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
BMW drivers who live and breathe BMW will likely enjoy the BMW Precision World Elite Mastercard, issued by Elan Financial Services. The card offers its highest rewards rate on BMW purchases, gives you a redemption bonus when you use your points for BMW purchases and provides a yearly statement credit for BMW Center purchases.
The card may not be a good fit if your goal is to earn the most possible rewards you can with your everyday spending, or you want to earn rewards without paying an annual fee.
If you don’t want to pay an annual fee but like the idea of a BMW-branded card, there is an entry-level version of the card called the BMW Card. Earnings on BMW purchases are slightly lower at 4 points per dollar, but gas and dining rewards are the same. The big differentiator is that you’ll get 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, whereas the Precision card gives 1.5 points.
BMW redemptions have 25% more value
A strong earnings rate for all purchases
Annual dealership credit
Bonus for new cardholders is lackluster
High annual fee
- BMW redemptions have 25% more value: If you have 10,000 points, you can get a $100 statement credit or a $125 BMW Rewards Card you can use to pay for BMW service, accessories, end-of-lease costs, and more.
- A strong earnings rate for all purchases: It’s a rare find to have a tiered rewards card offer 1.5 points per dollar on non-bonus categories–especially for an auto credit card.
- Annual dealership credit: You’ll get an automatic statement credit up to $70 for purchases made at BMW, including BMW Centers and BMW Financial Services.
- Bonus for new cardholders is lackluster: The bonus is worth, at best, $93.75 when redeemed for BMW purchases; otherwise, the 7,500 points are worth $75. Most auto branded cards are just as stingy; you’re better off with a general rewards card as those bonuses are much more generous.
- High annual fee: The Precision card is the only auto-branded credit card to charge an annual fee.
BMW Precision Card Bonus for New Cardholders
The card offers a 7,500-point bonus if you can spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening an account. Your bonus is equivalent to $75 or $93.75 if redeemed for BMW purchases.
After the first three months, it will take about six to eight weeks for your 7,500 points to be credited to your account.
While the bonus is competitive among auto-branded cards, several cash-back rewards cards offer bonuses of up to $150 without an annual fee.
Earning Points & Rewards
The BMW Precision Card offers the following bonus earnings:
- 5 points per dollar on BMW purchases
- 3 points per dollar on gas
- 2 points per dollar at restaurants
- 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases
If you spend $3,600 at BMW centers for the year, $300 a month on gas, $300 a month on dining out, and another $500 for all other purchases, you’ll earn 45,000 points in a year. If you’re saving up for a down payment for your next BMW lease or purchase, building up your points for a while can really help (more on that later).
Compared to other automaker branded cards, the 5-points-per-dollar for brand-related purchases is standard. The rewards rate for gas purchases is excellent, as is the 1.5-points-per-dollar base rate.
There are no limits on how many points you can earn, but they only have about a five-year shelf life.
You can redeem your points for BMW purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. “BMW purchases” include the following scenarios at BMW Centers (dealerships):
- Part of a vehicle down payment
- Pay for repairs and vehicle maintenance
- Purchase accessories
- Purchase additional miles for a lease
- Pay for expenses incurred related to your lease
If you’re making a BMW purchase that isn’t related to your lease, you’ll need to convert your points into a BMW Rewards Card that you use to make your purchases. For lease-related points redemptions, BMW will convert your points into a cash value applied as a credit to your lease.
You have the option of redeeming your points the following way at a rate of 1 cent per point:
- Statement credit
- Gift cards
- Event tickets
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
BMW Precision cardholders can maximize this card by using it for all BMW Center spending since that’s the highest points category (and the first $70 will come back to you in statement credits). Use the card for gas purchases, too, since your other cards probably won’t offer better than 3 points per dollar. Then, aim to get that extra 25% value by redeeming your points for BMW rewards.
It also pays to make sure you spend $1,000 in the first three months to earn the sign-up offer for new cardholders, even if it isn’t all that much.
Finally, don’t forget to pay your balance in full each month. Carrying a balance could mean the finance charges you pay exceed the dollar value of the points you earn.
For other spending besides BMW and gas, see how the BMW Precision stacks up to other cards you may have so you can always get the most points possible. For example, you might be better off booking a flight with a travel rewards card if you have one, but otherwise, take advantage of the solid 1.5 points per dollar the BMW card offers for miscellaneous expenses like clothing and home goods.
The BMW Precision Card’s Excellent Perks
The BMW Precision Card has one benefit that The Balance editors deem “excellent”:
- Cell phone coverage: You can get up to $1,000 of annual coverage for damage or theft of your mobile devices.
The BMW Precision Card’s Other Features
- Get every sixth ride with Lyft for free (up to $10)
Lyft perks are valid only for purchases you make with your Precision card.
The BMW Precision Card offers 24/7 customer service. You can use the BMW Family of Cards App, available on Android and iOS devices to manage your account, too.
The BMW Precision card offers standard security measures, including identity monitoring, zero liability for fraudulent purchases, and emergency card replacement if your card is lost or stolen.
BMW Precision Card’s Fees
The BMW Precision Card has a $99 annual fee but no foreign transaction fee. You can avoid most other charges and fees by not missing payments.