BofA Nascar Credit Card Points Offer Update

Looking at turn 4 as cars line up for startAs someone who grew just a few miles from Michigan International Speedway, I know the Bank of America Nascar Visa card will peak the interest of any racing fan. But dig a little deeper…

Update for 2013

Unfortunately Bank of America has axed the Nascar card. You can no longer apply for it.

The Nascar card review (below) is now outdated since it has been cancelled. I am leaving it up for legacy purposes only.

You only earn 1 RacePoint per dollar spent. Now as is the case with any Bank of America credit card, there are some opportunities to earn additional points with online shopping partners, but aside from that, unfortunately there are no bonus categories for earning extra points.

So if you’re earning only 1 point per dollar, here’s how much you would have to spend to earn some of the prizes listed on the website:

Example 1: Chase Authentics Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Blackout Hat

It will cost 3,850 RacePoints, so you would need to spend $3,850 on your Nascar credit card to earn that many. However if you just buy the hat for cash, it only costs $22.95 to $24.95 (depending which site you buy it from).

That means your reward points are only worth around 6/10th of a penny each compared to the $22.95 cash price. This isn’t very good when you consider you can get a straight 1% cash back with other cards.

Example 2: Honorary Pit Crew Member

If you can spend a cool quarter-million dollars, then you and a guest will have enough points for a VIP pit crew tour and watching the race alongside. There’s only 4 packages available per season and the participants shown are 48, 88, 42, 24 & 5.

An experience like this is actually a good deal for credit card rewards because it’s so unique. The downside of course is that few people will be able to spend $250,000 and rake up that many points, when you consider they expire 5 years for when they are earned.

Example 3: Sprint Cup Series

A limited number of tickets are available for each race on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unfortunately the website doesn’t tell us much other than that they “start at” 5,000 points per ticket. Without knowing the race and seat locations, it’s hard to tell whether you are getting a good point value or not.

Sidenote: Bank of America previously had a Nascar debit card which gave 1 point per $4 spent but it is no longer being marketed. My guess is that it was probably discontinued due to the debit card fee regulation which makes rewards a money loser for banks.

Verdict?

For lower tier rewards like merchandise and travel, the credit card rewards probably won’t be a good deal. If your spending is average, I see little reason to get the card.

However if you spend at least $20,000 to $100,000 per year, then getting the card could make sense. With that kind of spending, you will be able to save up a high number of points before they expire and that will allow you to redeem for those VIP experiences which you can’t always buy elsewhere.

Last but not least, will this card be discontinued?

Since summer of 2011 Bank of America has not been marketing the card on their website. Why? Well here was their response:

“We’re in the process of evaluating potential changes to the product features and have temporarily discontinued marketing the card to avoid any customer confusion.”

The Nascar credit card application is no longer available on either BofA’s website or Nascar.com. So even though it’s not officially discontinued, for the time being it doesn’t appear you can apply for it.

Meanwhile you may want to check out the Chase Freedom or the AmEx Blue if you are looking to score some serious rewards.

Written or last updated Jan 2013

 
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