Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck44
Best Buy Rewards Program and Credit Card Review, 5-6% Back on Best Buy Purchases
Best Buy Rewards Program Overview
Best Buy Rewards is Best Buy’s store loyalty program. Members of the free program earn points for all Best Buy store and online purchases. Points are redeemed as reward certificates which can be used Best Buy stores or online at bestbuy.com.
With initial signup, you’ll begin earning .5 points per dollar spent. After spending $1,500 in a calendar year, you’ll become an Elite member and earn 1 point per dollar. After $3,500 in spend, you’ll become Elite Plus and earn 1.25 points per dollar.
The most confusing part about the program is that points are worth 2 cents each. Whenever you see or hear a certain number of points, just double it and you’ll have the value. For example, if you earn 742 points, that’s $14.84 in Best Buy store credit. This gets particularly confusing with credit card earning (more on that below), just always double it and you’ll get the right number.
- Certificates are issued in $5 increments. If you redeem a larger amount, you’ll get a single certificate with the full amount, e.g. $30.
- If you forget to use your Best Buy Rewards number/card at checkout, you can submit a claim afterward online.
- Points go pending for a few weeks before becoming available.
- Once you earn Elite or Elite Plus status, you’ll keep status until the end of the following calendar year. For example, if you make $3,500 in purchases between January 1 and April 10 in 2017, you’ll have Elite Plus status from April 10, 2017 until December 31, 2018, and you’ll earn 1.25 points per dollar that entire time.
Elite Status Perks
Aside from increased Best Buy Rewards earnings, there are a few other perks of Elite status:
- Non-Elites are automatically issued certificates at set intervals while Elites can elect for Points Banking so that you can redeem on your own schedule. (Hint: you want to opt in for this.)
- Basic members get the regular 15 day return policy. Elites get 30 days. Elite Plus gets 45 days.
- Basic Free Shipping is $35+. Elites don’t have any minimum. Elite Plus members have no minimum, plus faster shipping speeds.
- Access to special sales and events.
- Dedicated customer service line.
Gift Card Purchases and Redemption
Where the program really shines in with regards to gift cards.
- Best Buy and Visa gift card purchases earn reward points. Even Best Buy e-gift cards purchased from Cashstar earn rewards when you input your Best Buy Rewards number at checkout.
- You can no longer use Best Buy Rewards to purchase third party gift cards or to purchase Best Buy or Visa gift cards.
- When redeeming a Best Buy gift card, you don’t earn any points. For example, if you buy a $500 laptop and use a $100 Best Buy gift card and pay the remainder with a credit card, you’ll only get points for $400 of the purchase.
Best Buy Credit Card Review
There are a four varieties of Best Buy credit cards, all issued by Citibank. (Terms Link)
- Best Buy Visa Platinum
- My Best Buy Credit Card Preferred
- My Best Buy Credit Card
- My Best Buy Visa Gold
Basically, the Visa Platinum is a no-fee card which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, the two Best Buy Credit Cards are no-fee cards which can only be used at Best Buy, and the Visa Gold can be used anywhere but has a $59 annual fee. All cards earn the 5-6% Best Buy Rewards.
You’ll probably get one of the first three cards; if you get the Visa Gold you’ll probably want to cancel right away to avoid the annual fee. Personally, I got one of the Best Buy store credit cards initially (not sure which one), and sometime later they auto-upgraded me to the Visa Platinum. Main reason you want a Visa version is for the special offers they send out (see below) which are quite nice.
Visa card earns outside Best Buy:
- 2% back on dining and groceries
- 1% back everywhere else
You can use your Best Buy credit card in-store by inputting some security details on the PIN-pad, even without the card. This helps for scenario where you forgot your case, and also allows you to use the card instantly after approval, without waiting for the card to come in the mail.
Rewards for Best Buy
Here are the reward earning rates for Best Buy purchases when paid with the credit card
- Elite Plus members get 6% back; 2.5% without the card and an extra 3.5% with the card
- Basic members get 5% back; 1% without the card and an extra 4% with the card
- Elite members get 5% back; 2% without the card, and an extra 3% with the card
It’s all confusing, but the bottom line is:
- Elite Plus gets 6%
- Elite and Basic get 5%
Best Buy offers financing on purchases $199+. The interest rates are pretty bad from what I’ve seen, and you’ll probably be better offer getting another sort of loan instead.
Note the special financing offers are in lieu of the 5-6% rewards, meaning while the interest rate may be zero, you are ‘paying’ for the financing in opportunity cost.
Gift Card Purchases
Last I tried, Visa and Best Buy gift cards don’t get the credit card bonus, just the ordinary 2-2.5% rewards, while third-party gift cards get the full 5-6% rewards.
A nice perk of the Best Buy credit card is the targeted spend offers which they send out a few times per year. These offers are only for the Visa branded card, not the store-only cards. Typically, the offer will be something like: spend $1,000 and get $50 in Best Buy Rewards.
They also regularly send out via email 10% off coupons for cardmembers. Typically these will be: get 10% off any single regular-priced item in a Best Buy store during a particular timeframe. There are other coupons that come as well.
They also usually offer the following signup bonus: get 10% back in rewards on your first day of shopping within 14 days of approval. This should work on all items made in your first checkout.
The Best Buy Rewards program is an easy way to get extra value on purchases you’d be making anyway. Always remember to Shopkick as well when making purchases in a Best Buy store and to use a shopping portal when shopping online.
As for the Best Buy credit card, it’s important to remember that you’d be getting 1% – 2.5% in rewards regardless as an ordinary Best Buy Rewards member. Still, it’s an extra 3% – 4% rewards for cardholders which is better than the typical ~2% we get with another card. It’ll depend how you value Best Buy Rewards to decide whether the card is worth it. I’ve heard some resellers value Best Buy Rewards more than cash since it reduces the purchase price and saves sales tax. Regardless, the certificates are pretty easy to redeem due to the gift card redemption angle.
Personally, I initially got the card for an advanced hack which isn’t around anymore, I probably wouldn’t apply for it now. Being that I already have the card, I take advantage of the various special offers they send me, and I’ll occasionally use the card for Best Buy purchases too (when credit card protections aren’t important, e.g. gift card purchases). For resellers and others who constantly make Best Buy purchases, it’s a card worth considering.