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If you’ve shopped at Best Buy, it’s likely an employee has encouraged you to get one of these cards. They don’t like to take “no” for an answer, at least at first, leading some customers to grow frustrated in the checkout lane.
We see this as a somewhat nasty method of advertising, because employees often push these cards on people who don’t fully understand the terms with promises of instant savings. Save $20 right now on a new TV? Why not? But the checkout lane is not a good place to make serious financial decisions that will affect your credit health, especially when you’re also being tempted with promotional offers.
There are two ways to use these cards when making purchases at Best Buy: to get 5% back in rewards, or to get deferred financing on big purchases. The first way is a good tactic that could save you quite a bit of money; the second way is a relatively poor option that could come back to bite you.
The My Best Buy Credit Card can only be used at Best Buy and BestBuy.com. The My Best Buy Visa card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and is issued by Citibank.
We don’t usually recommend retail store credit cards, but these cards can be quite rewarding if you consistently spend a lot of money at Best Buy. However, we’ve received many complaints about these cards from cardholders who have had a hard time dealing with customer support, or were surprised by unexpected fees or payment requests.
In this review, we’ll compare these cards and discuss how to use them properly. Then we’ll suggest some other options that might work better for you.
We give the My Best Buy Credit Card and My Best Buy Visa 2 out of 5 Stars each. They get 2 Stars for the rewards you can earn and the My Best Buy membership, but the deferred interest offers and customer support bring their scores down.
The Best Buy cards may be useful for people who spend a lot of money at Best Buy every year. But there are many other good card options that can provide rewards at a wider variety of retailers, with 0% intro rates that don’t use deferred financing. Check out some of those alternative cards below.
Best Buy accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards as payment methods, in addition to its own co-branded cards.
My Best Buy Visa Only
My Best Buy Visa Only
My Best Buy Visa Only
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You can only use the My Best Buy Credit Card at Best Buy and BestBuy.com. The My Best Buy Visa can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted, and you’ll get some extra bonus categories with that card too.
Regular members will earn the equivalent of 5% cash back on Best Buy purchases. The rewards you earn are actually in the form of points (2.5X points per dollar spent), but since every point is always worth 2 cents when redeemed, it’s simpler to think of this as a cash back rewards program.
My Best Buy Elite Plus cardholders will earn a 6% cash back equivalent for Best Buy purchases. You can become an Elite Plus member by spending $3,500 on Best Buy purchases in a calendar year, or by spending that much anywhere with the My Best Buy Visa. Frequent Best Buy shoppers should check out the benefits available for being an Elite or Elite Plus member.
When making purchases of $199 or more you’ll be able to choose either the “Standard Credit” option or a deferred financing plan. The Standard Credit option will provide rewards like any other purchase. The deferred financing plan will let you pay off the purchase over time at no interest. But if you fail to pay off the entire balance by the due date, or make a late payment, you’ll be charged interest going all the way back to the purchase date.
If you choose a deferred financing offer you will not earn rewards for that purchase.
We generally recommend that you pick the rewards over the financing plan, although you may decide that you need some time to pay off a big purchase. If that’s the case you’ll probably be better off with a card that offers a true 0% introductory period for purchases. We dig into the details of the deferred financing plans below, showing how to use them correctly and why you might want to avoid them.
Every few months, Best Buy states that it will introduce new bonus categories for the My Best Buy Visa to let you earn more rewards at different merchants. The current gas, grocery, and restaurant categories are pretty straightforward. But what counts as a home furnishing store? Best Buy gives the following examples.
|Home Furnishing Category Examples|
|Ashley Furniture||Bed, Bath & Beyond|
|La-Z-Boy||Pier 1 Imports|
|Restoration Hardware||Select Comfort|
|Sur La Table||Williams Sonoma|
Both of these cards have the same rewards redemption system. The rewards you earn can only be redeemed for Best Buy purchases, or with Best Buy promotional partners.
Rewards can be redeemed in increments of 250 points — every 250 points is equal to $5. That’s why you earn a 5% cash back equivalent with these cards as a basic member: If you spend $100 you’ll get 250 points, worth $5, and $5 is 5% of $100.
You can redeem your rewards for reward certificates or Best Buy promotional offers, or with Best Buy promotional partners. Reward certificates are like gift cards, which can only be used at Best Buy retail stores or BestBuy.com, or in the Best Buy mobile app. Some merchandise will not be valid for purchase with reward certificates.
Instead of earning rewards, you can choose a deferred financing plan for Best Buy purchases of $199 and up.
These plans give you an opportunity to pay over time without being charged interest, but there’s a big catch: If you fail to pay off the entire balance by the due date, or if you make any late payments, you’ll be charged interest going all the way back to the purchase date.
