My Best Buy Visa® Card review: Only right for Best Buy super spenders

Woman clothes shopping after learning about the Best Buy Visa® Card review: The Best Buy® credit card with everyday rewards Image:

In a Nutshell

The My Best Buy Visa® Card is an option designed especially for Best Buy super fans and super spenders. But while there are opportunities to earn rewards for use at the store, the earning rates aren’t great and the opportunities for redemption are limited. Add in a high APR and the possibility of paying deferred interest, and there’s a chance you could end up spending more than you intended. Worse yet, the application process is confusing, and you may not end up with the credit card you thought you applied for.

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This offer is no longer available on our site: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Pros Cons
Potential to earn considerable rewards points for use at Best Buy Rewards aren’t earned on purchases that use promotional credit offers
Rewards can be used to make purchases at any Best Buy location, including the retailer’s website High APR can lead to hefty interest payments
The application process is confusing and may result in getting approved for a different card
Deferred interest will be applied to your account if you don’t pay off promotional financing purchases by the deadline


What you need to know about the My Best Buy Visa® Card

You don’t have to use this card only at Best Buy

You can use your My Best Buy Visa® card anywhere Visa cards are accepted. Currently, you can earn the following number of points per $1 spent at these locations:

  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on purchases made at gas stations
  • 1 point per $1 spent on restaurant, bar and grocery store purchases

Otherwise, you’ll earn 1 point per $2 spent on all other purchases.

Bonus categories may change, but the lackluster earning rates mean you could do better with other rewards or cash back credit cards. Flat-rate, cash back cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card offer more predictability since there are no restricted categories and decent earning rates for purchases everywhere — not just at Best Buy.

Two ways to pay for purchases at Best Buy

When you use a My Best Buy Visa® Card, you have the ability to pay for purchases at Best Buy in two ways. But only one of those methods allows you to earn rewards from your purchase.

First, you may be given an option to choose standard financing, which allows you to earn rewards (which are detailed later in this review).

You can also choose to pay with promotional financing — typically listed as paying 0% in interest if the full balance is paid off on a timeline ranging from six months to 12 months, depending on the dollar amount and type of purchase.

If you decide to use one of these special financing offers, you won’t earn any rewards on that purchase.

You’ll also run the risk of having to pay deferred interest at the end of the advertised pay period, if you don’t pay off the balance in full.

Read more: Deferred interest: A guide to this tricky credit card feature

It’ll help you earn more rewards at Best Buy …

The main draw of the My Best Buy Visa® Card is its ability to earn rewards for use at Best Buy stores. But understanding how and when you’ll earn those points can be a little complicated.

First, it’s worth noting that it’s possible to earn Best Buy rewards without having a My Best Buy Visa® credit card — you can simply sign up for a free My Best Buy program account and earn core rewards points. Once you join, you can reach different membership levels, which give you varying point-earning power, based on your account activity. There are three membership levels: My Best Buy, My Best Buy Elite and My Best Buy Elite Plus.

You can earn Elite member status by spending $1,500 at a Best Buy store or online at BestBuy.com during a calendar year, or by spending $1,500 on your My Best Buy Visa® credit card. You can earn Elite Plus status by spending $3,500 in the same ways.

You’ll earn base points for being a My Best Buy program member on each dollar spent at Best Buy (on qualifying purchases), regardless of whether you pay with cash, debit or another credit card. But you’ll earn additional rewards points when using your My Best Buy Visa® Card on those same purchases.

Membership level Core rewards points My Best Buy Visa® Card points Total points earned
My Best Buy .5 points per $1 spent 2 points per $1 spent 2.5 points per $1 spent
My Best Buy Elite 1 point per $1 spent 1.5 points per $1 spent 2.5 points per $1 spent
My Best Buy Elite Plus 1.25 points per $1 spent 1.75 points per $1 spent 3 points per $1 spent

When you look at the total point-earning potential for each membership type, it looks as if Elite Plus members get rewarded with an extra half-point per $1 spent overall. But you’ll notice that Elite and Elite Plus members don’t benefit as much as standard My Best Buy members do from using the credit card.

