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The BuyPower Business Card from Capital One is a no-annual-fee business credit card with a powerful rewards program whose currency (expressed as cash back and always worth $0.01 per point) can be redeemed to offset the cost of new GM vehicle purchases (and only to offset the cost of new GM vehicle purchases). It has no earning limits in any category, and its rewards never expire. BuyPower Business’s earning power is impressive: 5% back on parts, service, and accessory purchases made with authorized GM dealers, and 3% back on common business spending categories such as gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores.
Prospective cardholders should view BuyPower Business as a discount card, not as a traditional cash back credit card. Basically, it’s a great way for GM-driving business owners to turn purchases they’d make anyway into discounts on future vehicle purchases. BuyPower Business cardholders can redeem their rewards for car purchases with any current GM brand: Buick, Cadillac, GMC, or Chevrolet.
To be clear: BuyPower Business does not permit hard cash back or merchandise redemptions. There’s also no early spend bonus to juice rewards out of the gate. Unless you’re in the market for a new GM vehicle, or expect to be at some point in the future, there are better options out there.
This card earns 5% back on purchases of parts, service, and accessories made at authorized GM dealers. It earns 3% back on purchases made at gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants. All other purchases earn 1% back. There are no spending or earning caps or restrictions on any spending categories, and earned cash back never expires.
You can redeem your accumulated cash back rewards in any amount, at any time, toward the purchase of a new GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, or GMC) vehicle, excepting fleet vehicles purchased for business use and vehicles purchased at auction for business or personal use. Given the substantial cost of a new car, it makes financial sense to stockpile as much rewards currency as possible before redeeming.
To redeem your rewards, simply head to a GM dealership, choose your car, and initiate the car-buying process as normal. You don’t need to reveal that you’re using BuyPower rewards to purchase your selected vehicle, and doing so could actually hurt you during price negotiations.
Once negotiations are complete and you’ve worked out a price with the dealer, you can apply your rewards as a discount to the entire purchase price (which would lower your monthly payments, assuming you’re financing) or an offset to the required down payment.
Though BuyPower rewards can be combined with most dealer discounts and incentives, they can’t be used in combination with GM employee incentive programs on vehicles purchased for business use (personal use is fine). They also can’t be used to buy pre-owned vehicles.
This card has a 12-month 0% purchase APR promotion. There’s no balance transfer APR promotion.
There is no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or balance transfer fee. The cash advance fee is the greater of $10 or 3% of the advanced amount, while late and returned payments both cost $35. There are no fees for additional cards (employee cards) linked to the same account.
The BuyPower Business Card comes with a host of benefits and perks underwritten by MasterCard. These include:
- Complimentary loss and damage insurance for car rentals charged in full to the card
- 24/7 concierge service for travel and event booking
- 24/7 travel assistance services
- Purchase assurance, which reimburses loss or damage to covered items for 90 days from purchase
Separately, you can track employee spending and set or adjust credit limits for employee cards from within your account.
This card requires good to excellent credit.
- No Annual Fee. This card has no annual fee, which is great news for cardholders who don’t spend heavily enough to justify a recurring fee, as well as for those who wish to maximize the value of this card’s rewards.
- Respectable Rewards Earning Rate. The BuyPower Business Card earns 5% cash back on GM parts, service, and accessory purchases at authorized GM dealers; 3% cash back at gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores; and 1% cash back on everything else. The 5% category is great for business owners who drive GM vehicles, particularly fleet owners with lots of vehicles in their arsenal. The 3% categories are nice for business owners in general, and are really great for business owners who frequently drive and woo clients. Compared with other cards that offer discounts or cash back on purchases of specific items or with specific merchants (such as the Sony PlayStation Card from Capital One), unlimited 5% and 3% category earnings can be generous. The Sony PlayStation Card earns up to 10 points per $1 spent (on PlayStation Store purchases only), but most purchases earn at less than half that rate; furthermore, the card’s reward currency generally has a lower redemption value than that of the BuyPower Business Card, so its overall earning power isn’t as impressive.
