The choice between buying a new car or used car often comes down to price. New cars tend to have more bells and whistles than used cars, and they may be safer to boot. But they’re also more expensive — sometimes much more.
Affording a car can be tough if you don’t have help. If you’re a General Motors loyalist, or ready to consider becoming one, that help is just a credit card application away.
That’s thanks to the My GM Rewards Card, a Goldman Sachs-backed Mastercard rewards credit card that earns points on every purchase. You can redeem your rewards for a variety of purchases within the General Motors ecosystem, including a brand-new — or certified pre-owned — GM vehicle.
Key Features of the My GM Rewards Card
The My GM Rewards Card is a lot like other rewards credit cards, albeit with some notable deviations from the standard lineup of perks and features.
For a limited time, get 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first three months after account opening.
The My GM Rewards Card has a two-tiered rewards program:
- Earn 7x points total per $1 spent on eligible purchases at GM
- Earn 4x points total per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
There are no caps on how many rewards points you can earn. Points don’t expire as long as your card account remains open and in good standing.
You can redeem your accumulated points in several different ways.
Your best option is to redeem unlimited points toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle, which typically results in a redemption value of $0.01 per point. You can’t redeem in conjunction with GM Fleet vehicle incentive programs, the GM Employee Discount Program, GM Company-Owned Vehicle Discount, GM Supplier Discount Program, and certain other incentive programs. Other exclusions may apply as well.
If you don’t want to redeem toward a new GM vehicle, you can:
- Redeem up to $1,000 in points per calendar year toward eligible Certified Pre-Owned GM vehicles at a redemption value of $0.01 per point
- Redeem up to 100,000 points for $250 in gift cards per calendar year, for a redemption value of $0.0025 per point
- Redeem up to $250 of points per calendar year toward qualifying GM purchases, such as dealer service, parts, and accessories as well as eligible GM subscription services and connected services plans — at variable redemption values
Annual Fuel and EV Statement Credits
Each year you remain a cardholder in good standing, you can get a $100 statement credit once you spend at least $1,500 in eligible fuel purchases on your card at eligible gas stations in a calendar year.
Alternatively, if you drive an electric vehicle, you can get a $100 statement credit for using your My GM Rewards Card to pay at least six electric bills from January 2022 through December 2022. To qualify, transactions must post by Dec. 31, 2022.
In both cases, you must verify your account and activate the promotion through mygmrewards.com.
Introductory APR Offer
This card has a 12-month, 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases. Thereafter, regular variable APR applies.
There’s currently no corresponding promotion for balance transfers.
Vehicle Detailing Discount
You’ll receive a $50 allowance per calendar year toward vehicle detailing services at any participating GM dealer. The dealer applies this allowance at the time of service with no activation required on your part.
Custom Card Design
Choose from one of five card design options, each sporting the name and logo of a different GM brand: Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and GM itself.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. Late and returned payment fees of up to $40 may apply.
The My GM Rewards Card requires good credit.
Advantages of the My GM Rewards Card
The My GM Rewards Card is an excellent rewards credit card for GM fans and people thinking about joining the GM family. Its key advantages include relatively low fees, generous rewards, and a 0% APR introductory promotion.
- No Annual Fee. The My GM Rewards Card has no annual fee. That’s great news if you prefer not to pay an annual charge for the privilege of keeping your card around.
- Earn 7x Points Total Per $1 Spent at GM. This card has one of the best earning rates of any rewards credit card — 7x points total per $1 spent at GM, which works out to a 7% rate of return when redeemed for eligible GM purchases.
- Earn 4x Points Total Per $1 Spent Everywhere Else. This card’s baseline rewards rate is effectively 4% when you redeem points for eligible GM purchases. Again, that’s one of the best returns on spending in the rewards credit card business.
- Solid Annual Fuel and EV Credit. Whether you drive a gas-powered or electric vehicle, you can count on a $100 statement credit against your fuel costs if you complete qualifying activities. That’s a nice break when gas prices and electricity costs are high.
- No Point-Earning Caps or Expiration. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, your earned points won’t expire. And you never have to worry about earning caps, which isn’t always the case in the no-annual-fee rewards credit card category.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. The My GM Rewards Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. That’s great news if you regularly travel abroad or spend money with international vendors.
Disadvantages of the My GM Rewards Card
The My GM Rewards Card does have some downsides, including poor redemption value for gift cards, limits on certain GM redemption options, and no 0% APR balance transfer promotion.
- Poor Redemption Value for Gift Cards. If you’re not ready to buy a new or used GM vehicle, you can redeem up to 100,000 points per year on gift cards. Which sounds like a great deal until you learn about the redemption value on this option — $0.0025, or 75% less than the redemption value on a new or used vehicle.
- Limits on Certain GM Redemption Options. You can redeem any amount of points toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle. But for other GM redemption options, including used vehicles and dealership parts and service, you’re capped at redeeming 100,000 points per year.
- No Balance Transfer Promotion. The 0% APR introductory purchase promotion is nice, but it’s missing a companion: a 0% APR introductory balance transfer promotion. This is bad news if you’re grappling with high-interest credit card debt and need a break.
How the My GM Rewards Card Stacks Up
The My GM Rewards Card can help you buy your next GM vehicle. But how does it stack up against other rewards credit cards?
Let’s take a look at the My GM Rewards Card against another popular card with a tiered cash-back rewards program: the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.
|My GM Rewards Card||Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express|
|Welcome Offer||Get 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first three months||Earn $300 back after you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first six months|
|Max Rewards Rate||Up to 7x points total per $1 spent at GM||6% cash back on select purchases|
|0% APR Promotion||0% intro purchase APR for the first 12 months, then variable regular APR applies||0% for 12 months on purchases, then variable regular APR applies|
|Annual Fee||$0||$0 the first year, then $95 thereafter|
Whether you’re buying new or used, you can’t finance 100% of your vehicle’s purchase. You need some skin in the game: a down payment.
Said skin in the game is much easier to come up with when you have a potent rewards credit card to help you out. On this point, few credit cards are better than the My GM Rewards Card, which earns points on every eligible purchase that you can redeem toward eligible GM products and services, including new and used vehicles.
The My GM Rewards Card isn’t perfect, and has enough limitations that you’ll want to think twice about applying if you’re not in the market for a GM vehicle in the next few years. But it’s absolutely great for what it is: a way to reduce the cost of car ownership now and in the future.