BMWs are expensive to buy and maintain.
Still, for many car enthusiasts, the thrill of gripping the wheel, inhaling the leather-tinged new-car smell, and zipping around town in a head-turning feat of German engineering make those monthly payments worth it.
There’s an additional way to show your Beemer loyalty — the BMW Card. This $0-annual-fee card, issued by BMW Bank, offers benefits that could come in handy for BMW owners but won’t be as rewarding to anyone else.
Here are five things to know about the BMW Card.
1. Earn extra points on BMW Center purchases
With the BMW Card, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent at BMW Centers (that’s how BMW refers to its dealerships), and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
That means new cardholders can accelerate their earnings if they charge the down payment for a new car or use their card to pay for repairs to an older car.
2. Those rewards are highly BMW-centric
You can redeem rewards points to offset the cost of leasing, financing or maintaining your car, via BMW Financial Services Rewards, BMW Center Rewards and BMW Vehicle Rewards. Point values are generally worth 1 cent each but can vary depending on what you choose to redeem them for. You also may need to redeem a minimum number of points.
- BMW Financial Services Rewards include credits toward lease or auto loan payments, or credits to apply toward end-of-lease expenses.
- BMW Center Rewards include services, repairs or lifestyle accessories like clothing, luggage and other BMW-branded goods.
- BMW Vehicle Rewards function much like a statement credit you’d get with a cash-back card.
You can also get 20% off the cost of going to the BMW Performance Driving School when you use your BMW Card.
3. There’s a decent sign-up bonus
The BMW Card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus BMW Reward Points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. Redeem for exclusive BMW Rewards you won’t find anywhere else.
If you were to charge enough to get the sign-up bonus via spending at a BMW Center, that would earn you 36,000 points.
4. Enjoy a 0% intro APR period
The card offers an intro annual percentage rate of 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% – 26.49% Variable.
If the dealership allows you to charge some or all of your down payment on your BMW Card, this could allow you to essentially finance part of the cost of your car interest-free.
5. Avoid late payments like you’d avoid rush hour traffic
Make even one late payment with the BMW Card and — tire screech — your APR may jump up to beyond 31%.
And if you make a late payment during the 0% introductory APR period, the issuer may cut that promotional offer short. You’ll have to make six consecutive on-time minimum payments before your APR will return to your regular rate.