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Popular electronics retailer Best Buy offers four credit cards that are designed to earn you rewards when you make the purchases. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks, as well as see how these cards stack up to alternative cards for qualified applicants.
If there’s one place where people love to spend their hard-earned money, it’s electronics at Best Buy. From the latest laptops, VR goggles, TVs, stereos, and home appliances. Many shoppers turn to electronics retailer Best Buy to find the latest gadgets. However, did you know that you may have the ability to save money and earn cash back at Best Buy with their own in-store retailer credit cards-The My Best Buy Card and the My Best Buy Visa Card.
In this article, we’ll cover Best Buy credit cards issued from Citibank, including the benefits and drawbacks of these cards, and compare them to other credit cards that may be a better option for qualified applicants.
Overview | Best Buy Credit Cards
To begin, start by applying for a Best Buy credit card in-store or online, which requires applicants to create a BestBuy.com account first. The process is relatively simple, requiring applicants to only fill out 1 application to qualify for 4 different types of credit cards:
According to the fine print from card issuer Citibank, applicants are considered for Best Buy credit cards based on the company’s criteria, your preference for a Visa card or a store-branded card, and ultimately the individual’s creditworthiness. The following is the order in which they are issued:
- My Best Buy Visa Platinum
- My Best Buy Credit Card Preferred
- My Best Buy Credit Card
- My Best Buy Visa Gold
Once your application is submitted, the review process can either be instantaneous, or your application processing for a Best Buy credit card may take 7-10 days if in need of further review.
Types of Best Buy Credit Cards
In total, Best Buy offers its customers the choice of 4 credit cards under 2 tiers of consumer credit cards: the standard cards and Visa cards.
Best Buy Standard Cards:
- My Best Buy Credit Card
- My Best Buy Credit Card Preferred
With Best Buy’s standard credit cards, cardholders can only utilize the card at Best Buy stores and online at BestBuy.com. This means cardholders have the option to earn 5% or 6% back (see below) or choose flexible financing for purchases over $199. However, these cards do not qualify for balance transfer and cash advances.
Best Buy Visa Cards:
- My Best Buy Visa Platinum
- My Best Buy Visa Gold
My Best Buy Visa cardholders can use their credit card at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com, as well as anywhere Visa cards are accepted. That means these cards have more opportunities to earn a percentage back on more spending (or choose flexible financing), while also qualifying for balance transfers and cash advances.
Best Buy offers a sign-up bonus for cardholders. At the time of this writing, Best Buy currently offers 10% back in rewards on the applicant’s 1st purchase after approval.
Rewards for the My Best Buy Credit Card
By applying and being approved for a Best Buy credit card, you are now enrolled in the My Best Buy program. Approved cardholders that want to start receiving benefits must verify/register their My Best Buy card online to become a member.
Once registered, you can begin earning rewards points on your purchases, enabling you to receive the % back rewards benefits listed for your specific My Best Buy credit card: Here’s a breakdown by card type:
|My Best Buy Credit Card||My Best Buy Visa Credit Card|
|5% back in rewards at Best Buy/BestBuy.com||Yes||Yes|
|6% back in rewards at Best Buy/BestBuy.com (for Elite Plus members)||Yes||Yes|
|3% back on air and ground transportation purchases (through June 2019)||No||Yes|
|3% back on gas purchases||No||Yes|
|2% back in rewards on grocery and dining purchases (i.e.restaurants and bars)||No||Yes|
|1% back in rewards anywhere Visa is accepted||No||Yes|
|Limited-time bonus reward category||No||Yes|
All Best Buy Credit Cards:
- 5% back: Earn 2.5 points per $1 spent, or 5% back in rewards, on qualifying Best Buy purchases.
- 6% back for Elite Plus members: Elite Plus members receive a 3 point bonus per $1 spent or an additional 1% in rewards to the standard 5% back on qualifying Best Buy purchases.
- (Note: To become an Elite Plus member at Best Buy, cardholders must spend a minimum of $3,500 on qualifying purchases in one calendar year at Best Buy stores, BestBuy.com, or with their My Best Buy Visa.)
Only Best Buy Visa Credit Cards:
- 3% back on air and ground transportation purchases: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent, or 3% back in rewards, on qualifying air and ground transportation purchases. (limited time only)
- 3% back on gas purchases: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent, or 3% back in rewards, on qualifying gas purchases. (limited time only)
- 2% back on grocery and dining purchases: Cardholders receive 1 point per $1 spent, or 2% back in rewards, on qualifying grocery stores, as well as dining purchases made at bars and restaurants.
- 1% back anywhere else: Visa cardholders earn 1 point per $2 spent, or 1% back in rewards, on net purchases made outside of Best Buy, as long as the merchant accepts Visa — so basically anywhere.
- Limited time bonus rewards categories: Each quarter, 1 or 2 categories of Best Buy products are chosen to receive a bonus % back in rewards.
Customers that reach 250 points will receive a $5 Rewards Certificate, which can be redeemed at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com. For purchases made at Buy Buy locations with a basic membership, this only requires $100 to earn $5 in rewards.
Special Financing Options
When choosing between card perks on the My Best Buy card, cardholders have the option to either earn the % back rewards program or choose flexible financing options for large purchases. However, you can only select one of the options.
