Posted by Chuck on October 3, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck

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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.

See also Everything you ever wanted to know about Buying Gift Cards at Best Buy.

Best Buy Credit Card Review

Direct Link

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%

Financing

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.

Special Offers

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.

Final Thoughts

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.



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Justin
Justin

It’s a nice program. I had Elite this year somehow and re-qualified this year via VGC and Cricket purchases. The dedicated phone # for Elites is helpful and they answer rather quickly. I had a couple purchases that didn’t track and they added the points without question after verifying purchase. Best Buy has done a good job staying competitive when others have failed.

Mimi
Mimi

Initially, I got kicked out of the Elite status mainly because all my purchases were VGCs from the AXP sync offers. I called customer service and the rep reviewed my account and restored my Elite status! I got the ability to bank my points again which was very important to me so I have control of cashing out when my certs reaches $100++. Now that I have Dividend card, I’ll buy $6K VGCs just to collect more certs. CB profits after the fees are not much but the points earned will give me more choices to get an item cheap/free.

Mimi
Mimi

I meant to say Elite Plus status not just Elite.

Brenda
Brenda

On February I bought a washing machine from Best Buy. I applied for the Best Buy visa card since this would allow me to pay my purchase using installments, interest free for 18 months. Little did I know that Best Buy will start add fraudulent late fees charges on my account. Initially I was paying $27/month, then Best Buy visa started to change my amount from $27 to $31 to $57 to $61 that it became so confusing I could not keep up with those changes and they start charging me late fees stating the amount paid was incorrect. I called their Customer Service multiple times and escalated only to be told misleading information to the extent that this is not a late fee, is going to be deducted from your total payment, etc. This constitutes fraud and their illegal business practices should be reported. Be aware of their SCAM. Worse credit card.

Josh
Josh

Also worth mentioning is Gamer’s Club Unlocked. 20% off pre orders and new physical copies of games plus an additional 500 points for pre-orders, and bonus trade in credit. A lot of people were able to get two years for ~$7 from a phone promotion in 2014 that worked with Net 10 and Simple Mobile sim cards (Normal price is $30/2 years). It’s not related to the credit card program, but it’s another factor that should be accounted for in Best Buy spending

Alex
Alex

Yup, I believe you also get double points for gaming software/accessories purchases. So instead of getting .5 points/dollar as a basic member you get 1 point/dollar. Not sure if elites and elite plus double or not.

Ryan
Ryan

As Elite Plus, you will earn 2.5 pts/dollar or 5% cash back without the BB card. Not sure how that stacks with it.

Ryan
Ryan

I should mention this is on video game purchases with gamers club unlocked. On a side note, gamers club unlocked offers a ton of potential resell opportunities.

Mo
Mo

One of the best perks of Elite+ is a 45 day return period for most items. I tried a Surface Pro 4 with keyboard dock for over a month until I decided it wasn’t for it.

Shane
Shane

Question: in order to get that 5%-6% rewards, do you really need to use the corresponding card to make the payment or you will enjoy the extra for just being the member.

Or in order wolds, well you get additional cash back from the credit card?

Thanks

Shane
Shane

Sorry, I meant * or you will enjoy the extra rewards for just being the CARDHOLDER

Sully
Sully

If they truly start carrying the Gift of College gift cards this fall, as speculated, AND they earn the full 5-6%, then this could be nicely lucrative.

Steven
Steven

Best Buy sells Gift of College cards, no? This could net you 3% back by paying for Student Loans through Best Buy. Definitely something to consider if it does work out.

Billy
Billy

What are the odds of being able to PC from the Citi Hilton card to the Visa Best Buy card?

Jack
Jack

I was super excited until “Last I tried, Visa and Best Buy gift cards don’t get the credit card bonus, just the ordinary 2-2.5% rewards”

Alex
Alex

I’m almost certain that rewards certificates can’t be used for most gift cards (third party or Best Buy). I have been able to redeem them for PlayStation gift cards though.

Jack
Jack

any more DPs on this? If i can’t redeem for airline or hotel third party gift cards, then these rewards are pretty useless. There’s only so much playstation gift cards or restaurant or whatever i can use per year

Kathy
Kathy

I just got Disney gift cards using my reward certificates last week so I think it still works for now.

Elias
Elias

Same here, I think they work for everything BUT you must pay a portion with a credit card. Say you buy a $50 gift card with a $45 certificate and $5 with your credit card. If you dont do that then best buy will cancel the order.

Ryan
Ryan

It’s been a few months but in the past I’ve had zero issue redeeming reward certs for eBay gift cards in store. However, I don’t believe you can redeem them for BB gift cards.

Alex
Alex

Interesting.. maybe I’ve only tried redeeming the rewards certs online. Like I said, I’m almost certain they wouldn’t work online for ebay. Perhaps the POS in store allows it.

Alex
Alex

I know they’re not out yet, but any thoughts on getting 10% back on gift of college with your first purchase on the visa platinum? Depending on credit limit this could be a nice intro bonus.

Jab
Jab

Applied to this card some time ago and regretted later multiple times.
1. This card has no extended warranty. Found out too late
2. Shortly after application it appeared that chase introduced 5/24 rule which meant that I exchanged opportunity of having chase card with good sign up bonus to this. I believe bb offered like 10% off first purchase
3. Points for purchase didn’t track correctly and had to send multiple emails to bb to get it months later
This card was a mistake.

Jack
Jack

what kind of VGC does best buy sell? metabank? OV?

Mimi
Mimi

Meta Visa variables up to $200 with $5.95 fee; NOT all BBY carry these VGCs or if they carry them, you have to ask the cashier since some of them keep them by the registers.

they don’t sell MC OVs from Bancorp or USBank issued GCs

Jack
Jack

Oh thats annoying. $200 cards make it hard for high volume. Otherwise, the 2.5% non bby credit card reward and the 2% citi make this look quite good

Reubenfairbird
Reubenfairbird

can’t find vgc anywhere. Manager told me they are gone- too much fraud. I’m in palm beach county.

HF
HF

latest data point shows buying bestbuy gift card won’t earn rewards anymore

mauddib6
mauddib6

Just thought I’d add one more interesting data point. On my last visit to Best Buy, I was at 1,000 for the year. Bought $1,029 in one purchase. That put me at the elite level as expected. Unexpectedly, it gave me the elite level benefit for the whole purchase, so got 1,029 Best Buy points, instead of some pro rated thing. So, if you are close to a threshold change and your purchase is on the bubble, make sure you have enough in your cart to bump you to the next level.

Information Booth
Information Booth

Another interesting point. I’m not sure if they sell Hotels.com GC’s or not, but you can exchange a BBGC for a Hotels.com GC for more than the BBGC is worth. Hope this helps somebody. Love in Christ.

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