Capital One BuyPower Card Review

The Capital One BuyPower Card is a tremendously niche credit card; but it offers an unparalleled rewards program. If you’re in the market to buy a new Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, or GMC, pay close attention to what this card can save you.

Capital One BuyPower

When I first met my wife, our finances were completely out of whack. She had credit card debt, I had student loan debt, and we made peanuts together. Her wallet was mostly comprised of store credit cards and rewards programs specific to that store only. Spend, spend, spend! And then cash in your rewards by spending more. Typically, I would rail against that type of predatory credit card, but the Capital One BuyPower Card is a rare exception.

BuyPower’s Big Hook

The Capital One BuyPower Card is unlike any other. Two simple sentences explain everything this card can do for you:

  1. 5% cash back rewards for the first $5,000 spent annually, then 2% cash back on all other purchases
  2. Rewards can only be cashed in to buy a new Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, or Buick from an authorized dealer

Let’s discuss the cash back percentage for a moment. 5% on the first $5,000 spent annually is a monster return, good for $250 every year you meet this amount. No other credit card offers this kind of cash back percentage across all categories.

Then there’s the 2% cash back on all other purchases. The best cash back rewards credit cards offer a flat 2% cash back, and there are only a few of them. Couple this reward with the 5% you stand to gain every calendar year you spend $5,000, and this credit card is a rewards MONSTER. The hook, of course, is that you cannot redeem rewards for cash back, or travel. You can redeem them only at a GM dealership.

Earnings never expire on an open account.  If you’re not in the market for a new vehicle this year, or next year, or the year after that; don’t sweat it. There will likely be a time when you need a new vehicle, and that is the day to cash in years’ worth of saved rewards.

There is also no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn. Every single GM dealer participates

Interest Rate and Fees

The pricing details on the Capital One BuyPower Card are actually quite nice. New cardmembers will benefit from a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After the intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 14.40% – 24.40% variable. That rate is above average when compared with other cards, something you don’t expect from a niche credit card.

The fee structure is also quite nice. It includes:

  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Cash advance fee of 3% ($10 minimum)
  • Return payment fee $25
  • Late payment fee $38
  • Penalty APR is 30.90% variable. This rate kicks in if you continuously miss payments or max out your card and miss a few consecutive payments. If you ever find yourself in the penalty APR situation, STOP using credit cards.

While this card offers no balance transfer fee, it does not offer any introductory APR for balance transfers. If you’re in need of a balance transfer, there are much better balance transfer credit cards to utilize. The Capital One BuyPower has a powerful rewards lure, but you should not use it for balance transfers.

Capital One BuyPower Bottom Line

I use a cash back rewards card for almost all of my purchases. Select categories earn 5% throughout the year, and when coupled with a second card, I can earn 2% cash back on everything else. The Capital One BuyPower Card combines the best two cash back cards into one by offering 5% on the first $5,000 annually and 2% on the rest. I’m confident you won’t find a credit card that can offer you more annual cash back than this one.

Of course, that cash back can only be realized when you spend it with GM. In order to redeem your cash back, the process is actually quite simple:

  • Agree to a price to purchase a vehicle with any GM dealer;
  • Inform them after that you are a BuyPower cardholder, and they’ll add your rewards amount to any down-payment.

With no annual fee and a full year of interest free payments, this is actually a great credit card to own. I’m quite surprised my review turned out this way, to be honest.

Topics: Credit Cards

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