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Sony Credit Card Review: Jump through Hoops

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At first glance, the Sony® Card from Capital One® is great. It doesn’t try to screw you over with the typical merchandise rewards gimmicks. Oftentimes, we’ll see a credit card that gives 1 point per $1 spent, but those points are only worth 0.5 cents each, so your rewards rate is a meager 0.5%. The Sony® Card from Capital One® actually delivers full value on its points, but if you want to earn a bonus, you’ll have to do some legwork. You need to send in a purchase credit form, with the receipt attached, in order to receive your points. This may not be too big of a deterrent if you make infrequent, large Sony purchases, but you have to admit it’s annoying.

Earn great rewards on Sony purchases…if you do the work

The Sony® Card from Capital One® has two qualities that set it apart from other branded retail credit cards: first, it gives 5% back on Sony purchases, while other cards give 3 or 4% on in-store purchases; and second, it gives bonus points on other categories as well. Its rewards structure is as follows:

  • 5 Sony Points per $1 spent on Sony purchases at authorized retailers
  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining out and movies
  • 1 point per $1 elsewhere

The kicker is that, as we said, you need to send in a form every time you want to receive 5 points on a Sony purchase. This entails downloading a form from Sony’s website, filling it out and mailing it in. That’s all right if you’re buying a $2,000 TV and nothing else for the year, but it’s horrible if you buy 20 $10 CDs. When it comes to redeeming points, Sony’s pretty transparent. You can use your points to buy Sony merchandise at a rate of 100 points per $1, so if you fill out the form, you can actually get the full 5% rewards.

The card has an annual fee of $0, always a plus, so if you’re planning on making a few large electronics purchases, you can consider the card. On the other hand, you might be better served by a card with easy-to-earn, easy-to-redeem rewards like the Chase Freedom®. It, too, has an annual fee of $0, and it earns 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that can include gas stations, restaurants, select grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Its rewards are far easier to earn (you need only sign up for the rewards program once a quarter, but you can sign up retroactively) and pay out in cash, which is of course easier to spend than Sony bonus points. Plus, right now, it has a great sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.