About My Best Buy Credit Card
If you’re a Best Buy shopper, then you’ve probably heard of the My Best Buy Credit Card, a store card you can only use at the electronics store that gives you the choice of 18 months of 0% financing or rewards on every purchase you make.
The upside to this card is, without a doubt, pretty great but there are some drawbacks to the card. Those downsides are usually the part that consumers gloss over when signing up for the card because, let’s face it, we see the chance for discounts or zero-interest financing and we sign up.
But, just like pretty much all the financial decisions in your life, choosing a credit card should be a choice based on a simple comparison of a card’s pros, cons and how you manage your money.
Our goal in this review is to help you make that choice by providing you the important information about this Best Buy store card:
- The rewards you get
- The fees and rates you’ll pay
- Public opinion about the card
The end of our review will feature a quick section on the card’s general pros and cons as well as a few sentences about who we think this card could be good for.
The My Best Buy Credit Card’s Rewards
Whenever you sign up for the card, you’ll be given two choices for the rewards you want: 5% back on all purchases or 18 months of 0% financing on purchases of $479 and up.
You may be tempted to go for the 5% rewards because, truthfully, 5% sounds like a lot. Compared to the cash rewards cards out there that give 1-2% back on purchases, we can understand why.
If you spend $100 at Best Buy, then you’ll get $5 worth of rewards points you can redeem for a $5 gift certificate.
This perk is among the best in the store card world – it’s on par with the at-the-register 5% discount you get with the Target REDcard.
The best way to understand what this reward is worth to you is to calculate how much you’ve spent at Best Buy in the past year.
18 Months of Financing
A good question to ask yourself at this point is: What do you want to buy with your Best Buy store card? Do you plan on purchasing a bunch of little things over the course of the year or are you preparing for a big purchase like a TV, appliance, iPhone or computer?
Second, do you tend to carry balances on your credit card?
If you’re planning to make a big purchase that you can’t pay off right away or you have a history of carrying a balance on your credit cards, then we believe you might be better off choosing 18 months of 0% interest than choosing the 5% rewards.
Let’s say you choose the 5% and you buy a new computer for $1,250. You’ll get $50 back in rewards that you can use for future Best Buy purchases. So, before taxes, that computer will really only cost you $1,200, pre-tax.
But let’s say you carry the balance for six months, paying off $200 at the end of each month. Your interest payments will be $25.88, $21.56, $17.25, $12.94, $8.62 and $4.31. That’s a grand total of $90.56, which totally cancels out the $50 you’d get in cash rewards.
Now, if you went with the 18 months of no financing, then you could pay off that purchase in smaller increments each month and waste no money on interest payments.
Now, here’s the catch. If you don’t pay off the entire purchase by the end of the promo period, you’ll be charged interest on the full amount of your original qualifying purchase. Normally, credit cards with 0% offer only charge you the remaining balance.
Making you pay interest on the original purchase is what’s known as “deferred interest” and is common among store credit cards.
Just a quick note before we move on to the next long-term rewards. The 18 months of zero interest is a one-time offer. It is not an ongoing benefit like what you’d have with the Home Depot card, where you get six months of zero-interest financing anytime you want as long as you spend at least $299.
Rotating Zero-Interest Offers
Whether you choose to go with the 5% back or the 18 months of 0% interest, Best Buy will offer you multiple 0% deals on specific purchase amounts and/or departments.
For example, at the time of publishing, you could choose from various low- or no-interest offers on appliances, Geek Squad, home theater and unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 8s. Each one of these offers had its own specific terms and conditions as well as interest rates.
All of these offers tend to be limited to just a few months, at which point a new crop of offers arrives.
A Quick Word About Best Buy’s Loyalty Program
Whenever you sign up for the Best Buy store credit card, you’ll also be enrolled in the My Best Buy loyalty program. There are three tiers: basic, elite and eliteplus.
Your basic membership gets you free shipping from October to December as well as access to members-only sales and specials.
If you want to move up to year-round free shipping, you’ll have to spend at least $1,500 a year to get those benefits via elite status. You also get an extra 15 days to return things and double the rewards value on purchases.
Should your yearly spending top $3,500, you get eliteplus status: more points per dollar, free two-day shipping and 45 days for returns.
In our opinion, eliteplus is a solid rewards program but only big spenders will be able to enjoy it.
The My Best Buy Credit Card’s Rates and Fees
The APR on the Best Buy store card is higher than all other store cards we’ve review: 26.24% It doesn’t matter how good or bad your credit is; everyone gets that rate.
As we showed earlier, this interest rate can cost you a good deal of money. A $1,200 purchase paid down at $200 a month will cost you more than $90 in interest.
Our advice is to think about your financial habits. If you tend to spend money you don’t have, and, as a result, carry balances on your credit cards, then avoid the Best Buy store credit card. The super-high APR will eat away at your wallet.
Aside from that standard 26.24% on purchases, the card’s fine print says you’ll occasionally be offered long-term financing with APRs ranging from 3.99% to 11.90%.
The only other fee you have to worry about is the card’s late/returned payment fee, which is $27 for the first late payment in a six-month period and then $38 for any subsequent late payments within that six-month window.
Public Opinion About the My Best Buy Credit Card
Much of what we read from consumers about the Best Buy credit card was negative. That may make you second-guess your interest in the card. We encourage you not to.
One thing we’ve learned in our research of the top store credit cards is that consumers with lower credit scores have a better chance at getting these cards because the requirements are lower than non-store cards.
Lower credit scores indicate bad financial habits, according to the people who calculate credit scores. What we’ve noticed in our research of store cards is that there’s a big chunk of reviews that complain about late payments incurring fees and being reported to credit agencies.
Simply put, because the standards for store cards are lower, more consumers with bad habits get the cards and then complain when they’re hit with late fees and deferred interest.
What this tells us is that you need to be aware that store cards like this one are no different than non-store cards in the sense that they’ll charge you late fees when you pay late and they’ll report your late payments to the credit agencies when you pay 30 days late or more.
Pros and Cons of the My Best Buy Store Credit Card
We believe the strength of this card is the 18-month 0% offer you get on purchases of $478 or more. We say this because 18 months is a long time to have zero interest and responsible consumers will use that time to pay off their balance and avoid deferred interest.
The downside to this card is that the APR is really high – the highest single APR we’ve seen from a store credit card. And with rates that high, you’re 5% rewards rate really won’t mean much if you end up paying dollar after dollar for interest charges.
Our advice? Only get this card if you have a habit of paying off your credit card balance every month. This lowers your risk of getting late fees and derogatory marks on your credit report. It also helps really take advantage of zero-interest offers or the 5% rewards rate the card gives you.
If you carry a balance or know that you’ll most likely pay late, then this store card and most likely many store cards aren’t worth it.