Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Learn More

Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard Review

Earn 5% back at REI on both full-priced and discounted items, along with REI gift cards.

Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard Review

Learn More

Earn 5% back at REI on both full-priced and discounted items, along with REI gift cards.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

The Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is a standout choice for those who love the outdoors and shop at REI. With no annual fee, the card rewards you with 5% back on purchases at REI and 1.5% back on all other purchases, making it an attractive option for outdoor enthusiasts.

To apply, you must be an REI Co-op member, a status that comes with its own set of benefits, including discounts on REI adventures and access to exclusive sales. This card not only benefits you with rewards but also supports environmental initiatives, as 10 cents from every purchase goes to the National Forest Foundation. Whether you’re gearing up for your next adventure or making everyday purchases, the REI Co-op® Mastercard is designed to reward your lifestyle.

Welcome Bonus

The Welcome Bonus for the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is notably generous and straightforward, catering specifically to new cardholders. Upon purchasing within the first 60 days of account opening, cardholders are rewarded with a $100 REI gift card. This offer is distinctive because it does not require a minimum spending amount, which is uncommon for retail cards, making it an accessible and immediate perk for new users​.

Additionally, the process to receive the gift card is hassle-free, with the gift card arriving six to eight weeks after the qualifying purchase, ensuring that new cardholders can enjoy their welcome bonus with minimal wait time. This welcoming gesture not only enhances the initial experience of being an REI Co-op® Mastercard holder but also encourages immediate engagement with REI’s wide range of products and services, reinforcing the card’s value from the outset.

Earning Rewards

Earning rewards with the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is a highly rewarding experience, especially for those who frequently shop at REI or enjoy outdoor activities. The card allows holders to earn a robust 5% back on all purchases made at REI, including not just merchandise but also donations made to the REI Cooperative Action Fund. This 5% reward is in addition to the annual dividend provided to REI members, effectively stacking rewards for purchases made directly with the retailer​.

Beyond REI purchases, the card is equally rewarding for everyday spending. All other purchases made with the card earn 1.5% back, providing a competitive cashback rate that is applicable to a wide range of spending categories outside of REI. This feature makes the card a solid choice for those who prefer to use a single card for most of their spending, allowing them to accumulate rewards quickly across both REI and non-REI purchases​.

An additional perk is the annual double rewards event exclusive to cardholders, which offers an extra 5% back on REI purchases during the promotional period. This event doubles the already generous 5% back to an impressive 10% back on REI purchases, further enhancing the card’s value proposition for REI loyalists. This feature is particularly appealing to those who plan their major purchases around this event, maximizing their rewards on significant investments in outdoor gear and apparel​.

The combination of high reward rates on REI purchases, respectable cashback on all other spending, and the opportunity to further maximize rewards during special events makes the REI Co-op® Mastercard an attractive option for outdoor enthusiasts and REI shoppers. Its reward structure is designed to cater to the lifestyle and spending habits of its target demographic, making it more than just a credit card but a tool to enhance the outdoor experience.

Redeeming Rewards

Redeeming rewards with the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is uniquely structured to benefit REI members, with a focus on annual dividends. Cardholders earn dividends from their purchases, which are distributed in mid-to-late March of the following year. These dividends can be used immediately for purchases at REI, providing a direct way to save on future purchases with the retailer​.

For those who prefer cash, the redemption process is flexible. Starting from July 1 through January 3 of the following year, cardholders can request their dividend in cash at any REI store. If a check is preferred, requests can be made anytime, but they are only issued during the same timeframe as cash requests. This system ensures that rewards are not just points in the ether but have tangible value either in the form of merchandise or cash​.

It’s important to note that dividends expire just under two years after being issued. However, the rebates earned with the card do not expire at the same time as dividends, offering an extended opportunity to use the rewards. This unique redemption cycle might not suit everyone, especially those accustomed to more immediate rewards. Yet, for loyal REI shoppers, this system reinforces the co-op’s community-centric model by encouraging annual engagement and rewarding long-term membership​.

The once-a-year redemption rule may seem limiting, but it aligns with REI’s ethos of fostering a closer relationship between the brand and its members. By planning purchases around the dividend distribution, cardholders can significantly offset the cost of high-quality outdoor gear, making this card an invaluable tool for the dedicated outdoor enthusiast.

Perks and Benefits

The Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is not just about earning and redeeming rewards; it also offers a suite of perks and benefits that enhance its value, especially for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. As a World Mastercard, it includes a range of protections and conveniences that are particularly appealing for those who lead active lifestyles and seek peace of mind in their financial products.

One of the most notable benefits is the $0 fraud liability, which ensures that cardholders are not held responsible for unauthorized transactions. This feature is crucial for those who frequently travel or make a significant number of transactions online. Additionally, the card offers price protection, which can refund the difference if you find a lower price for a new item you purchased with the card within a specified period. This benefit is particularly valuable for making significant purchases of outdoor gear, where prices can vary widely across retailers.

The extended warranty benefit automatically lengthens the manufacturer’s warranty on items purchased with the card, providing an extra layer of security on outdoor and travel gear that may face wear and tear. Identity theft resolution services are also included, offering assistance if a cardholder’s personal information is compromised​.

Moreover, the card grants access to the Luxury Hotels & Resorts portfolio, offering extra amenities at various hotels and resorts. This perk can make travel more enjoyable and luxurious, providing room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and other benefits at participating properties​.

Additionally, the card makes a positive impact on the environment, as 10 cents from every purchase is donated to the National Forest Foundation, up to $1 million annually. This contribution supports programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the National Forest System, aligning with the values of many REI members and outdoor enthusiasts​.

These perks and benefits, along with the charitable contribution feature, underscore the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard’s appeal to those who value both the practical aspects of a credit card and the potential to contribute positively to environmental conservation efforts.

