|Rewards Rating:||3.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||1.9|
|Issuer Customer Experience||3.3|
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.
Average Yearly Rewards ($1,325 monthly spend)
Citi Customer Service Ratings
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 gas stations, 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 Card. In addition to 5 percent back in rewards on Best Buy purchases (6 percent in rewards for Elite Plus cardmembers), My Best Buy Visa cardholders enjoy 3 percent back on gas purchases, 2 percent back on grocery and dining purchases and 1 percent back on everything else.
The card also sometimes offers limited-time bonus rewards in additional categories. For example, in 2020, cardholders had a limited time to earn 10 percent back in rewards on pharmacy and drug store purchases and 5 percent back in rewards on wholesale club purchases, upon activation.
As long as you don’t mind using your rewards at Best Buy, this could be a pretty lucrative rewards scheme, especially for gamers, tech junkies or anyone else who spends a lot of time at electronics stores. For example, if you were lucky enough to snag a coveted Playstation 5 and spent $500 with your My Best Buy Visa Card, you’d earn back 1,250 points, worth $25 in purchases at Best Buy – enough for a three-month Playstation Plus subscription.
Thanks to its bonus rewards categories outside of Best Buy, we estimate that the My Best Buy Visa Card carries an average rewards rate of 1.79 points per dollar. This means that if your spending matched that of the average person, you’d stand to earn approximately 28,461 points per year with the My Best Buy Visa Card. Your points are worth 2 cents apiece, so this would add up to nearly $570 in rewards when redeemed at Best Buy.
The card also features a miniature sign-up bonus of 10% back in rewards on your first day of purchases when you’re approved for the card. You must make your first purchase within 14 days of approval to take advantage of this bonus, however.
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.
That said, 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 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.
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 the My Best Buy Visa card?
- 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 the My Best Buy Visa card:
- 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.
- Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.
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