- Rewards Can Be Combined With Other GM Offers. The BuyPower Business Card lets you combine your rewards with most dealer incentives and discounts, aside from fleet purchases and certain other deep discounts. This is great for cardholders who want to magnify the power of traditional automotive deals, such as holiday sales and model year-end clearances.
- 12-Month 0% Purchase APR Promotion. The BuyPower Business Card has a 12-month 0% intro purchase APR promotion. This is useful for new cardholders looking to finance large purchases – including, perhaps, new vehicles – without immediately incurring interest charges. Notably, this 12-month period is 3 months longer than most other Capital One cards’, whose purchase APR promotions last 9 months.
- No Balance Transfer Fee. This card has no balance transfer fee, which is great news if you’re planning to transfer high-interest balances from existing credit card accounts. Most competing cards charge 3% to 5% ($5 to $10 minimum) for balance transfers.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. BuyPower Business also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. If business regularly takes you outside the U.S., this is a welcome benefit. Many fellow business cards charge 2% to 3% for transactions made outside the United States. In some cases, retailer-specific discount cards (such as Target REDcard) aren’t accepted outside the U.S. at all.
- Rewards Can Only Be Redeemed for GM Cars. The BuyPower Business Card’s biggest and most obvious drawback is its restrictive redemption rules. You can only redeem your rewards to offset the cost of a new GM vehicle. Cash and cash equivalents, such as gift cards, are off the table, as are travel and general merchandise redemptions. Many competing business cards allow you to redeem your rewards for straight cash, which is the most versatile redemption option of all. In fact, it’s not even fair to compare BuyPower Business directly to most traditional business credit cards, given its super-restrictive rewards program. To see any real benefit from this card, you need to be willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new car.
- Can’t Redeem for Used or Fleet Vehicles. This card has another key restriction for frugal business owners who don’t want to feel pressured into buying new vehicles: cash back can’t be redeemed for pre-owned, used lot, or fleet vehicles, all of which are cheaper than new vehicles purchased on retail lots. This restriction further reduces BuyPower Business’s usefulness for anyone other than buyers of new GM vehicles.
- No Balance Transfer Promotion. BuyPower Business doesn’t have an introductory balance transfer promotion to complement its 0% APR purchase offer. That makes the lack of a balance transfer fee less attractive than it would be with such a promotion.
- Charges Penalty Interest. BuyPower Business charges penalty interest north of 25% APR – a substantial drawback for cardholders who occasionally miss payments due to liquidity problems or seasonal declines in business.
- No Early Spend Bonus. BuyPower Business lacks an early spend bonus, depriving new cardholders of a crucial incentive to start spending heavily (and earning rewards) right out of the gate. The discount card niche isn’t really known for super generous early spend bonuses – but general business rewards credit cards are. If an early spend bonus is more important to you than a potentially hefty discount on your next GM vehicle, opt for traditional business cards in the Chase Ink or Capital One Spark families. Both have members whose bonuses can exceed $500 in cash value.
The BuyPower Business Card from Capital One isn’t for everyone. If you don’t own a business or prefer another vehicle brand over GM, plenty of other cards belong in your wallet.
However, BuyPower Business is potentially attractive for a certain type of business owner. If you own a fleet of GM vehicles that collectively require thousands of dollars in annual parts and service, and possibly tens of thousands of dollars in gas, this card’s 5% and 3% categories will reward you handsomely. And, if you dine out for business frequently and hit the office supply store often, you’ll make out even better.
Though you can’t use BuyPower rewards on fleet vehicles, nothing is stopping you from using your annual earnings – which, if you meet the profile described here, can easily amount to four figures annually – to dramatically reduce the cost of your next personal Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, or GMC ride.
Don’t forget to check out our other credit card reviews for more options, many of which boast flexible terms, low interest rates, and great rewards.