BMW Card Review

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The BMW Card, issued by Elan Financial Services, is a rewards card that provides extra perks and bonuses for BMW customers. Its rewards-earning rates are competitive, especially for BMW and gas purchases, and there’s no annual fee.

BMW Card

Overall Rating
3.3
BMW Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.24% - 24.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 4X points per $1 spent on eligible BMW purchases. 3X points per $1 spent on eligible gas station purchases, 2X points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant purchases, and 1 point on all other eligible purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.4
for Fees
3.2
for Rewards
2.9
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

5,000 bonus points after you spend $500 in net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Family Shopper Persona
    Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
    Family Shopper
  • Avatar for Trendsetter Persona
    Loves being the first to try something new See more cards
    Trendsetter
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    Brand Loyalist

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.

Pros
  • A rewards boost on BMW purchases

  • Redemption in non-BMW categories

Cons
  • Mediocre bonus for new cardholders

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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.

Redeeming Rewards

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 devices.

The BMW Card’s Other Features 

  • Discounts on Postmates deliveries

Customer Experience

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.

Security Features 

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.

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CURRENT CARD
BMW Card
overall rating
3.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.24% - 24.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 4X points per $1 spent on eligible BMW purchases. 3X points per $1 spent on eligible gas station purchases, 2X points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant purchases, and 1 point on all other eligible purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. BMW Credit Cards. "Precision Card Benefits." Accessed Aug. 27, 2020.

  2. BMW Credit Cards. "Card Benefits." Accessed Aug. 27, 2020.

  3. BMW Credit Cards. "Card Benefits." Accessed Aug. 27, 2020.

  4. BMW Credit Cards. "BMW World Mastercard Terms and Conditions." Accessed Aug. 27, 2020.