The Nissan Visa Credit Card, issued by Synchrony Bank, may be worth considering for current or potential Nissan drivers. The $0-annual-fee card features a special financing promotion and offers generous rewards that can be earned and redeemed at Nissan dealerships.
However, the promotional financing comes with some caveats, and redeeming rewards on anything other than Nissan and Infiniti purchases won't give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Here are five things to know about the card.
1. You’ll earn bonus rewards on more than just Nissan purchases
The Nissan Visa Credit Card earns elevated rewards on Nissan-related purchases, as well as some everyday spending. Here’s what cardholders get:
5 points per $1 spent at Nissan and Infiniti dealerships.
5 points per $1 spent on gas purchases.
3 points per $1 spent on dining, including restaurants, cafes and eateries.
1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
It's worth noting that the card’s 5X earning rate for gas purchases is as competitive as some of the best gas rewards credit cards on the market.
2. Non-Nissan redemption is relatively unprofitable
Nissan points can be redeemed for purchases and for statement credit, but the value of your points will vary depending on what you choose to redeem them for.
Cardholders can redeem points toward Nissan or Infiniti purchases, including services; parts and accessories; and purchases or leases of new, certified pre-owned or used cars. Points redeemed this way will be worth 1 cent apiece, which is on par with the industry standard.
Points can also be redeemed for cash back in the form of a statement credit, which is the less lucrative option. Points are worth only half a cent each when redeemed this way. Plus, there’s a $300 limit on how much cash back you can earn per year.
Regardless of your redemption choice, points expire five years after they’re earned.
3. The card’s special financing offer comes with limitations
When you use your card to make $499 or more in qualifying purchases, you’ll be eligible for a 12-month special financing offer. This can give you some interest-free time to pay down a large Nissan purchase. But there's some fine print to be aware of:
The offer isn't automatic, meaning that cardholders will receive the financing deal only if they specifically request it at the time of purchase.
You won't earn the card’s ongoing rewards when you take advantage of the special financing offer.
Down payments aren't eligible for this promotional offer.
This is a deferred interest offer, meaning that interest isn't waived and will continue to accrue during the card’s promotional period. If your purchase is fully paid by the end of the promotional period, you won’t be charged any interest. But if there’s any balance remaining, you'll have to pay interest on the entire purchase for the full length of the special financing period. This can end up costing hundreds of dollars. (The best 0% APR credit cards come with true introductory 0% APR periods, during which interest is waived.)
4. You won't be able to finance a Nissan with the credit card
The Nissan Visa Credit Card cannot be used to make Nissan car payments. However, the issuer notes that you’ll be able to use your card for a down payment if the dealership you purchase the car from allows it. Keep in mind that down payments won’t be eligible for the card’s promotional financing, though, as stated above.
5. It offers a decent sign-up bonus (if you can get it)
For a limited time, new account openers can earn 20,000 bonus points when they spend $2,500 or more within the first 90 days of account opening. While you can earn a decent amount with this offer — $200 if you redeem toward a Nissan purchase and $100 for statement credit — some applicants may not qualify for the offer. That's because the 20,000-point bonus is available only if you open the card at a participating Nissan dealership. If you apply for the card online and are approved, you won't earn the welcome offer.