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The first time I walked into a Best Buy store about 15 years ago I planned to pop into the store for 10 minutes. But I wound up spending an hour browsing up and down the aisles, and it’s still easy to get sidetracked inside a Best Buy store. They have all the latest gadgetry, from laptops to smart phones to energy efficient appliances and monster-sized HDTVs. I’m a big fan of Best Buy, which is my go-to store for off-the-shelf tech products.
When I make a purchase at Best Buy and they offer an extended warranty I always default to “no” because my research shows that extended warranties are a total waste of money. But I’m also often asked if I want to sign up for a Best Buy Credit Card, which is why it’s high time I sorted out the pros and cons and then shared them with you. So here’s a snapshot of what you’ll get with a Best Buy Credit Card, just in case you’re one of those people like me who has always wondered but never took the time to investigate.
Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard
The Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard is issued through HSBC Bank, and can be applied for in a Best Buy stor and online. There is no annual fee, you can manage your account online, and the card enables you to earn Best Buy rewards on all your purchases, no matter where you shop. Since it is a full-fledged credit card you can use it anywhere that MasterCard is honored and accepted. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee, an APR of 21.74% on purchases and balance transfers, and higher interest is charged for cash advances.
Best Buy Reward Zone Credit Card
Best Buy also offers a department store-style charge card called the Best Buy Reward Zone Credit Card. You can use it to make Best Buy purchases, either in their brick and mortar stores or online, and as a cardholder you will be eligible for various special promotions, exclusive discounts, and customer financing offers. When you use the card you also earn Rewards Zone points, and the standard APR is 25.24% or 27.99% based on your creditworthiness when you open your account. But since it is not a conventional credit card you cannot use it anywhere but Best Buy.
The Best Buy Rewards Zone Program
Since both versions of Best Buy plastic tie into the Rewards Zone program, it’s important to know what that’s all about. Basically you earn two points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at all U.S. Best Buy stores and on BestBuy.com. If you carry the MasterCard version you also get one point for every dollar spent on eligible dining and grocery store purchases, plus one point for every two dollars spend on everything else.
Premier Silver Rewards Status
- You obtain extra perks once you graduate into the Rewards Zone status referred to as Premier Silver. To do that you need to spend at least $2,500 on qualifying Best Buy purchases in a calendar year. Premier Silver members earn 1.25 points for nearly every $1 spent on qualifying Best Buy purchases.
- Premier Silver members can also save up their points until they are ready to redeem them, whereas those who aren’t Premier Silver cardholders get certificates issued to them at intervals, whenever they reach certain point totals. If you accumulate 250 points, for instance, that earns you a reward worth $5 you can redeem as you would a coupon or gift card, for a store credit against the price of your purchases.
Is the Best Buy Credit Card Right for You
Even if you are a total Best Buy shopaholic with Premier Silver perks you are still going to face a lot of limitations in terms of your rewards potential. There are plenty of other cash back credit cards that offer more robust rewards programs with points that don’t expire. You can find cards that give you huge bonuses to sign and then reward you each year with more bonus points, and you can redeem points for cash, gift cards, and other benefits that are not restricted only to Best Buy stores.
My advice is to shop around for one of those. You’ll have more freedom and flexibility. Plus if you find a good all-around cash back or rewards card you can just stick with it instead of cramming your wallet full of all different types of name brand credit cards.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.