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Is the Best Buy Credit Card Right for You?

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Best Buy Credit Card

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Hey there, techies. By now, there’s a good chance during your quest to get the latest gadget, gizmo or thingamabob your path has invariably crossed with a Best Buy credit card application. But whether you should sign up or not depends entirely on you. Store-branded rewards credit cards, in general, are best suited to very frequent shoppers who also happen to pay their balances off in full each month. Otherwise, you’ll lose all those rewards and then some to interest.

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    Beyond that, there’s more than one Best Buy credit card out there — and which one might be right for you depends on your needs and overall spending habits. In this Best Buy credit card review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each version to help you decide if you should apply.

    The Pros & Cons of a Best Buy Credit Card

    Here’s the good news about store credit cards: They generally have less stringent underwriting requirements than a traditional credit card. That means that you’ll likely qualify for one with less-than-perfect credit — and could potentially use it to rebuild your scores. (You can see where you currently stand by viewing two of your credit scores on But it also explains why these cards typically carry higher annual percentage rates (APRs) and lower credit limits. The riskier you appear, the more insurance the issuer is going to pack into your terms and conditions.  

    Best Buy’s plastic line is no exception when it comes to APRs. While each version of the Best Buy credit card requirements include special financing options (more on that in a minute), the standard purchase APR on its Best Buy Credit Card, My Best Buy Visa Gold and My Best Buy Visa Platinum is a variable 26.74% (as of 12/19/2019). That’s on the high side when you consider the low end of most general purpose APR ranges runs between 12% and 17%. Now, you can opt for a number of promotional financing deals that will let you purchase items and pay no interest for a set period of time. We say “opt” because that’s how Best Buy’s credit cards work: Applicants are given the choice between deferred interest or rewards.

    Assessing the Deferred Interest Offers

    Deferred-interest deals can be helpful if you need to make a big in-store purchase you can’t afford to pay off right away. (It basically buys you time to revolve, or carry, a balance without incurring interest.) And in-store financing offers provide a certain level of convenience, because, you know, you can get them in the store. However, you’ve got to be really careful here: Many retailers stipulate in the fine print of their deferred-interest offers that you’re responsible for retroactive interest at your standard purchase APR if you don’t pay the charges off by the time the promotional financing window expires. (Here’s a quick explanation on how credit card interest is calculated.)

    Best Buy advertises three standard deferred-interest offers on its website:

    • 6-month financing on store wide purchases totaling $199 and up
    • 18-month financing on major appliance and Geek Squad purchases totaling $599 and up
    • 24-month financing on unlocked phone and Geek Squad purchases totaling $649 and up
    • 24-month financing on home theater and Geek Squad purchases totaling $799 and up

    Per its pricing details, all three offers — plus a variety of others — are subject to retroactive interest. That means if you’re even a little unsure about paying off, say, that new refrigerator within those 18 months, you’re probably better off opting for a traditional credit card touting a low-to-no introductory APR. These cards can have retroactive clauses in them, too, though they’re decidedly less prevalent. Plus, you could secure a longer window to pay that purchase off and, at the very least, if you fail to do so, the go-to APR will likely be lower — particularly if your credit is in good shape.

    Rating the Rewards Program

    On the flip side, the Best Buy cards’ rewards programs stack up against other store credit cards and could prove worthwhile for frequent best buyers (again, so long as you pay your balance off in full). That’s particularly true when it comes to the Best Buy Visa Cards, which, unlike store-bound My Best Buy Credit Cards, can be used anywhere Visa is accepted and tout rewards on purchases outside the electronics chain. Here’s a quick breakdown of each card’s major terms.

    My Best Buy Credit Card

    Rewards Details: Cardholders can earn 5% back on Best Buy purchases. Best Buy Elite Plus loyalty program members can earn 6% back on their purchases. New applicants can choose to get 10% back in rewards or financing on their first purchase when they are approved for a Best Buy Credit Card.

    Annual Fee: $0

    APR: 26.74%         

    My Best Buy Visa Card

    Rewards Details: The same base rewards program and signup bonus apply, but cardholders also earn 3% back in rewards through June 2019 on air and ground transportation purchases as well as gas purchases, 2% on dining out and grocery purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases. 

    Annual Fee: None

    APR: 26.74%

    Getting 5% back is a nice return as far as rewards credit cards go — as is the additional cash back you can get on eligible grocery and dining out purchases with the Visa versions. But how lucrative that pans out to be depends on how often you shop at the electronics chain. That might also affect how much perks like paying your bill in-store and smoother checkout on will mean to you. Remember, not only are you earning the most rewards on Best Buy purchases, you’re also redeeming your rewards for certificates you can use only at its stores or websites. And, while rewards don’t technically expire, they will automatically disperse as reward certificates in $5 increments if you don’t use your account for 12 consecutive months — meaning, as Best Buy explains on its website, if you’ve earned 300 points, you’ll get a $5 reward certificate (250 points) and you’ll forfeit the remaining 50.

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