Reviews My Best Buy Visa card from Citi review
My Best Buy Visa card from Citi review

My Best Buy Visa card from Citi review

Published: June 7, 2017
Advertiser Disclosure
Ratings Policy
Retail Rating:
3.2 rating
3.2 rating
3.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.3
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.1
Rewards Flexibility: 2.7
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

The My Best Buy Visa credit card makes sense for fans of the latest and greatest electronics, but casual shoppers and techies alike should beware of the card’s high interest rate, which could negate their rewards and benefits.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 Best Buy purchases
  • 3:1 Best Buy purchases for ElitePlus members
  • 1:1 dining and grocery purchases
  • 0.5:1 all other purchases

(Note: Points are worth 2 cents per point)

Sign-up Offer

  • 10% off first purchase upon approval
  • See issuer’s site for current limited-time offers

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$467

APR
25.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • Points don’t expire as long as your account is active every 12 months
  • Reward certificates automatically emailed when you reach 250 points (no paper certificates)
  • Use certificates for discounts on Best Buy merchandise
  • Can stack certificates with other deals and discounts

Cons

  • Certificates expire after only 60 days
  • Points not awarded on promotional credit purchases
  • Points not awarded on tax
  • Can’t earn rewards if you choose special financing
  • $3,500 yearly purchase minimum to be an ElitePlus member

Other Notable Features: Choose between rewards or special financing offers (beware of deferred interest deals), free 2-day shipping on $35 minimum purchase (no minimum for Elite and ElitePlus members), access to special sales and offers, free setup by Geek Squad

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While other retailers such as Circuit City and Radio Shack have shuttered their doors, Best Buy stands as one of the last nationwide bastions in the electronics space. For loyal Best Buy customers, the My Best Buy Visa card is a good deal as far as retail cards go. Frequent visitors to the merchant are likely to relish a 5 percent rewards on all Best Buy purchases, along with decent rewards at restaurants and grocery stores.

The card also offers promotional financing offers, access to special sales and decent sign-up benefits. However, a limited redemption program and high APR mean customers who don’t shop at the chain on a frequent basis should probably steer in the direction of a general-purpose rewards card. 

Good earnings scheme
Few store-branded cards provide the ability to earn rewards with purchases made elsewhere, but that’s not the case with the My Best Buy Visa Platinum card. In addition to 5 percent rewards on Best Buy purchases, cardholders enjoy 2 percent rewards on dining and grocery purchases and 1 percent rewards on everything else.

For a sign-up bonus, you’ll collect 10 percent off your first purchase upon approval, as well as occasional, limited-time promotional offers. Compared to other retail credit cards, this rewards program is especially generous.

Special financing deals
In lieu of rewards, cardholders can opt for promotional financing. Though Best Buy may occasionally offer special financing on specific items for terms as long as 60 months, the card’s standard benefit is six-month financing for purchases greater than $199 and 12-month financing for purchases greater than $399.

However, keep in mind that interest will be charged to your account from the date of purchase if the balance isn’t paid in full by the end of the promotional period. So, tread lightly and don’t choose this alternative unless you’re confident you can make the necessary monthly payments to bring your promotional balance down to $0 by the time the clock runs out. 

Card options vary
Though the My Best Buy Visa Platinum credit card has no annual fee, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up paying one. If your credit excludes you from the top-tier Platinum card, you’ll be considered for other cards in the following order: My Best Buy Credit Card Preferred; My Best Buy Credit Card; and My Best Buy Visa Gold. The bad news? The My Best Buy Credit Card (both regular and preferred) are store-only cards, so you won’t earn rewards on dining, grocery and general purchases as you would with the Platinum card.

Meanwhile, the My Best Buy Visa Gold card comes with a $59 annual fee. If this is the only card for which you qualify, you’ll need to spend nearly $1,300 annually to make up for the added expense – so consider your overall spending habits before signing on the dotted line.

Limited redemption
Despite the card’s flexible rewards, its redemption program is rather restrictive. While the Platinum card enables you to earn rewards outside of Best Buy, reward points – no matter where they’re accrued – are only redeemable at the electronics retailer. Also, the rewards come in the form of email certificates, which are issued once you reach 250 points (equal to $5). These certificates have very short expiration dates – they expire after just 60 days – so you need to shop at Best Buy at least every two months in order not to lose out on your rewards.

If you are unlikely to visit Best Buy frequently and/or do not want to have to keep track of rewards certificates, you may be better off with a lower maintenance cash back card – such as the Citi Double Cash card – that will allow you to earn cash back on your Best Buy purchases without imposing expiration dates on your rewards.

On the plus side, reward certificates can be stacked with other deals and discounts and are automatically emailed when you reach 250 points, so there’s no need to worry about losing paper certificates.

My Best Buy frequent shopper program
Becoming a My Best Buy Visa cardholder comes with enrollment in the store’s frequent shopper program, members of which are entitled to exclusive benefits such as free two-day shipping (with a $35 minimum purchase) and free Geek Squad setup. You can also earn rewards (0.5 points per dollar) without getting a credit card.

Spending $3,500 in a calendar year makes you an ElitePlus member, giving you access to 6 percent rewards on Best Buy purchases with the My Best Buy Visa Platinum credit card. You’ll also appreciate the extended period for returns and removal of the minimum purchase requirement for free shipping, among other perks.

Why get it?:

  • You’re already a regular Best Buy customer.
  • You normally make electronics purchases elsewhere but are willing to switch for the rewards.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.
  • You shop frequently enough at Best Buy to use rewards certificates before they expire in 60 days. 

How to use it:

  • Because of the card’s high APR, opt for deferred-interest financing over rewards if you’ll need more than a month to pay off a purchase.
  • That being said, beware of deferred interest associated with the card’s special financing offers. Interest is imposed retroactively if you still owe a balance on your purchase at the end of the promotional period.
  • If you anticipate several technology purchases in the near future, hold off until you open your account to take advantage of 10 percent off your first purchase upon approval.
  • Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.

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