Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® review: Will your hunt for a new credit card end here?

Couple camping by a lake with their dogImage: Couple camping by a lake with their dog

In a Nutshell

You might have savings in your sights, but the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® couldn’t hit the broad side of that barn. The card’s rewards are underwhelming, its various tiers of interest rates can be confusing, and the lack of clarity surrounding some of the card’s key features is disturbing. You can also earn rewards at Cabela’s without signing up for the credit card, so it’s not your only option for getting many of this outdoor recreation store’s benefits.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

This offer is no longer available on our site: Chase Freedom Flex℠

Pros Cons
No annual fee Underwhelming sign-up bonus
Earn rewards for shopping at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Can earn rewards without any credit impact by joining Cabela’s Outdoor Rewards program
  Confusing tiered APR system could lead to serious interest charges
  Status upgrade not guaranteed even if you hit the spending requirements
  Lack of clarity surrounding key features of the card


5 things you need to know about the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard®

1. Bagging a two-point buck isn’t much to get excited about

The Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® delivers underwhelming in-store savings on everyday purchases.

You’ll earn two CLUB points for every $1 you spend on purchases made from Cabela’s stores, websites, catalogs and phone orders. These savings also extend to Bass Pro Shops, which owns Cabela’s, and certain Cenex gas stations and convenience stores.

You can use the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® to shop at other stores, too, but you will only earn one point per $1 on all other purchases.

CLUB points are worth 1 cent each and can only be redeemed for purchases at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.

Considering some other store cards offer 5% or more cash back on purchases with the branded retailer, we can’t see how this rewards program provides exceptional value.

2. The sign-up bonus is underwhelming

The Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® tries to reel you in with up to $60 in sign-up bonuses.

  • You’ll automatically receive $20 worth of points after being approved for the card.
  • You can earn another $20 worth of points if you make two Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s purchases on your card within 60 days of account approval.
  • You can earn $20 in points after three purchases on the card everywhere else the card is accepted within 60 days of account approval.

3. Elite status may be unreachable

With the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard®, you can earn more points on in-store purchases if you are upgraded to Silver or Black status.

  • Silver status will earn you three points for every $1 you spend at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.
  • Black status will earn you five points for every $1 you spend at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.

To qualify, you must use the card to spend $10,000 per year for Silver status or $25,000 per year for Black status. If you don’t have a lot of Cabela’s purchases lined up, you might have a hard time meeting the spend requirements.

Even if you do hit these steep spending requirements, though, there could be a catch. The Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® reserves the right to refuse your status upgrade if it determines you’re not “creditworthy” — and the card agreement provides little insight into how it defines that term.

4. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by carrying a balance

If you carry a balance on the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard®, you could be rolling the dice on your credit.

For one thing, the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® charges an interest rate of 9.99% on purchases from Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops — an offer that camouflages the potential for spending beyond your budget. When compared to the card’s regular variable APR for all other purchases, which ranges between 15.24% and 26.99%, you might be tempted to take advantage of the special in-store APR by making a big purchase you can’t pay for right away and carrying a costly balance.

Also, from time to time the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® may promote 0% interest “special financing” offers. But the terms of repayment are confusing, because Cabela’s doesn’t indicate how interest charges will be applied after the promotional period ends.

Even if you pay down most — but not all — of your balance before the special financing period ends, some cards charge “deferred interest” on the entire balance (including the amounts you already paid), if you don’t pay the whole thing off by a certain due date.

Does the Cabela’s card do that? We don’t know. But the terms as we read them do sound eerily similar to deferred interest clauses we’ve seen from other store cards. Even if they don’t charge deferred interest, the lack of clarity with this and other card features troubles us.

5. No annual fee is nice

Not everything about the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® is bad.

After all, it is affordable for most of the store’s shoppers, because it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Consider the Cabela’s Outdoor Rewards program instead

The Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® isn’t your only opportunity to save on Cabela’s purchases. By joining the Cabela’s Outdoor Rewards program instead of applying for a Cabela’s credit card, you might be able to save even more money overall on your purchases.

Your rewards card isn’t a credit card or any other form of payment, but many of its features match those of the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard®. Here’s a rundown of how it works.

  • You’ll still earn two points for every $1 you spend on Cabela’s purchases, just like you would with the credit card.
  • By paying for your purchase with another credit card, you could earn cash back or rewards from a separate rewards program, in addition to the rewards points you earn with Cabela’s Outdoor Rewards. It’s like double-dipping in the rewards pool.

More importantly, you may benefit more financially by not adding another credit card to your wallet. Store credit cards can be risky, and they’re sometimes worth it if the rewards can save you a lot of money. But if you can achieve those savings through the store’s dedicated rewards program, what’s the benefit of applying for the in-store card, too?

Who this card is good for

We can’t even recommend the Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® to people who frequently shop at the outdoors store, because you may be able to earn more by participating in Cabela’s Outdoor Rewards program and using another credit card.

The Cabela’s CLUB Mastercard® is riddled with confusing or vague terms and explanations for things like whether you’ll qualify for elite status and how special-financing offers work. We look at credit card agreements every day and still couldn’t figure out some of this card’s terms. You’re probably better off playing it safe and looking for another option.


Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

There are plenty of other credit cards for outdoor enthusiasts.

  • REI Co-op Mastercard®: This could be a good option if you plan to purchase outdoor equipment soon after signing up.
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠: This card is a good option for saving money wherever you shop.

About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.