Best Buy Credit Card? Know This Before You Apply!

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Best Buy Credit Card? Know This Before You Apply!

Postby CreditCardGuru » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:48 am

Best Buy store
Don't fill out a Best Buy credit card application without seeing this review. Here's a quick summary of why it's crap:

Rewards are misleading: Their ads say 5% but that's a bit deceptive, because only 3% comes from the card. The other 2% is through their normal Rewards Zone program which is completely separate from their CC.
Insane interest rates: As of Nov 2015 they were a 25.24% or 27.99%.
Financing offers don't earn rewards: The extra 3% won't be earned.
0% is with deferred interest: It's not always true 0% because retroactive interest will be charged if you exceed the time frame.
Might pay a $59 annual fee: Those with less than great credit might get slapped with a $59 fee and unfortunately there's no way to know which version you get until after you're approved.
Better Option: Don't get their card. Instead use your Rewards Zone program with a different card.

Getting back to the details of what BB is offering, how many times have their sales associates pressured you to apply? I don't know about you but I find it extremely annoying to be asked every time I make a purchase at their store. You may be peddled one of two cards - either the Best Buy card (store use only) or the Reward Zone MasterCard from HSBC. Read these reviews of both.

Best Buy Card (store version)
This one doesn't appear to offer much for rewards, but it does attract atrociously high interest rates and fees.
  • Store-Use Only: This version can only be used at their stores and nowhere else.
  • Possible Low Credit Limits: Upon looking at Bust Buy credit card reviews posted by customers on various sites, one of the most frequent complaints I saw was about extremely low credit limits. Reportedly there are tons of people complaining about limits as low as $300. A limit like that won't do much good if you plan on buying a plasma TV or new computer with the card.
  • High Interest Rates: At the time of this review, the standard APR was 25.24% or 27.99% and the penalty APR was even higher:
    APRs on store card version
  • Credit Card Bait 'n Switch: I found this statement in fine print at the bottom of the card's application: "For your convenience, if we find that we cannot approve you for a Best Buy credit card at this time, we will automatically consider you for a Gold MasterCard® with Fee."
    There are a lot of complaints out there about this! This is troubling since those with lower credit scores may be signing up for something they don't want.
  • Lousy Rewards: While researching the card and application on the Best Buy website, I was surprised to see the card appears to offer the same rewards as the non-credit card version of the Rewards Zone program. The only exception to this is with the financing offers: "you may also receive one additional bonus point for every point earned on qualifying standard revolve purchases (regular financing) made using the card"
  • Retroactive Interest: Warning: This is the #1 reason to NOT get the card! What you may not realize is that the Best Buy zero interest promotional offers do not operate like normal credit cards from a bank.
    zero interest gimmick
    See that? A store credit card runs a promotion that offers 0% interest for X number of months on purchases above a certain dollar value. But if you don't completely pay for that purchase in full before the X number of months, you will be assessed interest charges from the first day of purchase on the purchase! Same thing can happen if you make late payments, too.
Normal credit cards through a reputable bank will never charge interest retroactively like that. If they give you 0% for X number of months, you really will get that regardless of whether you pay it off in time. This is why it's so foolish to risk it with the store card from Best Buy. Imagine the pain if something unexpected happens with your finances and you can't afford to pay it off in time? With the excessive APRs it will be a steep price to pay!

Instead I strongly recommend you check out CreditCardForum's sponsored offers which give 0% for an extended period of time on purchases.

Best Buy MasterCard
This one is affiliated with MasterCard so it can be used elsewhere, but unfortunately there are a lot of drawbacks. Is it difficult to obtain a Best Buy Mastercard? Not necessarily, but here's why you might not want one even if you do have the credit score required for approval...
Annual Fee: The Best Buy website does not do a very good job talking about the annual fee upfront, but once you fill out the credit card application, you are taken to a page to review your terms and decide whether or not you accept them. There used to be a no annual fee version given to people with "qualifying credit" but when I checked I didn't even see that offered anymore on the application's fine print:
RewardZone MasterCard annual fee
So it looks like a $39 to $59 annual fee based on your credit score.

Low Rewards: The Best Buy credit card rewards program is as follows:
  • Normal purchases at Best Buy = 2 points per $1 (in-store or online)
  • Best Buy purchases w/ the promo financing give less points = only 1 point per $1
  • 1/2 point for every $1 spent elsewhere
For every 250 points accumulated, the cardmember gets a $5 rewards certificate, which can be used towards a future purchase from Best Buy. While it is nice to see that this credit card actually has a rewards program, the drawback is that it's definitely not a very impressive one.

Rewards Forfeiture: In the fine print of the Best Buy MasterCard Reward Zone rules, there was a term titled "Program Annualization" that states at the start of the calendar year, accumulated points will be converted into Reward Certificates (in $5 increments) and any remaining points will be forfeited. I think this is extremely unfair.

