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 GM has many popular cars such as the 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.
Generous ongoing rewards rate
Promotional 0% interest rate on purchases
Limited redemption options
Some redemptions are capped
- 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.
- 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 purchases of accessories and maintenance—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.
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 non-vehicle purchases 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 redeem these points and your card rewards together for bigger discounts.
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.
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
J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study gave Capital One, who issues the GM BuyPower Card, a slightly below average score and a fifth place ranking 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.
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.