Considering the Best Buy Credit Cards? We Break Down the Benefits and Explore Alternatives!
If you do a lot of shopping at Best Buy, or if you have saved up for a large electronics or home appliance purchase, you might have considered opening a Best Buy credit card.
The Best Buy credit cards offer 5% cash back on all in-store purchases (up to 6% for elite members). However, the rewards you earn can only be used on future Best Buy purchases. So you’re locked-in to redeeming rewards at only one store!
But there are better options for folks looking for cash back they can use more freely. And you’ll be able to earn bonus rewards for lots of common everyday purchases (not just at Best Buy), which means you’ll earn cash back or points much faster.
I’ll share a quick review of the Best Buy credit cards. And show you other cash back cards you should consider instead, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express.
Apply for a Best Buy Credit Card
Best Buy Credit Card Rewards
When applying for a My Best Buy cash back card, you actually fill out one application for any of the 3 versions Best Buy offers. The card offered to you by Best Buy will be determined by a variety of factors, including the strength of your credit.
The exact credit score needed to open a Best Buy card may vary. Use myBankrate to review and track your credit score for free and get a better idea of your credit strength if you are unsure!
Remember, with any credit card, you should pay your balance in full and on time every month. Otherwise, interest charges will likely negate the value of rewards you earn.
Note: You must log into your Best Buy account to apply for any of these cards.
- My Best Buy Credit Card – This card has no annual fee and earns 5% cash back (6% back for Elite Plus members) on all Best Buy purchases. However, you can only use this card at Best Buy as it is a store credit card.
- My Best Buy Visa Platinum From Citibank – This card comes with no annual fee and also earns 5% cash back (6% back for Elite Plus members) on all Best Buy purchases. However, because this is a Visa card, you can use it everywhere Visa cards are accepted. In addition, Best Buy offers 2% cash back on dining & grocery purchases, in addition to limited-time offers. For example, you can earn 3% cash back on air travel and ground transportation purchases through June, as well as 3% cash back on gas.
- My Best Buy Visa Gold From Citibank – This card comes with a $59 annual fee for those with weaker credit, however, it includes the same rewards earning potential as the My Best Buy Visa Platinum card
The My Best Buy cards do NOT come with a sign-up bonus, but currently Best Buy is offering 10% cash back during your first day of purchases. If you have been saving for a large purchase at Best Buy, this could amount to a nice discount.
When you earn points at Best Buy using a Best Buy card, you can redeem your points for cash back on future Best Buy purchases. For every $1 you spend at Best Buy, you earn 2.5 points. You can redeem every 250 points for $5 cash back that can be used in-store or at BestBuy.com. However, keep in mind that unlike other cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can only redeem your cash back for Best Buy purchases.
Most folks will do better with other cash back cards that have similar reward structures, but give you MUCH more flexibility to redeem rewards for cash back to use anywhere, or other purchases such as gift cards and travel!
Better Cash Back Cards to Consider
Unless you are planning on making a large purchase at Best Buy or make a LOT of purchases there, there are alternative cash back credit cards which can earn more cash back for you with more flexible rewards redemption. Here are a few of our favorites and why they might be a better fit for you.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a no-annual-fee card from Chase. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of $150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You can also earn an additional $25 (2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) for adding your first authorized user and making your first purchase within this same 3-month period. Combined, that’s $175 in cash back as a welcome offer from Chase.
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you earn 1.5% cash back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases with no limit. While the Best Buy card offers rotating cash back rewards for different categories, the simplicity of earning 1.5% cash back on every purchase may be more enticing to some.
Also, when you redeem your rewards, you have a few different options. These include cash back, paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and gift cards. Or transfer points to an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, then move your points to terrific airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt!
Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a no-annual-fee card from AMEX. With this card, you earn:
- 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
- 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores,
- 1% cash back on everything else
- Terms Apply
The AMEX Blue Cash Everyday card currently offers a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This, combined with the minimum cash back you would earn meeting your $1,000 spend, would mean you earn $160 cash back.
With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, you also get access to AMEX Offers, which get you discounts on purchases you might make anyway. And you’ll get free membership to ShopRunner, which offer unlimited free 2-day shipping and free returns at 140+ online stores. This would be a great alternative to the Best Buy cards if you spend a lot at US supermarkets and take advantage of AMEX Offers.
Apply Here: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
- 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1%)
- 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Terms apply
Spending the maximum in the bonus category means you can earn $360 each year, just at US supermarkets!
AMEX is currently offering a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account as well. If you spend $500 at US supermarkets per month, after the first year you will have earned $560 cash back ($200 welcome bonus plus $360 from US supermarket spending) – an incredible value!
You would need to spend $11,200 at Best Buy alone (earning 5% cash back) in the first year to earn the same amount of cash back!
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, but if you can make the most of spending in bonus categories, it’s well worth it!
Apply Here: Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
Capital One Quicksilver
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is very similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. It also has no annual fee, as well as earning 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with the card.
The Capital One Quicksilver comes with a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
One nice feature of this card is that has no foreign transaction fees. So if you plan on traveling outside of the US, you won’t get stung with extra charges. It’s also a nice card to add if you don’t qualify for Chase cards because you’ve opened lots of cards in the past 24 months and are looking for a simple cash back earning card with nice earning potential.
Capital One Savor
If you spend a lot on dining and groceries, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a very strong card. With the Capital One Savor card, you’ll earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
This is a terrific card if you’re a foodie, because with the Capital One Savor card you earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, unlimited 2% cash back on groceries, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
When comparing this to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, you do earn slightly less on groceries, but the earnings are not capped after $6,000 in spend. You also get 3% cash back on all dining. So you can use this card to make 2% to 3% on a large portion of your monthly spending while still earning 1% on all other purchases.
Apply Here: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you’re planning large purchases Best Buy, the My Best Buy Visa cash back card might be on your radar. You can quickly earn a lot of cash back, especially on the first day of spending.
However, the restrictions on the cash back redemption with the Best Buy cards make them not the best choice for most folks. Because you’re locked-in to only redeeming rewards at Best Buy! I don’t love the idea of only being able to redeem my cash back at one store.
And there are plenty of other cards which earn cash back you can redeem for anything, with a wider range of everyday bonus spending categories.
If you’re looking for simplicity, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Or the The Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express if you spend a lot at US supermarkets, US gas stations, and select US department stores.
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is also a nice choice if you spend a lot on dining, because you can earn 3% on all your dining purchases! And it doesn’t add foreign transaction fees.
Have you had experience with the Best Buy credit cards? Or do you have other suggestions for folks considering them? Please share your comments below!