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FordPass Rewards Visa Card -- cashback strategies for Mach-E buyers

macchiaz-o

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Last year, Ford introduced FordPass Rewards. If you're in the U.S. and you've ever signed into the FordPass app or web site, well congratulations. You're already an FPR member. It's had a shaky start... I've had to contact them to get points credited after having service done sometimes, and I'm still waiting on the Essential Worker points that were offered a few months back.

Anyway... This morning, Ford announced an optional add-on to the FPR program: the FordPass Rewards Visa Card. This is definitely the most confusing/complicated rewards cards I've ever seen. I think the way they've worded the press release and infographic just added to my confusion about how it works.

I've now had a chance to dig into the summary of credit terms from First Bank of Omaha, which helped clear things up. Here's what I'm thinking is the way to get the most benefit from this card. I'd love to know your thoughts and if you've got other clever strategies in mind.

First though, when I'm referring to FPR points, these are "FordPass Rewards" points that are only redeemable towards Ford branded accessories (not dealer/3rd party items), or for maintenance and service at a dealership. 200 points translates to $1.

And when I'm referring to a statement credit, this is a payment made by the bank on your behalf, to your credit card account balance. $1 is worth $1.

So here's a possible strategy:

In the first year (starting from when card account is opened):
  • Open card account and make your first purchase (even if it's just a $1 Hot 'n Spicy McChicken)
    • first purchase triggers reward of 11,000 FPR points (worth about $55), but they can take a few months to credit them
  • While buying MME, pay the maximum amount the dealer allows via FPR Visa; dealer limits on credit cards will vary... might be $500 or maybe a couple thousand
    • earn 10 FPR points per dollar spent at dealership or Ford web site (which is worth about 5% of purchase)
    • dealership or Ford web site transactions of $499+ qualify for 0% interest for 6 months
  • Spend $3,000+ on card within first three months of account opening
    • earns $100 statement credit
    • spending this much on a single card in a 3 month period might be difficult (it will be for me); so you might want to try to time the account opening so that your new vehicle purchase occurs within this first three month period.
  • Spent $6000+ on card within first 12 months of account opening
    • earns $200 statement credit (that's unrelated to the $100 credit that might also have been earned)
  • Any spending beyond the $6,000 should be on credit cards that offer better rewards, like Discover cashback quarterly 5% categories or the Citi Double Cash (2%) cards
  • Use the accumulated rewards points to buy a spare EVSE (mobile charger or connected wall charger) or floor mats or whatever... but note that points aren't redeemable for non-Ford accessories such as window tinting.
  • If my math is correct, the best case scenario using the info above would be:
    • $55 (from first card transaction) + ~$100 (from dealer purchases) + $100 ($3k spent in 1st 3 months) + $200 ($6k in 1st year) = $455
    • $455 / $6000 = 7.6% cashback!
Subsequent years:
  • Charge at least $6,000 and preferably not much more than that amount.
    • get a $200 statement credit
    • earn anywhere from $60 - $300 worth of FPR points (only redeemable for certain dealership expenses like maintenance, service, and some Ford-distributed accessories)
    • the credit card activity keeps FPR rewards balance from expiring
  • If you don't think you'll get to the $6,000 spend in typical years, then the FPR Visa is probably not the best card to continue using. But you still might want to benefit from a charge once a year or so (or spend money on maintenance or whatever at a dealership) to keep your FPR rewards balance from expiring.
  • Any expenses above and beyond the $6,000 should be on credit cards that offer better rewards, like Discover cashback quarterly categories or Citi Double Cash cards.
  • Cash value:
    • $200 ($6k spent in 12 months)
    • $60 (assumes all of the $6k was in 'other' category that earns least amount)
    • $260 / $6,000 = 4.3% cashback!

OK. This was a complicated post. Congratulation on making it this far... After you've had some time to think it over, I'd love to know your thoughts and any improvements to the strategy!
 