High Interest Rates: The application lists 21.74% as the lowest (and only) tier available. So the best case scenario is nearly 22%? That's crazy.

Possible Low Credit Limit: Reportedly there are many complaints of cardmembers getting low credit limits with the Reward Zone MasterCard too. Ironically, out of all places, I saw many complaints on the community message boards about this issue. For example, one poster alleges "I recently applied and was approved for a Mastercard for a measly $300.00..." and "...When I applied online it never mentioned that I would be charged $60 odd dollars annually..."
The Reward Zone MasterCard's minimum credit limit is only $300 which is obviously pitiful. For that high of a fee, should you get one if you might be stuck with such a low limit and crappy benefits?

After reviewing both cards thoroughly, I have difficulty finding any good reasons to apply for either. Is it hard to get a Best Buy credit card? Usually not as the credit score requirements are quite low, but as you can see, there's a good reason for that... you're getting a rotten deal in return!

Anyone with a half-way decent credit score would be better off trying for something like the Slate by Chase with its long 0% promotion.

The bottom line is this: The vast amount of complaints and negative reviews about the Best Buy card are disturbing to say the least. You probably would be better off with just a regular credit card.

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I got the BB card

Postby xatomic » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:22 am

This was nice to find after the fact. Actually I got sucked in and got signed up for a Best Buy card, when I had to replace a TV that blew up. I got the rewards Mastercard, though not the free annual fee one because my credit was too bad, but the annual fee one. However I was rewarded with $1500 credit limit, and it has 4x rewards on in-store purchases, 2x on dining and groceries and 1x on all other purchases.

seemed well and good. But there is $8 in monthly "account Protection" fees, etc. and the interest rate is super high. So I keep the spend low and pay down each month. I mainly got it cause i buy a lot of games, and other electronic stuff from Best Buy, and I wanted to get the rewards. but the fees seem to out pace my rewards. Additionally I payed my bill (in full $980) on the 22nd of Nov and they notified me that it posted on the 24th. I went shopping (black Friday holiday shopping) on the 28th and went to one store and bought about $850 worth of stuff. the cashier said it was declined, so I had to call while there and talk to someone. There was a live person on a Sunday though that was a surprise, and they informed me that Yes I had payed the bill, and yes it posted to the account but the funds had not been transferred from my bank to my Best Buy credit card yet. so I was stuck with no credit on the card and $980 not in my checking account somewhere in the electronic waste land. They also said that it would not post until Dec 2 or 3. that seems a little to long for me.

I think like others I will maybe discontinue using the Best Buy card but keep the account open by small actives, but I wont rely on this card as a major credit card.

Can anyone recommend any cards besides Cap one or HSBC cards for people with decent income and recovering credit (almost there)? I have both the Cap One and the Bestbuy card (HSBC) but would like lower interest and more easy to deal with bank.

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Postby dmband » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:42 pm

I've had the store only best buy card for years and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it because the whole point of the card is to get YEARS of no interest deals they offer on whatever you're buying. Sure the interest adds up and gets added on if you don't off your balance within the no interest period but if you don't plan to pay off your purchase within the specified no interest period then you shouldn't be buying the items anyways. That's the whole point of the card take forever to pay it off but with no interest pretty sweet deal in my book.

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Postby Cruz » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:08 pm

xatomic wrote:I think like others I will maybe discontinue using the Best Buy card but keep the account open by small actives, but I wont rely on this card as a major credit card.

Careful, I was a very pleased customer of HSBC\Best Buy till today. I **HAD** a $2,000.00 plus credit limit and no balance on it – I thought. I kept this account open for small purchases and at time went months without using it. However, I always hated the fact that they do not offer Auto-payments. Their scheduled-payment method is not practical, it will process pay even if there is no balance on the account (just retarded). I always feared one day I was going to forget about it and pay late fees… well that day came much worse than I anticipated.

Back in Nov. 2010 I paid the card in full approximately $350.00 out of 2K credit. Just out of curiosity, today I checked my account to ensure all was OK and to my surprise there was a $200.00 balance. Thinking this probably was something I purchased and forgot about it, I scheduled the payment via their online method and immediately called their customer service number. (I thought if the fault is theirs I would cancel payment and deal with them).

I got the rep on the phone to find out, yes I was at fault. I made a $60.00 purchase late November (probably after my full payment) and totally forgot about it. Best Buy\HSBC charged me a late fee for December and January (I deserved that for being forgetful) and in mid January **CLOSED** my account :mad: February comes they never reached out regarding the status, but did charge me again late fee and other charges.