Pros and Cons

Evaluating the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard involves weighing its advantages against potential drawbacks, to determine its suitability for different types of consumers.

Pros:

  • High Rewards Rate on REI Purchases: With a 5% return on REI purchases and an additional annual dividend for REI members, cardholders can enjoy significant savings on their outdoor gear and apparel purchases​.
  • Broad Rewards on All Purchases: Unlike many co-branded cards that offer minimal rewards outside their stores, this card provides 1.5% back on all other purchases, making it a viable option for everyday spending​.
  • No Annual Fee: The card does not charge an annual fee, which is a major plus for consumers looking to maximize rewards without incurring yearly costs. However, REI Co-op membership is required, which has a one-time fee​​​.
  • Environmental Contribution: It contributes to sustainability efforts by donating 10 cents from every purchase to the National Forest Foundation, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers​.
  • Welcome Bonus and Additional Perks: New cardholders can earn a $100 REI gift card after their first purchase, plus other benefits like an annual $50 statement credit for booking an REI Co-op Experience, enhancing the card’s value​.

Cons:

  • REI Membership Required: To apply for the card, you must be an REI member, which involves a one-time membership fee. This could be a barrier for those not already committed to shopping at REI​.
  • Limited Redemption Options: Rewards are primarily geared towards REI purchases, with dividends distributed annually. This might not suit those who prefer more flexibility in how they redeem rewards​.
  • High APR for Some: The card’s APR can be high, particularly for those with less-than-perfect credit, which could negate the benefits of rewards if carrying a balance​.

In summary, the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is best for REI loyalists and outdoor enthusiasts who can fully take advantage of its rewards and perks. Its unique benefits, like contributions to environmental causes and high reward rates on REI purchases, make it an attractive option. However, the requirement for REI membership and the specific redemption options may limit its appeal to a broader audience.

 

Comparison to Other Cards

When comparing the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard to other cards, it’s clear that its unique value proposition lies in its targeted rewards and benefits for outdoor enthusiasts and REI shoppers. This card stands out primarily for its generous cashback rates on REI purchases and its array of perks tailored to those who frequently invest in outdoor gear and experiences.

Earning Rewards: The REI Co-op® Mastercard offers an impressive 5% back on REI purchases and 1.5% back on all other purchases. This is particularly competitive within the realm of store-branded credit cards, where the focus is often solely on purchases made at the brand’s stores. In contrast, general cash-back cards like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card may offer a flat 2% cash reward on purchases, providing more uniform value across all spending but without the higher brand-specific rate​​​.

Welcome Bonus: The welcome bonus of a $100 REI gift card after the first purchase within 60 days of account opening, without a minimum spending requirement, is notably generous. This compares favorably to other cards, which may offer higher bonuses but have significant spending requirements​.

Perks and Benefits: The REI Co-op® Mastercard’s inclusion of World Mastercard benefits, such as $0 fraud liability, price protection, and extended warranty, aligns it with many other premium credit cards. However, its specific benefits for REI purchases, like the annual dividend and the donation of 10 cents from every purchase to the National Forest Foundation, provide added value for those dedicated to the outdoors and environmental stewardship​.

APR and Fees: While the REI Co-op® Mastercard offers no annual fee, it requires REI membership, which has a one-time cost. Its APR range is competitive, though potential cardholders with less-than-stellar credit may face higher rates. In comparison, some general credit cards may offer lower introductory APRs or balance transfer options, appealing to those with existing credit card debt or those looking for financing options for large purchases​.

Redemption Flexibility: The redemption process, centered around an annual dividend, may not suit everyone, especially those accustomed to more immediate rewards access. General cash-back or travel cards often offer more flexibility in how rewards can be redeemed and when​.

In summary, the Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is best for those deeply invested in the outdoor lifestyle and who frequently shop at REI. Its rewards structure and perks are specifically designed to benefit this demographic, making it less versatile but more rewarding for its target audience compared to more general cash-back or travel rewards cards.

Conclusion

The Capital One REI Co-op® Mastercard is an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts and loyal REI shoppers, offering a blend of high rewards on purchases at REI, additional benefits for cardholders, and a commitment to environmental conservation. With 5% back on REI purchases, 1.5% back on all other purchases, and a suite of World Mastercard benefits, this card is designed to reward the lifestyle of those who spend their time outdoors and value sustainability.

The requirement for REI membership, with its one-time fee, may be a consideration, but the benefits and rewards can quickly offset this cost for regular REI customers. Whether you’re gearing up for your next adventure or looking to support environmental efforts through your purchases, the REI Co-op® Mastercard offers a unique value proposition that is hard to match for its target audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of the REI Co-op® Mastercard?
    Cardholders enjoy 5% back on REI purchases, 1.5% back on all other purchases, a $100 REI gift card as a welcome bonus, no annual fee (though REI membership is required), and contributions to environmental efforts with each purchase.
  • Is there an annual fee for the REI Co-op® Mastercard?
    No, there is no annual fee for the card itself, but you must be an REI member to apply, which requires a one-time membership fee.
  • How do REI Co-op® Mastercard rewards work?
    Rewards are earned as 5% back on purchases at REI and 1.5% back on all other purchases. Additionally, rewards can be redeemed toward REI purchases, with dividends distributed annually.
  • Can I use the REI Co-op® Mastercard for everyday purchases?
    Yes, the card offers 1.5% back on all purchases outside of REI, making it a good option for everyday use.
  • What makes the REI Co-op® Mastercard unique compared to other credit cards?
    Its high rewards rate on REI purchases, the annual dividend for REI members, a suite of World Mastercard benefits, and the environmental contribution with each purchase make it uniquely beneficial for outdoor enthusiasts and REI shoppers.
Leave A Reply