The Best Auto Rewards Credit Cards
Nobody needs to tell you that new cars are expensive. So are maintenance and repairs. These credit cards can help you earn points toward the purchase or lease of a new vehicle or to pay for service, parts, and accessories at auto dealerships.
You earn a generous 3% rebate on all purchases, not just those at the dealership, that can be used toward the purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle.
But if you later change your mind and decide not to buy a GM vehicle, you have the option of redeeming your rewards for cash. If you opt for cash, your reward is reduced to 1%, and you must earn a minimum of $100 in rewards before you can redeem them.
There is no limit on the number of rewards you can earn in any given year, and rewards dollars don't expire for seven years.
There are limits on the number of rewards you can redeem, and they vary by the make and model vehicle you want. All GM brands are eligible, including Cadillac, although not every model qualifies.
You earn five points for every dollar you spend at Toyota dealerships, plus one point per dollar everywhere else. Points are worth a penny a piece, so 10,000 points are worth $100.
Points can be redeemed for service, parts, and accessories at Toyota dealerships, rentals at Toyota Rent a Car, and the purchase or lease of a new or "certified used" Toyota.
You can redeem as many points as you like, but the number of points you can earn is capped: Up to 200,000 points per year on purchases made at participating Toyota dealers and up to 5,000 points outside the dealership.
You can also help a family member or friend buy a new car; you just have to be present at the transaction. Unused points expire after five years in both programs.
The basic rewards are better on this card than the Toyota card. You earn five points for every dollar you spend at a Lexus dealership, 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Points can be redeemed for service, parts, and accessories at Lexus dealerships and new - but not used - vehicles. You can redeem points only up to 10% of the price of the vehicle.
If you use the card to pay for all or a portion of a new car, the number of points you can earn is capped at 50,000 for any single purchase. Outside the dealership, you can earn up to 7,500 points per month.
Points are not transferable, so you can't use your points to help a family member or friend buy a new car. There is an optional travel rewards program that costs $60 a year.
You earn three points per dollar on qualifying purchases made at Chrysler Group dealerships. You also earn two points per dollar on qualifying travel purchases and one point per dollar on all other spending. There's no limit on the points you can earn.
The problem is that it’s not spelled out what exactly is meant by "qualifying." For example, it's not clear if you earn points if you use the card to buy a new Chrysler vehicle and pay for all or part of it with this card – thus racking up points toward your next vehicle.
You can use your points to buy new tires, discounts on service and parts, and oil changes, or to purchase or lease a new Chrysler or Fiat vehicle. You can also redeem them for gift cards and cash back.
BMW has a sterling reputation for making cars, but its credit card is underpowered.
You earn one point for every two dollars on purchases, double points on gasoline. Points work out to a penny apiece, so that means you earn only 0.5% on your everyday purchases, not counting gas.
You can redeem your points for up to $5,000 on a lease or loan, add miles to your lease or pay for excess wear and use charges. Or use them to pay for service and parts.
There is an optional travel rewards program where you earn a point for every dollar you spend or double the amount you earn with the regular program. However, there's a $50 annual fee. The card does have very low-interest rates: as low as 7.24%. So you’ll need exceptional credit to get it.