If you constantly find yourself at Best Buy stores when you’re ready to purchase appliances, electronics, and gadgets for all your home entertainment needs, you may be wondering if the Best Buy Visa® Card is worth it. You’ve probably even noticed it being advertised online or at check-out counters within the stores and wondered what it was all about.
The Best Buy Visa® Card advertises a strong rewards proposition with no annual fee in some cases, which makes it intriguing. However, the fine print reveals that its rewards program is rather limited.
Keep reading this review to find out how this card works, who it’s good for, and why you may want to consider other cash-back and rewards credit cards instead.
Best Buy Visa® Card: Ideal for Best Buy Enthusiasts
If you’re in the market for a new credit card and considering the Best Buy Visa® Card, you are probably intrigued by its earning categories first and foremost. Once you sign up for this card, you will earn 5% back on Best Buy purchases (or 6% if you become an elite member), 3% back on air and ground transportation and gas purchases, 2% back on dining and grocery purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Those earning categories are exceptional, but we’ll tell you the big “catch” in a minute. Spoiler alert: They’re not nearly as generous as they seem.
On the flip side, this card could make sense for Best Buy enthusiasts. If you do happen to be a big Best Buy spender, you could earn a lot of rewards if you sign up for this card and use it for thousands of dollars in purchases per year. And that’s a big reason this offer catches eyeballs — a lot of people like the idea of earning 5% back on electronics, appliances, and other purchases they can make in the store.
Where it Falls Flat
First off, it’s important to understand that you don’t even have to have a Best Buy credit card to earn rewards toward free purchases. You can join the My Best Buy® Benefits program for free. To become an elite member, all you have to do is spend $1,500 or more on qualifying purchases at Best Buy and BestBuy.com in a calendar year (or $1,500 or more on any purchases with your My Best Buy Visa®). You can also earn Elite Plus status by spending $3,500 or more on qualifying purchases at Best Buy and BestBuy.com in a calendar year (or $3,500 or more on any purchases with your My Best Buy Visa®). If you’re curious how much cash back you can earn without a Best Buy credit card, you can read the program details here.
However, the biggest downside of the Best Buy Visa® Card is the fact that you can only redeem rewards for certificates good at Best Buy. These certificates are doled out in increments of $5 for 2,500 points or more. For that reason, it’s hard to suggest this credit card for anyone who wants at least a few ways to redeem the points they work hard to earn.
Finally, don’t forget about fees charged by this card, including an annual fee between $0 and $59 based on your creditworthiness. This card also features an ongoing variable APR of 27.49% for purchases, which makes carrying a balance a pricey proposition.
Why You May Want to Consider Another Rewards Card
Unless you are set on earning rewards specifically for use in Best Buy stores, it’s smart to consider other cash-back credit cards that offer more flexibility.
We like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® as a potential alternative since it offers a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening and an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. When it comes to redeeming your points, you have the option to cash them in for statement credits, travel, gift cards, and more — all for one cent per point in value.
Another option to consider is the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which gives you unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020. This card does have a $95 annual fee after the first year, but you will receive a $300 one-time cash bonus after you use your card for $3,000 in purchases within the first three months from account opening.
The reason to pick another rewards card is a simple one. Cash-back and rewards credit cards typically let you redeem your points for statement credits and other redemption options — instead of just Best Buy purchases. With more flexibility when it comes to redeeming your points, you can use them for how you want — and not just for more stuff from Best Buy.
The Bottom Line
While the Best Buy Visa® Card may seem like a good deal, it’s best for people who know they want to redeem their rewards at Best Buy stores. It’s also best for consumers who belong to their rewards program already and want to “boost” the amount of cash back they earn for each dollar they spend.
Just make sure that, if you sign up, you stay vigilant about any annual fees you’re charged as well as avoiding carrying a balance from month to month. The interest rate on this card is extremely high, so you won’t want to use it for long-term debt.
If you want more flexibility in how you redeem your rewards, we also suggest comparing cash-back credit cards as well as travel rewards credit cards that offer flexible points. Some options give out huge signup bonuses as well as rewards you can use in several different ways, including for statement credits you can spend however you want.
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