Best Buy offers a credit card (in partnership with Citi) that allows you to pile up extra points in its existing My Best Buy rewards program OR get special financing on larger purchases. Is it worth adding to your wallet?
First: How the My Best Buy Program Works
Best Buy already has a My Best Buy rewards program that you can join regardless of whether you have a Best Buy credit card.
It has a reward point system that is unfortunately a little confusing. Points are given in half-point increments, with each point worth 2 cents in rewards. In the basic My Best Buy program, you earn a half-point per $1 on Best Buy purchases. That half-point equates to a penny in reward value, or, more simply, a 1% reward.
Every time you accumulate 250 points in the program, Best Buy automatically send you a $5 reward certificate. (Remember that each point equals 2 cents, so 250 points equals $5.) Reward certificates can only be used toward future purchases at Best Buy, and they expire in 60 days, so you have a fairly short window in which to use them.
(You also have the option to set the threshold higher before a reward certificate is issued, specifically to a $10 certificate at 500 points or a $20 certificate at 1000 points. And a perk of holding a Best Buy credit card is that cardholders can set these thresholds even higher by “banking” their points.)
Best Buy Credit Cards Give More Rewards Per Dollar
Best Buy gives you plenty of incentive to get the Best Buy credit card by boosting the points you receive per dollar when purchasing with the card. Specifically, Best Buy credit card holders will earn 2.5 points per dollar on Best Buy purchases (equal to a 5% reward) when buying with a Best Buy card.
ALSO: If you qualify for a Best Buy Visa (vs. the store credit card that can only be used at Best Buy), you will earn extra points on purchases outside of Best Buy. Specifically, Best Buy Visa card holders will also earn:
- 1.5 points per dollar (3%) on gas purchases
- 1 point per dollar (2%) on dining purchases
- 1 point per dollar (2%) on grocery purchases
- 0.5 points per dollar (1%) on any other purchases outside of Best Buy
Best Buy Visa Platinum vs. Best Buy Store Card vs. Best Buy Visa Gold (Important!)
When you apply for a Best Buy credit card, you are first going to be considered for the My Best Buy Visa Platinum, which is accepted at Best Buy and anywhere else Visa is accepted. It has no annual fee. If you’re approved, you’re good to go.
However, if your credit history is judged not good enough to be approved for the Visa Platinum, you might be offered one of two other Best Buy credit cards:
- The Best Buy store credit card. It has no annual fee but it’s only accepted at Best Buy.
- The Best Buy Visa Gold. This card can be used at Best Buy and anywhere else Visa is accepted, but it has a $59 annual fee.
In our view, it would be very hard to justify paying a $59 annual fee for the Best Buy Visa Gold unless you have bad credit and find that this is the only unsecured (no collateral required) Visa that you can be accepted for.
Instant Approval & Immediate Use
You may be instantly approved when you apply for a Best Buy credit card. If you do get an instant approval, you can shop today with your account even before you have the actual card in your hands.
Even better, you’ll earn a total of 5 points per dollar (10%) on purchases you make with the card at Best Buy on the day you are approved. That means you could earn your first $5 rewards certificate by spending just $50 on that day.
Alternate Card Reward: Special Financing (But Beware!)
For Best Buy purchases of $299 or more, you can choose to forgo reward points and instead get special 0% financing. In that case, you’d pay no interest on your purchases for at least 6 months, but possibly longer depending on the size of your purchase.
However, a warning: the 0% financing offer you receive is usually “deferred financing” that requires you to pay off the complete balance within the specified period of time. If you don’t pay every last penny of the purchase within the 6 months (or whatever term you’re given), you’ll have to pay interest on the full purchase price, backdated to the day you made the purchase. In essence, if you don’t pay every penny on time, it’s like the 0% financing never existed and you get all the interest piled on at one time.
The interest rate on all of the Best Buy Visa or store credit cards is extremely high (27.74% APR last we looked), even for retail credit cards (which tend to charge more interest than bank credit cards). Avoid paying that high interest by paying off your complete card balance every month!
By offering multiple card options (including the Visa Gold and its $59 annual fee), Best Buy is signaling that it wants to approve almost anyone that might apply. If you have a decent credit history, you’re almost certain to be approved. If you have bad credit or no credit and want to acquire a card, this one is a real possibility for you as well. (We go into more detail here on Best Buy credit card approval chances & credit score needed.)
If you are a frequent Best Buy shopper, the Best Buy credit card gives you a significant bump up in rewards through the My Best Buy program, with only $100 in Best Buy purchases required to earn a $5 reward. For the Best Buy regular, it’s worth adding to your wallet. (As long as you always pay your bills in full and on time to avoid paying interest.)
If you qualify for the My Best Buy Visa Platinum, you also earn decent rewards on gas, dining, and grocery purchases, but remember that those rewards are only good toward future Best Buy purchases. There are a lot of other credit cards on the market that offer the same or better reward percentages on these purchases while giving you the flexibility of a cash rebate that you can use any way you want (not just at Best Buy). See Best Credit Cards or Best Cash Back Credit Cards for better options to maximize your rewards on purchases outside of Best Buy.
How To Apply
You can apply for a Best Buy credit card in a Best Buy store or online. Click here for the online application.
Author: Adam Jusko