The Teamsters Credit Card is specially designed for members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor union. The card offers great fraud prevention and customer support services. It also gives cardholders access to hardship grants of up to $2,700. In exchange, you give up the chance to get a high credit limit and earn a good rewards rate.

Teamsters Credit Card Review

Here are the highlights of the Teamsters Credit Card:

  • Annual Fee: None
  • APR:
    • 0% introductory APR for 12 to 15 months (excellent credit only)
    • 12.4% – 24.74% variable APR
    • 25.49% for cash advances
    • 26.49% penalty APR, removed after six consecutive on-time payments
  • Sign-Up Bonus: None
  • Benefits:
    • Hardship grants:
      • $1,600 to $2,700 for long-term illness or disability
      • $1,200 for hospital expenses
      • $300 for job loss
      • $300 for union members participating in a union-sanctioned strike or lockout
    • 1.5% cash back on purchases (Cash Rewards Teamster Privilege Card only)
    • Special rebates and discounts on everyday products and services
    • $0 fraud liability if card is lost or stolen
    • 24/7 US-based customer support
  • Minimum Payment:
    • If balance is under $25, then the full balance
    • If balance is $25 or greater, then $25 or 1% of your balance, plus new interest and late payment fees
  • Other Fees:
    • 3% balance transfer fee during introductory APR period
    • $10 or 4% cash advance fee, whichever is greater
    • Up to $38 for late payments
    • Up to $25 for returned payments

Why to Apply for the Teamsters Credit Card

If you’re a member of the Teamsters, there are a number of reasons to apply for a Teamsters Credit Card.

Grants for unexpected hardships. Teamsters Credit Cardholders can get grants up to $2,700 to help them overcome unexpected hardships like job loss, strikes, medical bills and disability. These grants are paid by check and are not loans. To be eligible, you must have owned the Teamsters Credit Card for at least three months before the date that your hardship began. If you want to apply for one of these grants, use your Teamster Credit Card login on Capital One’s website.

Special rebates and discounts. Teamsters Credit Cardholders get special discounts and rebates on services like AT&T Wireless, auto and home insurance, vision care programs, car and truck rentals and more. You can view all available discounts in your Teamsters Credit Card account.  Just sign up for the discount you want and use your card to make the purchase. The savings will automatically appear on your card.

Teamsters Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

If you’re thinking about adding the Teamsters Credit Card to your wallet, you should also know about the card’s drawbacks.

Only available to Teamsters. You cannot apply for this credit card unless you are a member of the Teamsters Union. If you’re already a member, this is a good card to have, but if you aren’t a Teamster, you will have to consider other options, like the alternative cards listed below.

Low rewards rate. The Teamsters Credit Card offers just 1.5% cash back on every purchase, which is low compared to some credit cards that offer up to 5% cash back on select purchases. Worse, you can only earn rewards if you apply for the Cash Rewards Teamsters Credit Card. The other two forms of the card, the Primary Access Teamster Privilege Credit Card and the Rate Advantage Teamster Privilege Credit Card do not offer cash back at all. To be eligible for the Cash Rewards Teamster Privilege Credit Card, you must have excellent credit.

Low credit limits. At a minimum, you will receive a credit line of $300 if you are approved for the card. The largest credit line available is $10,000. Other types of credit cards can have limits as high as $25,000 or more. These low limits could be problematic for some users. If your limit is too low to handle a full month’s expenses, you’ll have to pay the card off part way through the month or stop using it once you max the card out.

Teamsters Credit Card Alternatives

While no other card offers the same benefits and grants that the Teamsters Credit Card does, if you’re interested in rewards, there are a few alternatives.

If you’re interested in the cash back rewards offered by the Teamster Privilege Credit Card, you might be interested in the Citi Double Cash Card. The Double Cash offers 1% cash back on all purchases, and 1% back on card payments for an effective 2% cash back on every purchase you make. This rate outpaces the 1.5% that the Teamsters Credit Card offers.

The Citi Double Cash also carries an APR of 14.99% – 24.99%, depending on your credit, which is in line with the Teamster Privilege Credit Card’s APR.

If you’re interested in category credit cards that give you bonus rewards for purchases at certain stores, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday or Blue Cash Preferred cards are good candidates.

The Blue Cash Everyday Card gives you 3% back on groceries and 2% back on gas with no annual fee, while the Blue Cash Preferred Card comes with a $95 annual fee but offers 6% back on groceries and 3% back on gas. Both cards offer elevated rewards on up to the first $6,000 spent on groceries and give 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Because groceries and gas are two of the largest expenses in most American households, these cards are good starter cards for people who want to carry different cards for different purchase categories. They both charge a slightly higher APR than the Teamster Privilege Credit Card, with rates ranging from 14.49% – 25.49%.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Teamsters Credit Card?

The Teamsters Credit Card is a great card for members of the Teamsters Union thanks to its unique hardship grants and members-only discounts. Its low rewards rate might not make it the best card for everyday spending, but its other benefits make it a good card to have in your wallet.

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