May 9, 2017

Bass Pro Credit Card Review


If you're a fan of the outdoors, you're probably very familiar with Bass Pro Shops. Fishing, boating, hunting, and camping gear are all available through this retailer. (You wouldn't expect anything less from a company that has a largemouth bass fish in its logo!)

Bass Pro Shops offers its own store credit card. But the store teams with MasterCard, which means this card has a bit more flexibility than a typical store credit card. You can use the Bass credit card anywhere MasterCard is accepted, but you'll receive the most perks and benefits by using it at the Bass store or on the store's website. In our Bass Pro Shops credit card review, we'll help you determine whether to reel in this credit offer or throw it back.

The Available Perks

You can sign up for the Bass Pro Shops credit card either online, over the phone, or in the store. Bank of America manages the card, and it will run a credit check before you receive approval for this credit card.

So why would you want to go with a Bass Pro Shops credit card versus a standard Bank of America MasterCard? For those who commonly visit Bass stores or shop at Bass online, there are a couple of perks that make this particular card desirable. (Note: All details concerning rates and perks for the Bass Pro Shops credit card are as of March 18, 2017 and are subject to change.)

  • Bass rewards points of 3% or 5%. Depending on your credit worthiness, you'll receive rewards points of either 3% or 5% of every dollar you spend with Bass. You can redeem the rewards points only through Bass Pro Shops. (Money spent on taxes or shipping charges do not count toward the rewards points.)

  • Gift card offer. If you sign up for the Bass Pro Shops credit card online and you spend at least $100 on the card in the first 90 days, you'll receive a $50 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.

  • Introductory APR period. The Bass credit card includes a 1.99% intro APR for 7 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (made within the first 60 days of opening your account). After that a variable APR of 13.74% - 23.74% comes into effect.

Understanding Rewards Points

As you receive rewards points, they'll be credited to your store member account. Once you've accumulated at least 500 rewards points, you're eligible to begin using them.

You'll receive a $10 gift certificate for each 500 points you've collected that you can use on a Bass Pro Shops purchase. (Gift certificates may be sent through the postal mail or will be accumulated digitally.) Each time you earn another 500 points, you'll receive another $10 certificate. Bass Pro Shops credits new certificates on a monthly basis. If you accumulate 1,500 points in a month, you'll receive $30 in certificates that month, for example. Any extra points carry to the next month.

Keep in mind: Rewards points certificates do have an expiration date. So you'll want to pay attention to this date, or you could lose the benefit. The expiration date will be a minimum of 75 days from when Bass Pro Shops issues the certificate, so that's not a lot of time to use it. Additionally, if you don't use your Bass Pro Shops credit card for a 12-month period, you'll forfeit any points you've
accumulated.

Doing the Math on Rewards Points

Let's keep the math simple. Let's say you've qualified for the 5% rewards points program with the Bass Pro Shops with a World MasterCard and you spent $200 on your Bass credit card at the store. This will give you 500 rewards points, meaning you'll receive a $10 certificate. This is where the 5% number enters the picture, as the $10 is 5% of the initial $200 you spent.

If you qualified for the 3% rewards program instead (with the Platinum Plus credit card), you'd have to spend $333.34 on your credit card at Bass Pro Shops to receive a $10 certificate.

But because the certificates expire relatively quickly (sometimes within 75 days), to make this deal worthwhile to you, you'd need to shop at Bass Pro Shops every couple of months at a minimum.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Frequent Bass Pro Shops customers. If you regularly shop at Bass Pro Shops, say at least every couple of months, this is a nice card to use because of the perks mentioned above. As long as you're paying off the card balance each month, the rewards will add up quickly, basically giving you free money to use at Bass Pro Shops. If you're going to carry a balance on the card though, the interest rates will negate your rewards - and then some.

  • Those who like to support conservation programs. When you use your Bass Pro Shops credit card, the company will make a contribution to outdoor conservation programs. This contribution doesn't cost you anything.

  • Those who need extra time to pay off a big-ticket item. With the introductory APR, you could purchase a big ticket item right after you receive the card and pay a low interest rate. As long as you can pay it off before the promotional APR expires, this is a nice benefit.

Why We Like It

  • No annual fee. It's great that you can receive the perks listed above without having to pay an annual fee.

  • Introductory APR period. For the first seven billing cycles, you'll pay a 1.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers (made within the first 60 days of opening your account). After the seven cycles, the APR balloons to between 13.74% and 23.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. But if you want to carry a balance for the first few months you have this card, the introductory APR period is great.

  • Gaining rewards points outside the store. Because it's a MasterCard, you'll receive 1% rewards points when using the credit card at locations other than Bass stores.

  • Managing and redeeming rewards points online. You can always see your rewards points balance by managing your Bass Pro Shops credit card account online or through a mobile app. You also can redeem your points through an online Bass Pro Shops purchase, as long as you have an online account with the company. Just don't expect to create an account and redeem the points at the same time. It takes at least 24 hours for your points to be available in a new online account.

Reasons We'd Skip the Card

  • You don't shop at Bass Pro Shops frequently. If you are looking for a good rewards program on a credit card, the Bass credit card is good for regular Bass customers. But there are much better general credit card rewards programs on the market for those who aren't going to spend all that much at Bass Pro Shops.

  • High fee on balance transfers. If you're primarily looking at the Bass Pro Shops credit card so you can transfer balances, there are better options on the market. Although you receive a low introductory APR on balance transfers, you will have to pay a 3% fee up front on the amount of the transaction.

  • Limit on rewards points for lower credit scores. If your card application is approved for a credit line of $5,000 or greater, you'll qualify for the World MasterCard account, which carries the full 5% rewards points perk mentioned earlier for purchases made through Bass Pro Shops. If you're approved for a less than $5,000 credit limit though, you'll qualify for the Platinum Plus account, which limits your rewards points to 3% of Bass Pro Shops purchases, representing a huge difference in the benefits of holding this account.

  • Further limitations. Some purchases you make through Bass Pro Shops will not count toward providing you with rewards points. For example, purchases at independent vendors who are operating inside Bass Pro Shops, such as for taxidermy services, do not quality for rewards points. Some purchases of boats, motors, or ATVs don't qualify either. So if you're easily frustrated by such limitations, you may want to pass on this card. Or at least ask whether your big ticket purchase is eligible for rewards points before the cashier rings up the purchase.

Our Final Thoughts on the Bass Pro Shops Credit Card

If you're someone who steers clear of in-store credit cards because you can only use them with one merchant, we hear you. This can be frustrating. So it's nice when a merchant teams with one of the major credit card issuers to give you a card that can be used anywhere, accumulating rewards the entire time.

The Bass Pro Shops credit card is a nice option for those who are frequent shoppers at the store aimed at outdoorsmen. You'll accumulate chunks of rewards points for purchases made with the retailer, but you'll also be able to use the card at other retailers and still earn 1% rewards points to use at Bass Pro Shops.

If you're someone who doesn't shop at Bass Pro Shops all that often, there are better options for credit card rewards points elsewhere. But for those who frequently shop at Bass, either online or in-store, the company will give you free money to use at the store when you use the credit card. Just pay attention to the expiration dates for your points so you don't lose them.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a outdoor gear review website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.