So if you choose a deferred financing plan to give yourself some breathing room, you must pay off the balance by the end of the term while making timely payments each month in order to avoid interest charges. Otherwise you’ll end up paying quite a bit more than the original purchase price. Talk about a backfire. This particular feature is why we generally recommend avoiding deferred financing and going with a card with a true 0% introductory APR period, which won’t apply retroactive interest like this.
Follow these three instructions to stay safe with deferred financing plans:
Your statement will show a minimum required monthly payment, but if you only pay this minimum amount you probably won’t pay off the balance by the end of the term. This can be a bit tricky, because it may seem like you were doing everything right by paying what you were asked to pay, only to get hit hard with interest later on.
So you’ll need to divide your balance by the term length to figure out the appropriate monthly payment amount that will completely pay off the balance by the end of the term. There is no penalty for early repayment, so you should generally do so if possible.
There are currently four standard deferred financing plans, and four limited-time deferred financing plans. These plans are subject to change, although the deferred financing aspect will remain the same (unless we see a major change to this program).
|Purchase Type and Price||Term Length|
|Any purchase of $199+||6 months|
|Unlocked phone and Geek Squad purchases of $649+||24 months|
|Home theater and Geek Squad purchases of $799+||24 months|
|Select purchases||48 months|
|Purchase Type and Price||Term Length||Offer Ends|
|Any purchase of $479+||18 months||12/26/18|
|Major appliance and Geek Squad purchases of $479+||18 months||1/2/19|
|Select Dell 2-in-1 laptop purchases of $649+||24 months||1/5/19|
|Major appliance and Geek Squad purchases of $1,999+||24 months||11/29/18|
These deferred financing plans can be a good deal if you’ll be responsible in paying them off, without getting confused about your repayment schedule. But you run the risk of an accidental late or missed payment, or a problem with the card issuer that could prevent your payments from being received on time. We’ve seen many reports of people who have landed in such a situation, and if that happens you may run into a big hassle trying to straighten it out with the card issuer (if you can get it straightened out at all).
Instead of using a deferred financing plan, consider the many other reward credit cards that offer introductory 0% APR periods for purchases. Many of these intro periods last for at least 12 months, and there are no spending requirements to activate them. With these cards:
You can read more about Best Buy’s deferred financing plans and see the current offers here. Here’s a demonstration of how they work.
Imagine you buy a laptop for $300, and you choose a 6-month deferred financing plan with an APR of 26%. Consider the following two scenarios:
Check out these graphical representations of each scenario, provided by Best Buy, and you’ll see how Scenario 2 ends up costing more. In this case you’d only end up paying $31 extra, assuming you finish paying off the balance at the end of the term, but the situation could be much worse if the original balance was bigger or the repayment period was longer (we’ve heard from cardholders who have been charged hundreds of dollars in deferred interest).
$31 in extra interest isn’t too much, but consider a more extreme example. Say you buy a $1,000 home theater system with a 24-month deferred financing plan, at 26% APR. On the second month you miss your payment due date by two days, because you never set up autopay. Oops! A minor mistake, with plenty of time to make up for it, right? Wrong.
Because of that missed payment, you’ll immediately be charged interest on the full $1,000 balance for the entire 24-month loan term. That comes to $520 in interest! So overall you’d end up paying $1,520 in total for that fancy new system, instead of just $1,000, and every time you sit down to relax in front of it you’ll have a gnawing feeling of regret. If only, if only…
This is why it’s so important to completely understand what you’re getting into with these deferred financing plans. They may sound great when the Best Buy guy is cajoling you with promises of no interest and easy low payments, but the reality is much more sinister. Think carefully before accepting such a plan — they probably aren’t worth the anxiety. Your wallet and future self will thank you.
Cardholders of both cards are automatically enrolled in the My Best Buy rewards program, which provides a few nice benefits, especially for frequent shoppers.
You can reach a higher member status (Elite or Elite Plus) by spending a certain amount at Best Buy in a calendar year. Or, if you’re a My Best Buy Visa cardholder you’ll have an easier time, because every purchase you make with the card will count toward a higher status. The higher membership levels provide better perks to make shopping at Best Buy a bit cheaper and easier.