While the terms and conditions of the financing options for the My Best Buy credit card are beyond the scope of this overview, Best Buy offers flexible financing year-round and during “limited time only” promotions. Here’s a general breakdown of what Best Buy offers cardholders that choose flexible financing when you spend with your Best Buy card:
- 6 months deferred interest on purchases over $199+
- 18 months deferred interest on purchases over $479+ (limited time only)
- 18 months deferred interest on major appliances and Geek Squad purchases $479+ (limited time only)
- 24 months deferred interest on home theater and Geek Squad purchases $799+
Bear in mind that these financing options come with deferred interest that enables you to stretch out your payments with 0% APR. For those who use this method of financing, it is important to pay your balance in full within the allotted time period. However, to complicate matters, your minimum monthly payments may not be enough to do this, meaning that the full standard APR (currently at 27.49% variable) will be charged to your account for every month back to the purchase date. Therefore, responsible cardholders that choose this option should pay as much as possible each month to avoid interest charges.
|My Best Buy Visa Credit Card||My Best Buy Credit Card|
|Cash Back Benefits||5% back in rewards (6% for Elite Plus) OR Flexible Financing Options|
3% back on ground and air transportation
3% back on gas purchases
2% back in rewards on restaurants
1% back in rewards for all other purchases (anywhere Visa is accepted)
Limited-time bonus reward category offers (in % back rewards)
|5% back in rewards (6% for Elite Plus) OR Flexible Financing Options|
|Annual Fee||$0 (Platinum)$59 (Gold)|
|APR||27.49% (variable)||27.49% (variable)|
|Average FICO Score to Qualify||700 and above||660 and above|
The Drawbacks of Best Buy Credit Cards
While all of the Best Buy credit cards offer great benefits to purchase electronics from Best Buy and earn rewards, there are a couple of drawbacks that might make you think otherwise:
- All Best Buy credit cards come with a hefty standard APR rate. For cardholders that carry a balance or use their line of credit to finance a purchase that may be out of reach, you may find yourself paying substantially more for a purchase than if you paid more than the minimum balance each month.
- Another significant drawback that comes with using Best Buy credit cards is that these cards are not true cash-back cards. Instead of earning money back into your account, the percentage back comes in Best Buy Rewards Certificates, which limit your spending to Best Buy stores or BestBuy.com. While this is par for the course with standard credit cards offered by most retailers, the problem is with the Visa credit cards. This begs the question: If you can use the Visa card at any retailer that accepts it, why are you limited to spending those earned rewards only at Best Buy? This can be a dealbreaker for many.
- For the My Best Buy Visa Gold card, you’re charged a $59 annual fee. To break even with the cost of your annual fee, you would have to spend almost $1,200 a year at Best Buy to recoup.
How Best Buy’s Credit Card Compares to Alternative Programs
Before applying for Best Buy’s credit cards you should explore all-purpose cards that will offer more spending flexibility and favorable rewards programs. Three we recommend are:
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Freedom Unlimited is a well-rounded card which can be used at any place where the Visa network is available. You do not have to be bothered about combined or rotating category restrictions while shopping using this card. This card offers a 3% cash back in the first year on your purchases up to the $20,000 after which you earn cashback at 1.5%.
While financing option on Best Buy cards is 6/18/24 months period based on the purchase amount, with Freedom Unlimited you could get an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. At the end of 15 months, variable APR rate would apply and in case of balance transfers, a fee is applicable.
This card has no annual fee, no minimum redemption limit. It also protects your purchases by providing an extended warranty, purchase protection, zero liability protection, and fraud protection.
The value of your cashback could be easily increased if you have another Chase card to pair it with and transfer your points. Chase Freedom Unlimited is a fairly simple and easy to use card.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
If you like to earn rewards and regularly redeem them then Blue Cash Preferred has ample of choices with enticing cash back percentage. The current offer allows you to earn $250 as a statement credit if you spend $1000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. You can also get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months after which variable APR rates would be applied.
With Blue Cash Preferred you can earn 6% cash back at US Supermarkets(such as Meijer, Whole Foods, Shoprite), up to $6000 per year in purchases after which you get 1%. You can also earn 6% back on streaming service subscriptions(such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, Showtime and Espn+)
The other new addition on the cash back category is the transit where you can earn 3% for ridesharing on uber, lyft or using trains, subways, buses and more. You do earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and 1% for all other purchases. You must note that the cashback offered is in the form of reward dollars and can be redeemed as a statement credit.
If you are planning to make a large purchase then you can review the plan it option which could allow you to make active payment plans for big spendings.
The card also covers you by offering benefits like return protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, car rental loss and damage insurance and travel accident insurance.
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
US bank cash+ card has lots to offer in terms of cash back categories. They have up to 15 categories for you to pick from and earn cashback at 5% on your first $2000 in combined net purchases, in the two categories of your choice. You could opt for the electronic store, department store, restaurants or sporting goods stores depending on your area of spend. If you cross the $2000 limit you would still be able to get cash back at 1% in these categories.
This card gives you 2% cash back on gas, groceries and dining. You would have to pick one the everyday categories to be eligible for the 2%. If you do not activate your category preference in the quarter then you would lose the benefit and get only 1% on all purchases. The option to choose a different category each quarter for cashback is nice if you can plan your purchases.
There is no annual fee on this card and you can avail introductory APR offer of 0% interest for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers, if you initiate a request within 60 days of account opening. The APR offer is not available on purchases.
To redeem the cash back points you can choose either of the options: rewards card, statement credit or a direct deposit to US bank account.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, if you regularly purchase electronics at Best Buy or online at BestBuy.com, then the Best Buy credit card could definitely provide some benefits by being in your wallet. The sheer number of substantial drawbacks and potential to rack up debt due to its high APR makes Best Buy credit cards only a good decision for responsible cardholders that pay in full and on time. In other words, there are stronger alternatives available for qualified applicants, so be sure to shop around to find the right credit card for your needs.