Best Buy Credit Card Review
Best Buy offers a credit card (in partnership with Citibank) 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. That program offers you a $5 reward certificate toward future Best Buy purchases every time you accumulate 250 points. You earn 1 point for every $2 in Best Buy purchases, unless you have reached Elite (1 point per $1) or Elite Plus (1.25 points per $1) status based on your volume of Best Buy purchases in the current calendar year.
Best Buy Credit Cards Help You Earn More Rewards
When you make purchases at Best Buy using the Best Buy credit card, you boost the number of points you earn. Specifically, unless you have Elite or Elite Plus status, you will earn an additional 2 points per dollar on Best Buy purchases, meaning you will earn 2.5 points per dollar overall between the core My Best Buy program and the credit card program.
Strangely, if you have Elite status, you’ll earn only an extra 1.5 points per dollar using the credit card, which equates to 2.5 points per dollar overall — the same total you’d get if you didn’t have Elite status but had the credit card.
Elite Plus customers get an extra 1.75 points per dollar on their Best Buy purchases with the card, for a total of 3 reward points per dollar.
ALSO: If you qualify for the Best Buy Visa (vs. the store card that can only be used at Best Buy), you will earn one extra reward point for every dollar you charge to the card outside of Best Buy stores.
Best Buy Visa Vs. Best Buy Store Card
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 and has no annual fee. If you’re approved, you’re good to go.
However, if your credit history isn’t good enough, you might be offered a different Best Buy store credit card that is only accepted at Best Buy and also has no annual fee.
Finally, if your credit isn’t good enough to qualify for either of those, you could be offered the Best Buy Visa Gold, which has a $59 annual fee. In our view, it would be very hard to justify paying a $59 annual fee for that card 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 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 (And A Warning)
For Best Buy purchases of $199 or more, you can choose not to earn reward points but 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: any 0% financing offer you receive will require 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 may 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 any of the Best Buy Visa or store credit cards is 26.49%. This is an extremely high interest rate, 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.
As you’ll see at the top of this review, we give the Best Buy credit card program 2.5 stars, meaning it is an OK program but not particularly noteworthy.
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.
However, the card offers a paltry reward when used outside of Best Buy, so, even if you qualify for the Visa, there is no reason to make this your everyday credit card — you can get much greater rewards on everyday purchases with one of the cards on our Best Credit Cards list. (Also, that interest rate is scary high!)
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.