Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
Loves being the first to try something new See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
If your “bimmer” is your pride and joy, a branded BMW Card might make a good addition to your wallet because it provides a substantial rewards rate for BMW purchases, and your rewards points are worth the most when you redeem them with BMW.
If you’re not going to use the card for all of your BMW spend or take advantage of the points boost for BMW redemptions, then you’re probably better off with a general rewards card.
There is a higher-tier version of this card called the BMW Precision Card. It has an annual fee of $99 but offers slightly higher earnings on BMW purchases. Gas and dining rewards are the same as this card, but you’ll get 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases. If you do the type of spending that can easily out-earn the cost of the annual fee and want to go all-in on BMW rewards, you might consider going for the higher-level card.
A rewards boost on BMW purchases
Redemption in non-BMW categories
Mediocre bonus for new cardholders
- A rewards boost on BMW purchases: Get 25% more value when you redeem points for a BMW Rewards Card. Use your rewards for BMW service, accessories, costs at the end of your lease, and more.
- Redemption in non-BMW categories: Some auto-branded cards only let you redeem points at dealerships or car-related purchases. While the BMW Card incentivizes you to do just that because of the extra value, you still have flexibility as to how you want to use your points, from statement credits to gift cards and more.
- Mediocre bonus for new cardholders: The maximum value of the welcome bonus is $62.50. While that’s in line with other auto branded cards, you can do much better with a general rewards card, as much as $150 or $200.
BMW Card Bonus for New Cardholders
To get the card’s 5,000-point bonus, you’ll need to spend $500 within 90 days of account opening. The bonus is worth $50-$62.50 depending on how you use it, a valuation that’s similar to other auto-branded cards but lags behind cash-back cards that often provide bonuses worth up to $150.
Your 5,000 points will be credited to your account 6-8 weeks after the 90-day period.
Earning Points & Rewards
The BMW Card is a solid product that offers tiered earnings for different spending categories. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar on BMW purchases, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2 points per dollar at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Compared to other automaker-branded cards, it’s not the top-earning card across the board since—others offer 5 points per dollar for brand-related spending—but the 3 points on gas is higher than most.
To get an idea of earning potential, if your monthly spend is $200 at BMW dealerships, $300 on gas, $200 on dining out, and another $400 in miscellaneous categories, that spending will earn you 30,000 points for the year. Depending how you redeem them, we value those points between $300 and $375.
While there is no limit on how many points you can earn, don’t hoard them for too long. Points do expire at the end of the calendar quarter five years from the quarter in which they were earned. So, if you earn points in October 2020, they will expire on December 31, 2025.
Your best bet is to redeem your points for a BMW Rewards card since it will provide 25% more value than other options. For example, with 10,000 points, you can either get a $125 BMW Rewards Card or a $100 statement credit. You can use your BMW Rewards Card at participating BMW Centers to make a vehicle down payment, for service and repairs on your vehicle, or for car accessories. You can pay for additional lease miles, or for the expenses you may have at the end of a lease.
Other ways to redeem include statement credits, travel, gift cards, merchandise, magazines, and event tickets. Each of these options has a redemption value of 1 cent per point, which is the baseline for a good rewards card.
You can log into your rewards account or call a toll-free number to redeem your points.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
To maximize the rewards on the BMW Card, use your card to pay for any car-related expenses at BMW Centers, from maintenance and repairs to down payments on a new vehicle purchase. You can also get bonus points on gas and at restaurants, but check to see if other cards in your arsenal provide higher rates.
As with most cards that offer rewards, you’ll want to pay your balance in full each month, otherwise, you may end up paying more in finance charges than the value of the rewards you earn.
Consider pairing this card with a cash-back credit card that earns 1.5% (or even 2%) on all purchases, or one that gives higher rewards for groceries, travel, or other spending categories you tend to favor. That way, you could use the BMW Card for your car expenses and gas, and another card for other everyday purchases.
The BMW Card’s Excellent Perks
The BMW Card has one benefit that goes beyond what’s typically offered by co-branded rewards cards:
- Cell phone coverage: Cardholders get up to $1,000 of annual coverage for damage or theft on their mobile device.
The BMW Card’s Other Features
- Free Shoprunner membership
Customer service is available 24/7 to handle whatever issues or questions you have. You can manage your account and track rewards online or by using the BMW Family of Cards App on iOS or Android.
The BMW Card, because it’s a World Mastercard, includes Mastercard ID Theft Protection. This benefit monitors your social security number and alerts you should anything suspicious come up. Like most cards, it also offers zero liability protection and emergency card replacement if your card is lost or stolen.
BMW Card’s Fees
The BMW Card has no annual fee, but there is a foreign transaction fee of up to 3%, so it’s not ideal to use when traveling abroad.