So now here I stand with bad entry in my FICO score and a closed account… that’s going to kill my credit.
I’m following up with HSBC :beat: , I believe this is an unfair practice. Closing my account for 60.00 is just ridiculous… from now on I will only open accounts with banks that offer auto-pay. C’mom we are humans and the technology is there.. why not use it?! :confused:

Anyways, wish me luck.

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Postby tc1986 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:21 am

It sounds to me like all of the complaints against this card are due to people who did not pay off the balance in time and were hit with huge interest payments (or used it for purchases they forgot about). I don't see how this card could be bad if you just plan to pay off at least the minimum payment each month and/or the balance in full within the span of time Best Buy gives you.

I was interested in getting this credit card because I wanted to get a laptop through best buy and noticed they have a promotion with this card where you either pay off the balance within 6 months or 18 months and supposedly aren't charged any interest. I understand you have to be approved but I haven't been able to find any reason not to get this card if I just pay at least a certain amount each month like I am supposed to.

I was curious if anyone found any hidden fees or anything that weren't specified in the terms and which popped up even though they paid on time. Also, I was wondering if the card penalizes you somehow if you pay off the balance early. For instance, if I was to pay my entire balance in 4 months instead of 6 months by paying a couple dollars more each month.

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Postby Pete838 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:59 pm

I opened a BB Rewards/HSBC account about 4 years ago. With my 740 score they gave me a $300 limit and charged me a fee to keep the account open. They waived the fee every time I called to bitch about it, but they refused to lower my rate (20+%) or make my account fee free, or raise the limit above $300.
I canceled the card. The rewards aren't rewarding enough to deal with that.
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Postby Dylan1982 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:11 pm

I had the HSBC BestBuy Card with no problems. My credit line was $1,600 and my APR is 24%. You're correct they do retroactive interest for their promotions if you do not pay it off with in the promotion. I've never had that problem, always paid off before the promotion expiration date.

I like the card!
Chase Freedom - $12,500 (2/2013)
GM Card - $7,700 (7/2002)
CitiBank (Thank You Preferred) - $6,400 (6/2012)
CitiBank (Diamond Preferred) - $4,600 (6/2012)
Rogers & Hollands - $3,300 (3/2006)
Target REDcard - $3,000 (11/2014)
BestBuy - $1,600 (9/2003)
Discount Tires - $1,000 (2/2004)
Kohl's - $300 (4/2012)

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Best Buys Reward Zone Mastercard - closed

Postby NYC_Dweller » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:18 pm

Hello everyone,

I read on here and know of some people who adore their BB Reward Zone MC but I never been a fan. I had the card for approx 5-6 years and has done little to nothing for me. The original CL was a laughable $300.00 and increased to $500.00 within 2 years.

My lowest credit card limit is $16,000.00 with the highest (outside Amex Plat) being $22,000.00. My FICO score is 785-790. I called a few times requested a credit limit increase since most of my BB purchases are above the $500.00 mark. The outsourced CS rep without hesitation or further review responded with a generic "We are not offering credit limit increases"

Being fed up of paying an annual fee of $59.00 for a sock draw card I cancelled. Cancellation was brief and simple. No retention department of any sort.

My dislike for this card does not align with my outlook on Best Buys as a store. I enjoy there stores and I just made some large purchases last month by putting 6K on my Amex Platinum card. In my opinion it is unfortunate that they partnered with such a poor financial institute.

Was I missing something? Anyone have a solid/positive review on this card?

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Postby CC Deville » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:54 am

NYC_Dweller wrote:Was I missing something? Anyone have a solid/positive review on this card?

The Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard was largely targeted towards the subprime credit group. Interestingly enough, despite being a MasterCard, the Reward Zone MasterCard was easier to be approved for (they lowered their risk of course by offering $300 limits). So most people shouting their love for the Best Buy card are likely talking about the store card, not the MasterCard (called Reward Zone). HSBC purchased these cards from Household Bank, largely a subprime bank with some retail cards on the side. HSBC has since sold all of these cards to Capital One, which is very similar to HSBC.

There was a little known, limited issue RewardZone Platinum MasterCard that did not have the annual fee, had lower interest and higher credit lines usually towards the $6,000 range. But overall, people with good to excellent credit opted for the store card above the Reward Zone MasterCard. Sears also had a strange HSBC issued MasterCard called Sears Solutions MasterCard. It was for people with scandalous credit that could not be approved for a Citibank issued Sears MasterCard or Citibank issued Sears store card.

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best buy store charge card

Postby irvine801 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:32 pm

Apparently HSBC sold the rights of best buy to cap1. Is this good or bad or neither? Hmmm...
-American Express Zync.
-Discover IT. 4.5k limit 7.99%
-MC Citi diamond preferred. 1500 limit
-Visa Chase freedom. 2k limit.(23.24%, NOT IN USE)
-Miles by discover 1.5k limit.7.99%
-Best buy store card. 1500 limit
-Mt. America visa 1k limit

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