SchoolsFirst FCU Rewards Mastercard Credit Card

The SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Rewards Mastercard® is an excellent credit card option for teachers, school employees, and credit union members looking for a straightforward rewards card. With no annual fee, competitive rates, and a host of cardholder perks, this Mastercard stands out in its category.

SchoolsFirst FCU Rewards Mastercard Credit Card

In this article, we will take a quick look at the key features and benefits of the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard to see if it’s the right fit for your wallet.

An Overview of the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard

The SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard is a World Mastercard issued by SchoolsFirst FCU, the largest credit union in the country serving school employees. The card offers the following key highlights:

  • Earn 1.5X points on all purchases with no limits on earnings. With the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5X points on every dollar spent.
  • 10,000 bonus points when you open an account. New cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus points when you open an account – no spending requirements. That’s a $100 value you can use towards cash back or future redemptions.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months. You’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months. That gives you an interest-free period to pay off existing balances or make large purchases over time.
  • Competitive ongoing APR as low as 12.00%. After the intro period, your ongoing purchase and balance transfer APR can be as low as 12.00% fixed. And that exceptional rate also applies to future balance transfers after the intro period expires. Just note the APR you qualify for will depend on your creditworthiness. Rates range from 12.00% on the low end up to 17.90% for applicants with less-established credit.
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees. When traveling or transferring debt, hidden credit card fees can quickly escalate costs. With the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard, cardmembers enjoy no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.

Who the SchoolsFirst Rewards Card is Best For?

The SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard is best suited for a few types of applicants:

School employees and credit union members – As a credit union-issued card, membership is required to qualify for this Mastercard. If you work for a U.S. public or private school, you’re likely eligible to join SchoolsFirst FCU.

Creditworthy applicants seeking low rates – Thanks to its credit union roots, this card offers exceptionally low ongoing APRs compared to big bank competitors. If you have good credit and carry balances month-to-month, the low rates can save substantially on interest over time.

Travelers wanting no foreign transaction fees – When traveling overseas, you won’t have to worry about costly foreign transaction fees tacking on 3% to every international purchase which adds up quickly.

Occasional balance transfer users – Between 0% intro APR and no balance transfer fees, this card can maximize savings on transferred debt better than cards charging 3% to 5% balance transfer fees nowadays.

World Mastercard Benefits and Perks

Since this SchoolsFirst card is a World Mastercard product, cardholders can access extra benefits and perks above and beyond the rewards.

A few highlights include:

  • Cell phone protection: Up to $600 per claim and $1,000 per year if your phone is damaged or stolen
  • Travel and shopping discounts: Access exclusive cardholder rates and savings
  • Purchase protection: Coverage against theft and damage for eligible purchases
  • Identity theft resolution: Assistance with ID theft support if your personal information is compromised

And as a SchoolsFirst cardholder, you’ll receive special credit union member benefits. That includes being able to skip your December credit card payment without penalty and referral bonuses when you refer other members.

Drawbacks to Consider

While the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard excels in many areas, a few drawbacks are worth noting:

  • Membership required – Since SchoolsFirst FCU issues the card, you must qualify for credit union membership to be approved. If you don’t have school employment ties, it limits eligibility.
  • 1.5X flat earning rate – With only 1.5X points and no bonus categories, the rewards earnings lag some competitors with rotating 5X categories or tiered redemption values.
  • High APR possible for some – While 12% is exceptionally low if you qualify, applicants with fair/average credit could receive a 17.90% APR, on par with average rates. Building credit can help access better rates.

How Does the SchoolsFirst Card Compare to Alternatives?

SchoolsFirst Rewards vs Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex is a popular no-annual-fee cash-back card with 5% rotating bonus categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases. However, it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee and 14.99% to 23.74% variable APRs.

So while the Chase card offers higher category bonuses, the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard wins for its lower ongoing costs and fees over time.

SchoolsFirst Rewards vs Citi Custom Cash

Citi Custom Cash provides a competitive 5% cash back on up to $500 per month in your top eligible purchase category – gas, dining, groceries, etc – each billing cycle. It charges no foreign transaction fee but doesn’t offer the same low ongoing APR or one-time balance transfer intro rate as the SchoolsFirst card.

Depending on your spending habits and debt situation, one card may suit you better than the other.

SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard Application Requirements

Because SchoolsFirst FCU issues the card, membership in the credit union is required to qualify for the Rewards Mastercard. Membership is generally offered to:

  • Employees of U.S. public and private elementary, middle, or high schools
  • Family members of existing SchoolsFirst FCU members
  • Full-time & student teachers in participating school districts

If you don’t have direct school employment ties, another option is joining the SchoolsFirst Alumni Association for a $20 fee which confers credit union eligibility.

In terms of credit requirements, you’ll typically need a good credit score in the mid-to-high 600s and a low debt-to-income ratio to get approved. Solid payment history with past accounts will also be evaluated by underwriting.

If you have bad credit or no established credit history, the SchoolsFirst Share Secured or Inspire Credit Builder are two alternative card options from the credit union that help build credit. After 1 year of on-time payments with those starter cards, you can upgrade to the Rewards Mastercard.

How to Apply for the SchoolsFirst Rewards Credit Card

To apply for the SchoolsFirst Rewards Mastercard, you must first be a member of SchoolsFirst FCU. Membership eligibility includes:

  • Being an employee of a U.S. public/private school (K-12)
  • Being a family member of a current SchoolsFirst FCU member
  • Joining the SchoolsFirst Alumni Association for $20

Once you establish membership, you can apply online at or visit a local branch. Approval decisions are usually instant.

You’ll typically need good credit (mid-600s score) and a low debt-to-income ratio to qualify. No-fee secured cards from SchoolsFirst are also available if you need to build credit first.

Logging In to Manage Your SchoolsFirst Rewards Card

As a SchoolsFirst credit union member, you can register for online banking access to manage your Rewards Mastercard account.

To log in, visit and click “Log In” at the top. Enter your user credentials.

Once logged into online banking, you can:

  • Check your rewards point balance
  • Redeem rewards points
  • Make credit card payments
  • Set up autopay
  • View statements and transactions
  • Update personal information
  • Message cardholder support

The SchoolsFirst online portal and mobile app enable convenient self-service card management.

Making Credit Card Payments

SchoolsFirst offers multiple ways to pay your Rewards Mastercard bill including:

  • Online – Pay directly on through online banking
  • Mobile app – Download the SchoolsFirst mobile banking app for Apple/Android devices
  • Mail – Send paper checks or money orders to the payment address printed on your statement
  • In-person – Visit any SchoolsFirst branch location nationwide to make payments
  • Telephone – Call cardholder services at 1-800-462-8328

You can schedule one-time or recurring payments online to automate bills too. Just make sure to pay at least the minimum by the monthly due date on your statement to avoid late fees.

Final Verdict

The SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Rewards Mastercard lives up to its name by offering competitive rewards redemption, exceptional rates and fees, and plenty of cardholder perks and protections.

Between the lucrative signup bonus, high-value points earnings, 0% intro APR offer, cell phone protection, and other World Mastercard benefits, there’s tremendous overall value with the card especially given no annual fee.

For eligible school employees and credit union members, the SchoolsFirst Rewards Card should make your shortlist for an everyday use rewards credit card. With smart usage, you can maximize value from the card through points, special financing offers, and shopping discounts.

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