The end result is that My Best Buy and My Best Buy Elite members earn the same rewards points when using the My Best Buy Visa® Card in store or online. Keep in mind, though, that it takes $1,500 in spending to reach Elite status.

The Elite Plus membership offers another half-point on top of the Elite rate for a total of three points per $1, but that boost requires another $2,000 in spending to come into effect. For many customers, these spending requirements may not justify the slightly higher rewards rate.

… But it will take a lot of spending for your points to add up

Once you earn your points, you can redeem them for Best Buy reward certificates. It takes 250 points to get a $5 reward certificate, which values points at 2 cents each.

That means you’d need to redeem 2,500 points to fund the purchase of a $50 video game at Best Buy. To earn those 2,500 points, you would have to spend $5,000 on purchases in non-bonus categories. Alternatively, an Elite Plus member could spend $833.34 at Best Buy to earn the same number of points.

Watch out for the high variable APR

The variable purchase APR for the My Best Buy Visa® Card is currently a hefty 25.24%, which can quickly get you in trouble if you carry a balance.

Other credit cards may offer lower APRs. For instance, the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®, which is available to people with poor credit histories, offers a 24.9% APR on purchases. That’s not a great rate either, but it’s a little bit lower than the My Best Buy Visa® Card.

Keep a close eye on any purchases using special financing

The My Best Buy Visa® card may offer special financing from time to time on certain purchases. This means you won’t pay any interest on your qualifying purchases, but only if you pay off the balance in full before the advertised payment period ends. Otherwise, all interest you would have paid on the balance at the end of each of the months during the special payment period — not just the portion of the balance you don’t pay in time — will be applied to your account.

These deferred interest financing offers can be dangerous because they may tempt you to spend more than you could otherwise afford to pay on a standard monthly payment schedule. These offers may also tempt you to spend more than you had planned at Best Buy, because you can’t get the same deferred interest offer elsewhere with the card.

Make sure you fully understand how special financing works if you plan to use it. With a 25.24% variable APR for purchases, having deferred interest added to your My Best Buy Visa® Card balance after six or 12 months could result in a major surprise.

Beware: The application process could deliver a card you don’t want

When you apply for a My Best Buy Visa® Card, you’re actually applying for a My Best Buy® Visa® Platinum account. If you don’t qualify for this account, Citibank may consider you for several other cards using the same application.

First, Citibank will see if you qualify for a My Best Buy® Credit Card account. This card is a closed-loop credit card, which means you can only use it to make purchases at the store that issued the card. In this case, if approved you’d be able to use the card to make purchases only at Best Buy.

Finally, you’ll be considered for a My Best Buy® Visa® Gold account. This account is a Visa account, so if approved you’d be able to make purchases anywhere Visa cards are accepted. But this card also comes with a $59 annual fee, which is not ideal.

This application process can be frustrating if you don’t get approved for the My Best Buy Visa® Platinum® account. You could end up with the less-versatile My Best Buy® Credit Card or the My Best Buy Visa® Gold account that comes with a high annual fee and no additional benefits.

The good news is that you don’t have to keep any of these cards. If you end up getting approved for anything other than the My Best Buy® Visa® Platinum account and don’t want the card, call and ask to close the account as soon as you’re notified of approval. That way, you’ll avoid paying an annual fee or dealing with a closed-loop card. But be aware that closing a credit card could negatively impact your credit.

Who is this card good for?

The My Best Buy Visa® card is probably a good addition only to the wallets of Best Buy super spenders. If you find yourself spending thousands of dollars each year at the store, you may be a super spender.

If you’re a casual Best Buy shopper who spends a few hundred dollars at the store a couple of times a year, you might want to consider skipping this card.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives: