Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card Review: Protect Wetlands While Earning 5% Back on Gas

Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. His work has also appeared on MSN Money, USA Today, and Yahoo! Finance.

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Ducks Unlimited probably isn't the first name that comes to mind when you want to get a new credit card. The nonprofit organization's mission is to protect wetlands and waterfowl, and one way it does that is through its cash-back card, the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card. There's no annual fee, and you don't need to be a member of the organization to apply.

With an unlimited 5% back on gas and sporting goods purchases, this card could be very valuable, especially for those who drive a lot. But it's also light on extra features, so it may lack some of the benefits you want. To see if it's worth getting, learn more about the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card in our review.

Ratings Methodology
Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card
Rewards

5% cash back on gas purchases, 5% back on sporting goods store purchases, 1% back on everything else

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

Purchases: N/A
Balance Transfers: N/A

Ongoing APR

21.49% variable

Bonuses & Perks

N/A

Highlights
  • No Annual Fee
  • Unlimited 5% cash back on Gas purchases & Sporting Goods Store purchases
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on other purchases everywhere Visa is accepted
  • A portion of every purchase you make with the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card helps fund wetlands conversation efforts

Top perks

No annual fee: There's no fee to carry this card. No-annual-fee cards are a smart choice if you're looking to avoid an extra expense.

Up to 5% back: Cash-back rates are where the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card shines. It earns a massive 5% back on gas and purchases at sporting goods stores. On all other purchases, it earns 1% back.

Most credit cards with high cash-back rates also have spending caps, such as $1,500 per quarter or $15,000 per year, to limit how much bonus cash back you can earn. This card doesn’t, as it offers an unlimited 5% back. For consumers who are on the road all the time or who make frequent trips to sporting goods stores, that 5% back could be an extremely valuable perk.

Funds wetland conservation efforts: Ducks Unlimited uses a portion of every purchase made with this card to help conserve and restore wetlands. It should be noted that this is a hunting-oriented organization. Hunters founded the organization and comprise most of its members. It focuses on maintaining habitats in part for hunting purposes because a healthy habitat is more likely to have a strong waterfowl population.

What could be improved

No 0% intro APR: Many cash-back credit cards offer a 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers. The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card doesn't offer one, so it's a poor choice if you're looking for a credit card to finance expenses or consolidate credit card debt.

No sign-up bonus: One of the biggest drawbacks of this card is that it doesn’t offer any sort of bonus for new cardholders. Sign-up bonuses can provide quite a bit of value, but you'll need to look elsewhere if a bonus is important to you.

Limited bonus categories: While this card has excellent cash-back rates, gas and sporting goods aren't areas where the typical consumer spends a lot of money. According to our data on monthly expenses, the average American spends $2,109 per year on gas and oil purchases. If you spent that much on gas with this card, you'd earn $105.45 back.

The average annual grocery spending is much higher at $4,464, and many cash-back cards offer bonuses for both gas and groceries. If your spending is similar to the norm, then one of those cards may be a better fit.

Inconvenient cash-back redemptions: Ducks Unlimited hasn't come up with the most customer-friendly way to get your cash back. You can only redeem your cash back in the following denominations: $25, $50, $100, $250, and $1,000. That means any time your total cash back isn't a multiple of $25, you won't be able to redeem all of it.

Let's say you have $196 in cash back. You could make redemptions of $100, $50, and $25, for a total of $175. But that leaves $21 you can't touch for the time being. It'd be much simpler for cardholders if Ducks Unlimited didn't have these restrictions.

Foreign transaction fee: On foreign transactions, this card charges an additional fee of 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars. If you plan to travel outside the country, you'll need another credit card to avoid paying extra on all your purchases.

Suggested credit score

The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card is for consumers with good credit, and we recommend you have a credit score of at least 670 if you're going to apply.

Keep in mind that there's more to credit card applications than just your credit score. Ducks Unlimited will review your entire credit history and other financial information, such as your income, to decide whether to approve you for a card. A high credit score helps, but it's not the only factor that matters.

Alternatives to consider

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is another impressive cash-back card with no annual fee. While it doesn't quite match the 5% back of the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card, it includes a much wider variety of bonus categories. It earns 3x points on flights, hotels, at gas stations, and much more, plus it includes extra rewards for new cardholders with its sign-up bonus.

Discover it® Cash Back may be worth considering with its robust rewards program where you can earn up to 5% cash back in rotating categories you activate ($1,500 spending cap each quarter). Prior quarterly categories have included gas, making this a solid competitor that offers more flexibility to earn premium rewards across an array of categories.

As of Mar. 18, 2020
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card Discover it® Cash Back
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5 stars
ToolTip Icon for Star Rating. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5 stars
ToolTip Icon for Star Rating. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
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On Well Fargo's Secure Website.

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Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months Bonus: Double cash back in the first year
Rewards Program: 3X points for eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, and more, 1x points on all else Rewards Program: Earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories you activate ($1,500 quarterly spending cap), 1% back on all else
Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 12 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 12 months on qualifying balance transfers Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 14 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 14 months
Regular APR: 13.99%-25.99% (Variable) Regular APR: 13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee: $0 Annual Fee: $0

Highlights:

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Highlights:

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.

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On Well Fargo's Secure Website.

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On Discover's Secure Website.

This card is right for you if:

This card is one of the few that's tailored to consumers who live in rural areas and enjoy outdoor activities. If you have a long commute and put a lot of miles on your vehicle, then that 5% cash-back rate on gas will be great every time you fill up at the pump. While many credit cards have perks that are only useful for city dwellers, the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card is the opposite.

If you don't mind using more than one credit card, the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card works well in combination with another cash-back card with different bonus categories or a high flat rate. For example, you could use this card for your gas spending and then find another card that earns you bonus cash back at grocery stores and restaurants.

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