GM BuyPower Card Review

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The GMBuyPower card, issued by Capital One, lets fans of GM turn their everyday spending into rewards they can use  to pay for dealership services, accessories, and the purchase of a new or leased vehicle. With no annual fee, an introductory purchase APR offer, and a generous rewards rate, GM loyalists can get a lot of value out of this card.

BuyPower Card

Overall Rating
3.8
BuyPower 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 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year, then 2% unlimited Earnings on purchases after that.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.2
for Fees
3.4
for Rewards
3.2
for Credit
3.7

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 Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver

The GM BuyPower Credit Card was created for a very specific type of consumer: Someone who currently owns or is planning to purchase a new GM vehicle, has good to excellent credit, and doesn’t mind using rewards for vehicle purchases. Considering three GM cars are among the 10 most popular—Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and the Chevrolet Equinox—the card likely fits a number of people.

However, if you want more versatility for using your rewards, a cash-back or travel rewards card provides more options for reward redemptions.

Pros
  • Generous ongoing rewards rate

  • Promotional 0%  interest rate on purchases

Cons
  • Limited redemption options

  • Some redemptions are capped

Pros Explained

  • Generous ongoing rewards rate: You’ll earn 5% rewards cash (“Earnings”) on the first $5,000 in purchases every year, not just in the first year. That’s $250 in rewards if you can reach $5,000 in spending each year and you’ll continue earning unlimited 2% if you keep using your card. This ongoing higher rewards rate makes up for the lack of new cardholder bonus other auto rewards credit cards offer.
  • Promotional 0%  interest rate on purchases: For the first 12 billing cycles only, you can carry a balance from month to month without paying interest. You can make a big-ticket purchase to help boost you toward the $5,000 mark and conveniently pay it off over time with no additional cost—but only in the first year.

Cons Explained

  • Limited redemption options: You can use your rewards for GM-related purchases like cars, accessories and services. However, you can’t redeem your rewards for cash back, which makes this card’s value specific to GM owners only. 
  • Some redemptions are capped:The most flexible redemption option—a statement credit on certain dealership purchases—is capped at $250 annually . You’ll get more out of your rewards if you use them toward a vehicle purchase or lease, but it could take years to accumulate enough rewards to make a dent in the purchase price. With excellent credit, you can have your pick of credit cards with generous rewards and lucrative perks, with fewer restrictions.

Earning Points & Rewards

You earn 5% in rewards cash (“Earnings”) on the first $5,000 you spend every year. Five percent is generous for a rewards credit card, especially an auto rewards credit card. Some competing cards  have a 5% rewards rate, but only on dealership purchases.

After you hit the $5,000 cap, the rewards rate drops to 2% for all purchases. Even with the drop, the 2% flat rewards rate is better than most cash rewards and auto credit cards.

The clock starts ticking for your 5% rewards when you open your account and then restarts one year after that. Since your “Account Year” doesn’t follow the calendar year, setting a reminder in your phone or your calendar can help you track your spending and rewards.

Redeeming Rewards

GM gives you multiple redemption options for your Earnings, but all of them are related to dealership or auto-accessory purchases. You can apply your Earnings balance to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac new-car leases or purchases. Or, you can redeem your Earnings toward the purchase of in-dealership service, parts, and accessories. However, you can only redeem up to $250 toward these purchases as a statement credit each year.

Statement credits can also be used for GM Extras like SiriusXM subscriptions, and most OnStar and Connected Services plans.

You only have 90 days after a qualifying purchase to redeem Earnings for a statement credit, so be sure to make the redemption soon after your purchase.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

You’ll earn 5% rewards based on your account year, not your calendar year, so keeping up with your account opening date is important. The 5% earnings rate on the first $5,000 spent annually is too good to miss.

Compound your savings by combining your rewards with several other GM discounts, too. You can stack rewards you’ve earned on the GM BuyPower Card with eligible discounts, including the GM College Discount, GM Military Discount, GM First Responder Discount, or GM Educator Discount.

My GM Rewards

GM maintains another loyalty program called “My GM Rewards.” Through it  you can earn rewards points for dealership purchases: service, repairs, and, in some cases, OnStar and Sirius XM subscriptions. If you enroll in this program before you sign up for the BuyPower card, you can earn 5,000 bonus points. You can then combine those points with the points you earn with your BuyPower card.

Keep in mind, though, that the points you earn with My GM Rewards don’t have the same value as the rewards you earn with the BuyPower card even though you can combine them. For example, you can redeem 3,000 points for one month of GM Remote Access, which costs $14.99 per month. The cash value of My GM Rewards points is around 0.5 cents per point, which is half the 1 cent GM BuyPower Earnings are worth. (We consider 1 cent per point to be the benchmark of a good rewards redemption rate.)

You can’t combine your BuyPower rewards with the GM Employee or Supplier Discount, which includes employees of GM and eligible GM suppliers or business associates, and family members and friends sponsored by employees. Purchases and leases made in Oregon or Illinois aren’t eligible for combining with GM MyRewards.

GM BuyPower Card’s Excellent Perks  

Perks on credit cards are common, but editors at The Balance have determined some are more valuable than others. Three of this card’s features make our cut for an excellent perk:

  • Cellphone coverage: Covers up to $1,000 in claims for two claims a year ($800 max per claim) for stolen or damaged phones. Deductible is $50. You must pay your cellphone bill with your BuyPower card.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Provides reimbursement for you and your family if your trip is interrupted or canceled due to a covered event and tickets were purchased with your BuyPower Card.
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: Up to $1,500 of coverage per claim for lost checked luggage, with a limit of two claims per 12 months.

GM BuyPower Card’s Other Features 

  • Extended warranties
  • Free shipping through ShopRunner membership
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services

Customer Experience

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study gave Capital One, who issues the GM BuyPower Card, an About Average rating, placing third among 11 credit card issuers. There are no standout customer service features—cardholders can either complete an online form or call customer service directly to get account or rewards information.

Security Features 

The GM BuyPower Card comes with standard security features. One standout perk is its identity theft resolution services and wallet protection, which protects you in cases of identity theft by helping you notify credit bureaus and other assistance.

GM BuyPower Card’s Fees to Watch Out For

The GM BuyPower Card doesn’t come with a lot of fees—and none of them are out of line with industry standards.

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CURRENT CARD
BuyPower Card
overall rating
3.8
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 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year, then 2% unlimited Earnings on purchases after that.
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. Capital One. "BuyPower Card." Accessed June 10, 2020.

  2. Capital One. "FAQs." Accessed June 10, 2020.

  3. Capital One. "Capital One Application Terms." Page 2. Accessed June 10, 2020.

  4. My GM Rewards. "Redeem Points." Accessed June 10, 2020.

  5. Chevrolet. "Learn About My Vehicle." Accessed June 10, 2020.

  6. BuyPower Card. "World Elite Mastercard Benefits." Accessed June 10, 2020.

  7. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed June 10, 2020.