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Credit Card Points Can Help You Buy A Car

Several auto manufacturers offer co-branded reward credit cards.Several auto manufacturers offer co-branded credit cards that can help you earn discounts on the purchase or lease of a car, or to pay for service, parts and accessories.

All of the cards discussed here have no annual fee, but many do have caps on the rewards you can earn and the amount you can redeem. The points also expire after a few years if you don’t use them.

Based solely on the rewards program, General Motors offers the best deal with its GM Flexible Earnings Card.

You earn a generous 3% back on all purchases, not just at GM dealerships, which can be used toward the purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle (www.gmcard.com).

If you decide not to buy a GM car, you can redeem your rewards for cash. In that case, your reward is reduced to 1%, and you must earn at least $100 in rewards before you can redeem them.

There’s a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 or 15 months, depending on your creditworthiness. After that, the APR jumps to between 13.9% and 22.9%.

There is no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn, and rewards dollars don’t expire for seven years.

However, there are redemption limits based on the make and model vehicle you want.

For example, you can redeem up to $1,000 on a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, $1,500 on the 2012 GMC Sierra and $3,000 on the Cadillac Escalade.

Like the GM Card, the Subaru Rewards Card pays a 3% rebate on all spending, not just on Subaru purchases (www.subaru.com/subarurewardscard).

However, you can only redeem your points at Subaru dealerships, and you can earn a maximum $500 per year.

Points are redeemable for parts and service at Subaru dealerships, the lease or purchase of a new vehicle, or the purchase of a certified preowned Subaru.

Every time you earn 100 reward dollars, you receive a coupon attached to your statement. You’ll also get a $25 bonus after your first purchase or balance transfer.

The card has a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first six months. After that, the APR is 16.24%.

Maybe the best thing about the Toyota Rewards Visa is that you can use the points to help a family member or friend buy a new car. You just need to be present at the transaction (www.toyotafinancial.com).

You earn five points for every dollar you spend at Toyota dealerships, one point everywhere else. Points are worth a penny a piece, so 10,000 points are worth $100.

Points can redeemed for the purchase or lease of a new or certified used Toyota, rentals at Toyota Rent a Car, and service, parts and accessories at Toyota dealerships.

There is no redemption cap, but the number of points you can earn is capped at 200,000 per year on purchases made at Toyota dealers and up to 5,000 points outside the dealership.

Unused points expire after five years.

APRs vary from 11.99% to 18.99% on both purchases and balance transfers.

You earn three points per dollar at Chrysler Group dealerships with the Chrysler MasterCard, two points on travel and one point on all other spending (www.chryslercards.com).

There’s no limit on the points you can earn, although they expire after seven years.

You can use your points to purchase or lease a new Chrysler, Jeep or Fiat vehicle, or to pay for purchases at the dealership. You can also redeem them for gift cards and cash-back.

There’s a 0% intro APR on purchases for six months, followed by a variable 16.99%.

Compare these cards with the best cash-back credit cards in our database.

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