|Basic My Best Buy Membership||My Best Buy Elite||My Best Buy Elite Plus|
|Membership Requirement||Automatic for cardholders||$1,500 in purchases per calendar year||$3,500 in purchases per calendar year|
|Rewards||5% back in rewards||5% back in rewards||6% back in rewards|
|Point Banking Option||No||Yes||Yes|
|Free Shipping||Free standard shipping (until 12/25/18)||Free shipping and scheduled delivery||Free 2-day shipping and scheduled delivery|
|Returns & Exchanges||15 Days||30 Days||45 Days|
|Access to Special Sales and Offers||Yes||Yes (Elite access)||Yes (Elite Plus access)|
|24/7 Customer Service||Basic (1-888-BEST-BUY)||Dedicated customer service line||Dedicated customer service line|
|Card||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|My Best Buy Credit Card||27.49% Variable (11.90% Fixed for select purchases)||None||None|
|My Best Buy Visa||27.49% Variable (11.90% Fixed for select purchases)||27.49% Variable||30.24% Variable|
|Card||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|My Best Buy Credit Card||$0||None||None||None|
|My Best Buy Visa||$0 or $59 (depending on creditworthiness)||None||5%, $15 minimum||5%, $10 minimum|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|My Best Buy Credit Card||None||Up to $38||None|
|My Best Buy Visa||None||Up to $38||None|
The My Best Buy Credit Card and My Best Buy Visa are similar in many ways, but there are some differences in their terms and fees.
And now, a bit of explanation. There are actually two versions of each of these cards. The store-only card can come as:
And the Visa card can come as:
The specific card you get will depend on your creditworthiness when you apply. Basically, the better your credit history, the better the card you’ll get. You may also be given a choice between the store-only card and the Visa.
When you apply, you’ll first be considered for the My Best Buy Platinum Visa. If you don’t qualify, you’ll next be considered for the My Best Buy Preferred Credit Card; next you’ll be considered for the My Best Buy Credit Card; and finally you’ll be considered for the My Best Buy Gold Visa.
The biggest difference to be aware of is that the My Best Buy Gold Visa has a $59 annual fee. The other card versions do not have annual fees.
So, you may apply for these cards assuming you won’t have to pay an annual fee, only to find that you were only qualified for the My Best Buy Gold Visa. Now you’re on the hook for a yearly fee when you just wanted a discount on some electronics.
But fortunately, you can avoid having to pay the annual fee if you cancel your new card within 30 days. Cancelling or closing a credit card has its own consequences, but it would probably be worth it in this case if you don’t want a card with a fee.
Unfortunately, the My Best Buy credit cards are known for having poor customer service, both the store-only version and the Visa. We’ve received many complaints from people who have had a hard time dealing with customer support, with trouble reaching representatives or finding resolutions to their problems.
This isn’t a big surprise because store credit cards are infamous for having relatively bad customer service compared to general-use cards provided by the major credit card issuers. Although these cards are issued by Citi, a major card issuer, the service seems to be lacking.
If you use one of these cards and need to contact customer support, we recommend being patient and trying to get proof of your interaction. If a customer support rep tells you that a particular purchase will be refunded or that you were billed mistakenly, for example, get that in writing.
Beware the deferred financing plans, and consider choosing the 5% back in rewards instead. If you do take a financing offer, be absolutely sure to make on-time payments every month and pay off the entire balance by the end of the term.
Remember that you may only qualify for the Gold Visa version, which comes with a $59 annual fee. That would make your card significantly less valuable overall, so you should consider cancelling that and going with a general-use card designed for fair or average credit instead, if you can qualify.
Overall, these cards can be fairly rewarding at Best Buy, but they come with some strings. We suggest taking a look at some alternative cards below that can provide true 0% APR introductory periods for purchases, or that would be good for buying the types of merchandise you’ll find at Best Buy.
You can apply for the My Best Buy Credit Card and My Best Buy Visa card by clicking the Apply Now button below. However, the application process is a bit different than most cards.
First, you’ll need to create a My Best Buy account. Then you’ll be able to apply, but you can’t apply for a particular card.
Instead, you’ll first be considered for the My Best Buy Platinum Visa. If you don’t qualify, you’ll next be considered for the My Best Buy Preferred Credit Card; if you don’t qualify for that, you’ll be considered for the My Best Buy Credit Card. Finally, if you don’t qualify for that you’ll be considered for a My Best Buy Visa Gold Card, which has a $59 annual fee.
In some cases you may be asked whether you’d prefer a My Best Buy Preferred or My Best Buy Visa account.
The following cards would be good alternatives to the Best Buy credit cards. The Amazon card is excellent for buying the types of merchandise you’ll find at Best Buy. The other cards offer long 0% introductory periods that you can use to pay off purchases, and these are not deferred interest offers like you’ll get with the Best Buy cards (and the Amex card even offers rewards on top of that).
Did you like this review? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use either of these cards, leave your own review of the My Best Buy Credit Card or My Best Buy Visa below for other readers, we’d love to hear from you!
The My Best Buy Credit Card and My Best Buy Visa should only be considered if you’re a frequent Best Buy shopper. They could potentially be quite rewarding if you spend a lot, but they’re bogged down by lackluster customer support and the deferred financing options are a bit risky.
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