Mach-MI

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This seems like a really bad deal, there's nothing in it for me, as the points aren't really "usable."
Gas stations, not EV charging, and then usable for service - what service on a Mach-E?
If I can't turn points into straight up cash back I'm not interested.
 

jhalkias

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This seems like a really bad deal, there's nothing in it for me, as the points aren't really "usable."
Gas stations, not EV charging, and then usable for service - what service on a Mach-E?
If I can't turn points into straight up cash back I'm not interested.
Therein lies the rub. What do you spend the Rewards points on? I currently have some FordPass rewards that I plan to spend when I buy the MME, but after that . . . not like I need oil changes. Maybe wipers? Tires?
 

Mach-MI

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Therein lies the rub. What do you spend the Rewards points on? I currently have some FordPass rewards that I plan to spend when I buy the MME, but after that . . . not like I need oil changes. Maybe wipers? Tires?
I don't plan to go to a Ford dealer for cabin air filters and wipers, which is all a Mach-E will need. I don't generally own cars out of warranty either... so... the points are worthless to me it looks like, if they have no cash value. And there's no clear explanation of how to use them for a discount on a new car purchase either, that I've seen.
 
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macchiaz-o

macchiaz-o

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You get cash back AND FPR points.

Up to $300 cash back first year, up to $200 subsequent years.

Can the points be used for new tires, tire rotations, and wiper blades?
 
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macchiaz-o

macchiaz-o

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Can the points be used for new tires, tire rotations, and wiper blades?
Plus as I originally said, I'm thinking of using the mobile charger that comes with the car, and a few months later when the points are credited, I might use them towards an additional mobile or connected charger.

You can do your own math but as I see it, it's good for 5% cash back the first year and more than 3% subsequent years -- not including FPR points whatsoever. Those are just icing on the cake.
 

Stickboy46

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I've got 59,000 Fordpass points ... not sure what from (probably from the servicing of my SHO) .. I have no idea where/how i can use them lol. Thought I might be able to get accessories for something .. but that can only be done at a dealer.
 

ChasingCoral

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I've got 59,000 Fordpass points ... not sure what from (probably from the servicing of my SHO) .. I have no idea where/how i can use them lol. Thought I might be able to get accessories for something .. but that can only be done at a dealer.
What are FordPass points good for? If it's 1 point = $1 you can use this to buy your MME 😂
 
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macchiaz-o

macchiaz-o

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I've got 59,000 Fordpass points ... not sure what from (probably from the servicing of my SHO) .. I have no idea where/how i can use them lol. Thought I might be able to get accessories for something .. but that can only be done at a dealer.
Could be used for the $240 winter floor mats accessory, right? You're still have about 45 left over. Hats!
 

Stickboy46

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Could be used for the $240 winter floor mats accessory, right? You're still have about 45 left over. Hats!
Well .. I'm not getting a Mach-E anymore.

My cars:
2020 Tesla Model 3
2013 Dodge Charger R/T AWD (Wife's Car)

I guess I could have the local ford dealer do oil changes on my wifes car? It says you can redeem them for accessories, but the website is god awful and doesn't tell you exactly how.
 
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macchiaz-o

macchiaz-o

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Well .. I'm not getting a Mach-E anymore.

My cars:
2020 Tesla Model 3
2013 Dodge Charger R/T AWD (Wife's Car)

I guess I could have the local ford dealer do oil changes on my wifes car? It says you can redeem them for accessories, but the website is god awful and doesn't tell you exactly how.
I'd recommend calling the quicklane department to see if they can be used for oil changes. Ford implies Yes, but I get mixed answers when I've tried. The FPR thing is definitely confusing and difficult to deal with sometimes.

On a recent service repair though, I was able to use all my available points no problem.
 

Stickboy46

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I'd recommend calling the quicklane department to see if they can be used for oil changes. Ford implies Yes, but I get mixed answers when I've tried. The FPR thing is definitely confusing and difficult to deal with sometimes.

On a recent service repair though, I was able to use all my available points no problem.
I called my dealer. My 59,300 points is 296 dollars in parts. I found a nice dog backseat cover that is for an F150 that I think I can make work in my Wifes Charger + a Bluetooth controller I can use with my phone. Should cost me just the tax (so like 20 bucks). I'm good with that.

Thanks for posting this thread as I would have forgotten about those.
 

GoGoGadgetMachE

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I wonder if the existing Citi-backed Ford Service Credit Card will be de-emphasized.
 



 










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