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In 2021, General Motors shifted its credit card business from Capital One to Goldman Sachs. The BuyPower Card from Capital One® stopped accepting applications, and a new GM-branded is said to be on the way.
Car ownership can take a significant bite out of your household budget, especially if you have a long commute. But the BuyPower Card from Capital One® earns rewards that can lower not just the cost of buying or leasing a new car, but also the cost of maintaining it.
Unlike typical cash-back cards, however, you can’t redeem your rewards to offset any expense. You must apply rewards toward qualified car-related costs for GM vehicles only. If you don’t drive a GM or plan to buy or lease one soon, leave the BuyPower Card from Capital One® in the rearview mirror. If you're loyal to GM, on the other hand, you may find this card to be a suitable passenger.
Here are five things to know about the BuyPower Card from Capital One®.
1. The rewards rate is high …
You’ll earn 5% back on up to $5,000 in spending each year (not just in the first year), and then an unlimited 2% back after that. Any purchase earns that rewards rate, meaning you won’t need to keep track of where to use this card. Rewards don’t expire so long as your card account is open. Combine that with the $0 annual fee, and you’ve got a card that’s inexpensive to hold on to for years to come.
2. … But redemption options are solely car-focused
The list of options for redeeming your rewards is short and highly specific:
Redeem toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. There’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can cash in for this purpose.
Redeem up to $250 worth of statement credits per calendar year on car maintenance and GM extras, within 90 days of making the purchase. This includes scheduled maintenance or car accessory purchases at GM dealerships, SiriusXM subscriptions and the purchase of most OnStar or Connected Services plans.
3. You can combine redemptions with GM offers and rewards
The BuyPower Card from Capital One® doesn’t make you choose a discount or a reward redemption. There are several ways to combine rewards with other offers so you can save even more. When using your rewards to offset the cost of buying or leasing a car, you apply that redemption after you negotiate on the car price or take advantage of any offers or incentives, so it’s like a discount on top of a discount.
You can also combine your rewards earned through the BuyPower Card from Capital One® with your earnings from the separate "My GM Rewards" program when buying or leasing a new GM car. The program allows you to earn points when you get your car repaired at a GM dealership or buy OnStar or Connected Services plans. If you become a My GM Rewards Member before getting the BuyPower Card from Capital One®, you’ll earn 5,000 My GM Rewards points when your credit card application is approved.
Unfortunately, if you live in Illinois or Oregon, you can’t combine rewards from these two sources.
4. You’ll enjoy an introductory 0% APR period
Pay an intro 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months. After that, a variable ongoing APR will apply. That gives you a long interest-free time horizon if you’re planning to use your card to finance a major car repair or pay for part of a car purchase.
5. Steer clear of late payments
Not only will late payments result in a fee of up to $38, but your interest rate may skyrocket to a penalty APR of higher than 30% Variable APR. If you make a late payment during the 0% APR introductory period, the issuer may end that promotion and charge you the penalty APR on the remaining balance. The fine print doesn’t specify how long you’ll be subject to that higher interest rate, either — the issuer promises to simply review your account “periodically” to see if you’re eligible for a rate decrease.