Everyone knows that buying a car brand new isn’t cheap. Add onto this repairs and maintenance, and you’ve got yourself a stack of bills quickly piling up.
Any help you can get when purchasing your next car can go a long way. The following credit cards can help you earn points towards the lease and purchase of your new vehicle. They can also assist with paying for new parts, service, and accessories at participating auto dealerships.
Let’s take a look at the best auto rewards credit cards currently available in the industry.
1. GM Flexible Earnings Credit Card
One of the best features of this auto credit card is that it allows you to earn a generous 3% rebate on all of your purchases, not just transactions that take place at the dealership.
These rebates can be put directly towards the lease or purchase of a new GM vehicle. However, if you change your mind further down the track and decide you don’t want to buy a GM car, this credit card gives you the option of redeeming your accumulated points for cash. Keep in mind, however, that your reward will be reduced to 1% and you’ll need to earn a minimum of $100 in rewards before you are eligible to redeem them.
There isn’t a limit on the number of rewards you can earn in a given year. Plus, rewards dollars themselves don’t expire for seven years.
On the flip side, there are limits to the number of rewards you can redeem, which varies depending on the make and model of the GM vehicle that you’re interested in. While all GM brands are available under this scheme – which includes Cadillac – not every model qualifies, so be sure to check this when signing up.
2. Toyota Rewards Visa
With this Toyota Rewards credit card, you can earn up to five points for every dollar spent at Toyota dealerships. For every other purchase you make on the card, you receive one point per dollar.
Each point is worth a penny, which means that you need to earn 10,000 points for $100.
Your accumulated points can be redeemed for parts, service, and accessories at Toyota dealerships, rentals at rent a car Toyota, and the lease or purchase of a certified used or new Toyota.
You have the freedom to redeem as many points as you like. However, the number of points you earn does have a maximum. You’re only allowed to earn up to 200,000 points per year when you purchase at participating Toyota dealerships, and a maximum of 5,000 points outside of these dealerships.
One of the best features of this auto rewards credit card is that you can use it to help a family member or friend purchase their new car. All you need to do is be present at the transaction. If your points lie unused, they will expire after five years – and this applies in both programs.
3. BMW Platinum Visa
While BMW’s auto rewards credit card may not be as good as some of the others here, it’s still a firm favorite in the auto rewards card industry.
With the BMW visa, you earn one point for every two dollars spent on purchases and double points for money spent on gasoline. Each point is worth a penny, which means that you earn 0.5% on everyday purchases, excluding gas.
You can redeem your earned points up to $5,000 for a loan or a lease, add miles to your existing lease or pay for the excess user and wear charges. You can also use them to pay for parts and service.
With the BMW visa, there is an alternative travel rewards program that allows you to earn a point for every dollar spent or twice as much that's obtained through the regular program. However, there's one slight drawback to this – a $50 annual fee.
However, the card itself has exceptionally low-interest rates – as low as 7.24%. Keep in mind, though, that you'll need excellent credit to qualify for it.
4. Chrysler Mastercard
With the Chrysler Mastercard, you can earn a generous three points per dollar spent at participating Chrysler dealerships. You can also receive two points for every dollar spent on travel purchases, as well as one point per dollar with all other spending.
One of the best features of this credit card is that there's no limit to the points that you can earn. One of the only problems, however, is that they don't spell out exactly what qualifies as a purchase when you use this card as Chrysler dealerships.
An example of this is if you purchase a new Chrysler vehicle and use this credit card to pay for all or part of it, it’s not clear how many points you’ll earn.
On the bright side, you can use your points to purchases new tires, as well as get discounts on parts and service. You can also use your points for an oil change, or to lease or purchase a new Chrysler or Fiat automobile. You also have the freedom to redeem your points earned for cash back and gift cards.
5. Lexus Pursuits Platinum Visa
The basic rewards system on this card is better than other credit cards on this list. You can earn up to five points per dollar when you’re using the card at a Lexus dealership, as well as 1.5 points per dollar on every other purchase you make. Your points can be redeemed for parts, accessories and service at participating Lexus dealerships and new – but not second-hand – vehicles. However, you can only redeem points to cover up to 10% of the total cost of the car.
If you use the Pursuits Platinum Visa to pay for all or a portion of a brand new car, the number of points you can earn is capped at 50,000. This is only applicable to single purchases. Outside of the Lexus dealership, you can earn up to 7,500 points every month.
With this auto rewards card, points are not transferable. This means that you can’t help out a friend or family member with their new car purchase. Like BMW, Lexus offers an alternative travel rewards program that will cost you $60 per year.
While these auto rewards credit cards aren’t perfect, they certainly have their advantages.
At the end of the day, you have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide which auto rewards card fits your situation best. Because these are the best auto rewards credit cards in the industry, you’ll be in good hands whatever you end up deciding.