Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson offers branded credit cards through U.S. Bank. Whether you should get one depends on how good your credit is and just how much you love the big bikes with the engines that go potato-potato-potato.
Here are five things to know about Harley-Davidson credit cards.
1. There are three Harley cards, and you can apply for two of them.
For people whose credit is in decent shape, there's the Harley-Davidson® Visa® Credit Card. Apply for this card, and you may be approved for one of two products, depending on how good your credit is. The bummer here is that you won't know which one you'll get till you apply:
Harley-Davidson Visa Signature Card. The better your credit, the more likely you'll get this one. As far as Harley-Davidson credit cards go, it's a sweet little number.
Harley-Davidson High Performance Card. Don't let the name fool you. The performance of this baby is subpar, with lesser rewards and fewer perks than the Visa Signature. Instead of potato-potato-potato, it goes tater-tot-tater-tot-tater-tot.
There's a separate option for people with bad credit, and you can apply for this one directly:
Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card. With a secured card, you put down a cash deposit, which the issuer holds as collateral in case you don't pay your bill. The amount of your deposit matches your credit limit. Using a secured card regularly and responsibly is one of the best (and quickest) ways to build or rebuild credit. (NerdWallet rating: 3.5 / 5.)
All of these cards have no annual fee.
2. The rewards get you Harley gear. That's it.
On all three cards, you earn 1 H-D Genuine Rewards point per dollar spent. With the top-shelf Harley-Davidson Visa Signature Card, though, you also get 3 points per dollar spent at Harley dealerships, the online H-D store and the H-D Museum; and 2 points per dollar at gas stations, bars, restaurants and hotels. (You don't often see "bars" called out as a specific bonus category on a card, but the H-D card caters to a different crowd.)
Every time you accumulate 2,500 points, you get a $25 H-D gift card redeemable at Harley dealerships or the Harley-Davidson online store. That makes the points worth a penny apiece, which is the industry standard. If you're hardcore H-D, maybe the rewards are priceless. If not, maybe they're worthless. But they're yours!
3. Good credit? You have better options
Even if you're 100% Harley from chin to chaps, if you have good credit, you'd probably earn a greater rewards rate overall with a flat-rate cash-back credit card that pays 2% or even 1.5% on everything you buy. You could still use those rewards to buy Harley stuff (and more of it) — but you'd also have the option of using the money for something crazy like food or public transportation.
4. Bad credit? The secured card is a decent option
Unlike a lot of secured credit cards, the Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card has an annual fee of $0, which means it doesn't cost you anything to carry it. You do have to put down a deposit, though. The minimum is $300 and the maximum is $5,000. You get that money back when you close your account in good standing. This is standard with secured cards: Get the card, build credit, move on.
The terms on this secured card make it a totally OK option even for non-Harley fans with bad credit. You'll earn H-D Genuine Rewards points, which might not be of any use to you, but hey, maybe you can put your gift card on Craigslist or give it to your old lady or old man.
5. The cards toss in a few extra perks
Through the end of 2020, every time you use a Harley-Davidson credit card, you get an entry into the "Harley Davidson Visa Free Ride Sweepstakes." The prizes include new motorcycles. Vroom vroom!
Other benefits depend on which card you have. The Visa Signature has the most benefits, including travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and extended warranty coverage. The secured card has the fewest benefits. The High Performance card is in the middle. All cards include auto rental coverage and emergency card replacement.
Best we can tell, there is no coverage for damage incurred when you and your buddies have your motorbikes lined up outside a bar (2 points per dollar!) and a hapless dude bumps into one of them and they all fall down like dominoes. Unless Hollywood is lying to us, this happens all the time.