[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
It’s an exciting time to be a car buyer as many new vehicles are equipped with amazing features to enhance both safety and efficiency. At the same time, a new generation of muscle cars have reached unprecedented levels of performance.
One way to get yourself into a new car and pay for its maintenance is through a rewards credit card offered by your car’s manufacturer. In fact, many of the leading car manufacturers now offer either a charge card or a credit card.
If you have a particular car in mind, you may want to see if there’s a card specifically tailored to that brand. To give you an idea of what’s out there, here are six credit cards from car makers that can help you get behind the wheel.
1. The BuyPower Card From General Motors & Capital One
This card offers 5% earnings on a cardholder’s first $5,000 spent each year and 2% unlimited earnings after that. Earnings don’t expire and can be applied toward a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. This card also offers new applicants 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases for 12 months. Finally, this card is part of the World Elite MasterCard program, which offers numerous discounts on shopping, entertainment and travel. There is no annual fee for this card.
2. The Ford Service Credit Card
This is a store charge card that can be used to finance service, parts, accessories and other products sold by dealers. Nevertheless, this card cannot be used to finance a vehicle purchase and is not part of a larger payment network. Customers can finance their purchase for either six or 12 months and special financing for six months is available on purchases of $199 or and for 12 months on purchases of $499 or more. Interest is charged if the balance is not paid in full by the end of the promotional financing period. In addition, customers receive a $25 prepaid card when they spend $250 or or more on their Ford Service Credit Card. There is no annual fee for this card.
3. Lexus Pursuits Visa
Cardholders earn five points per dollar spent at participating Lexus dealerships, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else that Visa is accepted. Points can then be redeemed towards the purchase parts, service or accessories at a Lexus dealership, or up to 10% of the price of the purchase or lease of a new Lexus. There is no annual fee for this card.
4. & 5. The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card & the Platinum Card From American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
This German automaker offers two credit cards from American Express. The first card offers 5x points for Mercedes-Benz purchases, 3x points for purchases from U.S. gas stations, 2x points at restaurants and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Each year that you charge at least $5,000 to your card, you get a $500 certificate that can be used for the purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Cardholders also receive 1,000 excess miles waived at the end of their lease, and a $50 certificate toward Mercedes-Benz accessories each year when they renew their card. There is a $95 annual fee for this card.
The Mercedes-Benz Platinum card offers all of the regular features of the Amex Platinum card, including airport business lounge access, a $200 annual airline fee credit, as well as numerous travel insurance and shopping protection policies. In addition, cardholders also receive 2,000 excess miles on their lease and a $100 certificate for Mercedes-Benz Accessories when they renew their card. There is a $475 annual fee for this card.
6. Mopar Rewards MasterCard
Mopar is the parts, service and customer care organization for the Chrysler family of vehicles. Its credit card offers three points per dollar spent at Chrysler group dealerships on parts, repairs, maintenance and accessories. On qualifying travel purchases you get 2x points, and one point per dollar spent everywhere else. Points are valid for seven years before they expire and can be used for any parts, service or vehicle purchase. In fact, you can use an unlimited number of points to pay for your entire new car purchase. Finally, new applicants receive six months of 0% APR financing on new purchases, and there is no annual fee for this card.
When it comes to rewards credit cards, the best way to maximize your rewards is to not carry a balance on the cards if you’re going to incur a finance charge. However, if you do carry a balance on your credit card, you can use this free calculator to see how long it will take you to pay it off. Finally, before you apply for any credit card, it can be helpful to know what your credit score is so that you target your search to cards that cater to your credit standing. You can get your credit scores for free from many sources — including Credit.com, where you can see two of your credit scores for free every 30 days.
At publishing time, the BuyPower card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
More on Credit Cards:
- 6 Smart Credit Card Strategies
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit
- Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt