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Last updated on October 11th, 2021
Earn Up to 4X Points on Purchases
- Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 24.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 24.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Intro Purchase APR 0% for 12 months from account opening date
- Processing Network Mastercard
- No annual fee
- Earn 4X points on BMW purchases
- Earn 3X points on gas purchases, 2X points on dining, and 1X points on everything else
- Enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 24.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months for balances transferred within 30 days from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 24.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The BMW Card earns cardholders four points for every dollar they spend on qualifying BMW purchases. Additionally, cardholders earn three points for every dollar spent on gas and two points for every dollar spent on dining purchases. All other purchases earn cardholders one point for every dollar they spend. What’s more, this card offers an introductory 0% APR promotion on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. All these features are available for no annual fee.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Own or plan to own a BMW
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee to use a credit card
- Want to earn additional points on gas and dining purchases
- Would like to take advantage of 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
- Need to transfer a balance and plan to pay it off in 12 months
BMW Card Review
The BMW Card is a co-branded credit card associated with the luxury German automaker Bavarian Motor Works (BMW). Elan Financial Services issues this credit card, and it uses the Mastercard® payment network.
This is a rewards credit card. As such, it earns cardholders points whenever they make purchases. This card features points tiers by which you earn different amounts of points for different types of purchases. As it is cobranded with BMW, you earn the most points on BMW purchases.
In addition to earning points, this credit card features some other perks. For 12 months after signing up for this Mastercard®, cardholders can take advantage of 0% APR on purchases. Additionally, new cardholders can take advantage of 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months.
What’s great about this card is that it offers all these features without an annual fee. To learn more about the details of this card, keep reading the sections below.
Earning points with the BMW Card is fairly straightforward. Yes, there are tiers. However, they are pretty easy to remember:
- 4 points per $1 spent on BMW purchases
- 3 points per $1 spent on gas
- 2 points per $1 spent on dining
- 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
Now, where things get a little more complicated are where merchant categories are concerned. You see, you don’t earn points on the type of item you purchased but rather the place where you purchased the item from.
For example, you will not earn 4X points if you buy a pre-owned BMW at Carmax or through a private dealer. You must make the purchase at a licensed BMW retailer. Similarly, your gas and dining purchases must be at gas stations and restaurants, respectively, in order to qualify for extra points.
This means that you may not earn 3X points when you purchase gas at a supermarket pump. Additionally, buying a meal at a supermarket may not earn you 2X points, either.
There are other limitations to earning points, too. As with most rewards cards, you won’t earn points on balance transfers and cash advances. Additionally, this card includes restrictions on earning points for gambling purchases, including the purchase of lottery tickets.
Moreover, Elan Financial may take away points if it believes you are “abusing” your credit card. This may include excessive gas purchases, for instance.
There are some benefits to this points structure, however. When it comes to BMW purchases, you’re not restricted to just earning 5X points on auto purchases. You can earn those points when you pay for parts, service, maintenance, or accessories.
What’s more, new cardholders can earn 5,000 bonus points when they sign up. All they have to do is spend $500 within the first 90 days after signing up.
There aren’t really any caps on how many points you can earn with the BMW Card. However, your points do expire roughly five years after you’ve earned them. To be exact, they expire at 11 PM at the end of the calendar quarter five years from the quarter in which you earned the points.
This may sound overly complicated. However, it does potentially give you some extra time to use your points. For instance, say you earned 1,000 points in January of 2021. With a regular five-year expiration, your points will expire in January of 2025. However, with the BMW Card, you’ll have a few extra months to use your points.
You can redeem your points for BMW purchases or through the rewards catalog on MyBMWCreditCard.com. However, Redeeming your points for BMW purchases increases the value of your points by 25%. The BMW site actually has a tool through which you can calculate how many points you’ll earn when you spend a certain dollar amount and what those points will earn you.
What’s great about redeeming points with the BMW card is that you can use your points for any type of purchase at a BMW dealership and even online. This not only includes auto purchases and leases but also service, parts, and accessories.
The downside of the BMW card, though, is that applicants can’t find out what’s available on the rewards catalog. That’s because you cannot access the catalog until you actually sign up for the card. This feature is becoming increasingly popular with many rewards cards, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
0% APR on Purchases
One of the star features of the BMW card is its introductory 0% interest promotion on purchases. For 12 months from the date of signing up for this card you can take advantage of zero interest on your purchases for 12 months.
As opposed to some other auto rewards cards, this promotion isn’t limited to just auto purchases. You can use the APR promotion on any type of purchase you wish. What’s more, you’ll still be earning points on your purchases.
Now, because the promotional period begins on your sign up date you should have an idea of what you want to purchase before you sign up for this card. This is so that you can maximize the time you have to pay off your balance without paying interest.
A great use for this promotion is to pay the down payment of a new BMW purchase or lease. Even if it’s a small portion of the sale, price, that’s still more money that you will save on financing your vehicle (if you choose to go that route). Additionally, you’ll have 12 months to pay off that down payment. In the end, this card can save you money on your new car.
0% APR on Balance Transfers
The BMW card features a similar deal on balance transfers. For 12 months, cardholders can take advantage of 0% APR on balance transfers. What’s great about this deal is that the 12-month period begins on the date that you transfer a balance.
However, you must transfer a balance within 30 days of signing up for the BMW card to take advantage of this offer. This gives you a little bit of time to decide how you’re going to take advantage of this deal. But it’s not a lot. In fact, many balance transfer credit cards offer new cardholders a 90-day period to transfer a balance.
Nevertheless, this balance transfer feature of this card can be a big financial aid to many consumers. If you have a large balance on a high-interest credit card, you can transfer some or all of that to your new BMW Visa and pay it off without interest. You can even close out some old account you no longer use.
Just remember that 0% APR doesn’t necessarily mean free. You are still responsible for paying a balance transfer fee with this credit card. For a $1,000 transfer, this can come out to $300.
Should You Apply for the BMW Card?
As far as auto rewards cards go, the BMW Mastercard® may be a slight step above the rest. This may be due in part to the issuer, Elan Financial. Many other auto cards feature another credit card issuer, like Synchrony.
The APR range for this credit card is very reasonable. The lower end of the spectrum actually competes with some non-rewards cards. However, these lower APRs will only apply to applicants with excellent credit ratings.
If you own a BMW, this card can be a great asset to have. You can earn points almost anywhere and use them to pay for maintenance or repairs. As well, you can use your points to upgrade your vehicle.