card. The Venmo Credit Card is a separate product that requires a credit check to get, although it’s pretty easy to apply if you already have a Venmo account. See if it makes sense for you and how it stacks up to other popular rewards credit cards.
What Is the Venmo Credit Card?
The Venmo Credit Card is a cash-back credit card for Venmo users. It has a customized cash-back program that tailors rewards based on your top spending categories. Your top spending category earns 3% cash back, a solid return for a cash-back card with no annual fee.
You can redeem your rewards for cash into your Venmo account or use them to buy cryptocurrency on Venmo. Rewards accrue and spending categories reset each month.
The Venmo Credit Card syncs with your Venmo account, so you can use it to pay friends through Venmo rather than using your cash balance or linked bank account. You can also receive money with your Venmo credit card and choose to apply it to your credit card balance or your Venmo cash account. Friends don’t even need your Venmo username — they can just scan the QR code on your Venmo Credit Card to pay or request money.
What Sets the Venmo Credit Card Apart?
The Venmo Credit Card has lots of advantages, but three things really stand out about it.
- Custom Rewards Categories That Adjust Automatically. You earn 3% back in your top spending category, 2% back in your next highest spending category, and 1% back on everything else. Venmo automatically adjusts your categories each month, so if your spending changes, you still get the most possible cash back. This is way easier than most credit card rewards programs.
- Seamless Integration With Venmo. Your card has a QR code that makes it easy for friends to send or request money in Venmo, and you can choose whether funds come from or go to your Venmo cash balance or credit card. No other credit card does this.
- Redeem Rewards for Crypto. Want more crypto exposure? Understand the risks, but you can easily redeem rewards for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Few competing credit cards allow this.
Key Features of the Venmo Credit Card
Now that you know what sets the Venmo Credit Card apart, take a closer look at how it works day-to-day and how its value-added features — some of which are quite rare in the credit card world — can help you spend and receive money more efficiently.
Earning Cash-Back Rewards With the Venmo Credit Card
The Venmo Credit Card has a three-tiered cash-back program. You earn:
- 3% back in your top spending category each month
- 2% back in your next highest spending category each month
- 1% back on all other eligible purchases
All three tiers are unlimited — there are no caps on how much you can earn in any. This is a little unusual for a credit card with no annual fee. Most no-fee “3/2/1” cash-back cards cap earnings in the 3% category at a particular spending threshold, often $1,500 or $2,500 per quarter.
Venmo’s spending categories include:
- Local transportation
- Dining and nightlife
- Bills and utilities
- Health and beauty
Venmo tracks your spending in the background and figures out your top spending categories at the end of each month. It then determines how much you’ve earned in each category with no activation or approval required on your end.
At the end of the statement cycle, Venmo automatically redeems all the rewards earned during the period.
The default redemption option is cash into your Venmo account. If you prefer, you can redeem for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Venmo is clear about the potential risks of redeeming for crypto — once redeemed, your rewards’ value can fluctuate (sometimes violently) with the crypto markets. But as long as you understand the risks, this is a nice advantage over most other rewards credit cards.
Your Venmo Credit Card comes with a unique QR code right on the front. This is “your” code — it pulls up your Venmo account when scanned, making it easy for friends and family to send or request money without searching for you in the Venmo app or knowing your username.
This is unique in and of itself — no other credit card taps directly into your Venmo account — but it gets better. You can choose whether funds sent or received with the QR code go into your Venmo cash balance or your card balance. So, if you wish, you can pay off Venmo Credit Card charges with inbound transfers. In other words, your friends can pay off your charges.
Choose Your Card Color
Venmo lets you choose your card’s color from several different neon-tinged options. Some other cards let you customize your card face, but this is a nice perk nonetheless, especially if you want your primary payment method to stand out.
Mobile App & Virtual Shopping
If you have a Venmo account, you already have the Venmo app. Once you’re approved for the Venmo Credit Card, the app’s benefits expand with capabilities like:
- Stored card information, which allows you to shop virtually anywhere Visa is accepted
- Card spend tracking, which shows you how much you’ve spent and where during the latest statement cycle and over longer periods of time
The Venmo Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s not unusual for a cash-back credit card, but relatively few cards that earn up to 3% back waive the annual fee. So if you’re looking to maximize your cash-back rewards while minimizing your overhead costs, this card should be on your shortlist.
The Venmo Credit Card requires good credit. Venmo doesn’t provide a specific credit score range for applicants, but generally speaking, you’re more likely to be accepted if your FICO credit score is above 660.
Pros of the Venmo Credit Card
The Venmo Credit Card is easy to use and has a versatile, low-friction cash-back program. These are its top advantages.
- Earn Up to 3% Cash Back. With the Venmo Credit Card, you earn unlimited 3% cash back in your top spending category every month. That’s a better rate of return than many competing no-annual-fee cards, whose rewards top out at 2%.
- Earn in Broad, Everyday Spending Categories. Venmo has broad, everyday spending categories like travel, dining, and groceries. Whatever you use your card for, you should have no trouble racking up rewards in the 2% and 3% tiers.
- Rewards Accrue Automatically. Venmo doesn’t ask you to manually activate or redeem your rewards. They accrue to your account automatically every month, and Venmo redeems them as you choose at the end of the period.
- Redeem for Cash or Crypto. Prefer hard cash in your Venmo account? Done. Want crypto instead? Also done. It doesn’t get much simpler.
- No Need to Track or Adjust Rewards Categories. Venmo automatically tracks your spending and adjusts your 2% and 3% rewards categories each month. This is a big advantage over cash-back cards that require you to select your preferred rewards categories or activate rotating categories each month or quarter.
- Built-in QR Code Makes Sending and Receiving Money Easier. The built-in QR code is genius. If you split bills with friends or family often, it makes settling up a lot easier.
Cons of the Venmo Credit Card
The Venmo Credit Card doesn’t have many weaknesses, but the low baseline cash-back rate and the lack of a sign-up bonus for new cardholders do hurt.
- Modest Baseline Cash Back. The Venmo Credit Card’s baseline cash-back rate is just 1%. Unless you’re really disciplined with your spending and use your card in only two spending categories, your average rate of return is likely to be lower than 2% (and certainly lower than 3%).
- No Sign-Up Bonus. The Venmo Credit Card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. That could change, but it’s worth noting at the moment.
How the Venmo Credit Card Stacks Up
The Venmo Credit Card is one of the newer cash-back credit cards on the market, but it has plenty of competition. And one of those competitors lives in Venmo’s own house, sort of. It’s the PayPal Cashback Mastercard, backed by Venmo’s parent company PayPal.
See how the two compare.
|Venmo Credit Card
|PayPal Cashback Mastercard
|Top Cash-Back Rate
|3% back in your top spending category each month
|3% back on eligible PayPal purchases
|Other Cash-Back Rewards
|2% back in your next highest spending category each month; 1% cash back on everything else
|2% cash back on everything else
|How to Redeem Rewards
|Cash out into your Venmo account or purchase crypto with Venmo
|Cash out into your PayPal account
The Venmo Credit Card is an excellent addition to your existing Venmo account. If you use Venmo and have good credit or can get there fast, I can’t see a good reason not to apply. Even if the Venmo Credit Card never becomes your primary credit card, whatever spending you do with it can earn up to 3% cash back, and you’ll never pay an annual fee to keep the card in your wallet.
And if you don’t have a Venmo account already? Personally, the Venmo Credit Card would be enough to get me off the fence and into the Venmo ecosystem. But if you use another app for person-to-person transfers and don’t have many friends or family members on Venmo, you could do without it.