General Motors, which first introduced its branded credit card 30 years ago, is moving to a new digital platform and partnership with Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
"Points earned today can be redeemed tomorrow," John Lazzati, managing director for consumer cards at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, said in a press call last weekMonday announcing the major change. "Points are going to rack up quickly."
The My GM Rewards Card is designed to drive GM car and truck sales – and reward loyal customers.
Julie Heisel, director of GM Rewards and GM Card, called the new My GM Rewards "a big win for our customers with more ways to earn and redeem points, including premium tiers of membership with exclusive offers and opportunities.”
The card has three membership tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – where customers can level up as they spend. Each tier unlocks higher points earnings and redemption caps. Gold and Platinum rewards members can now redeem points toward the purchase of GM Certified Pre-Owned vehicles and their points do not expire.
Lazzati said more than 50% of GM customers will buy another GM vehicle so the card will be attractive in building points for car buyers and those spending money on GM services.
► The Daily Money: Get our latest personal finance stories in your inbox
The existing GM card has more than 3 million card holders. Card holders will be automatically transferred to Goldman Sachs.
Some card holders will receive the all-new My GM Rewards Card. But GM said it will still have its GM Business Card, Extended Family Card, and GM Cards. And customers will receive new, redesigned plastic in the upcoming weeks.
Both sets of customers will get information about setting up their new account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs in the coming weeks. They don’t need to take any action and can keep using their card.
GM is ending its credit card partnership with Capital One in late February. The card will remain part of the MasterCard lineup.
My GM Rewards Card gets a digital focus
Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the consumer banking platform of the investment banking powerhouse, will gain even more recognition with everyday consumers by connecting with the giant Detroit-based automaker.
The My GM Rewards Card marks the second credit card to be issued through Marcus by Goldman Sachs. In 2019, Marcus partnered with Apple to launch the Apple Card.
Applications for the new card are already available at MyGMRewardsCard.com.
Lazzati described a smooth online application process where credit can be issued immediately to those who qualify. The program will include a virtual card on the Marcus mobile app.
► Use 'buy now, pay later' services? That info will soon show up on Equifax credit reports
Consumers will type in information including their income, address and Social Security number. Lazzati said the system works behind the scenes to verify a consumer's identity to avoid fraud.
He noted that consumers do not have to wait seven to 10 days to receive a card in the mail but can use the available credit immediately upon approval. The card is available via the app.
While consumers might leave their wallet at home, Lazzati joked that they do not leave their phones behind when they leave the house.
Features for those signing up for the card include:
No annual fee.
A 0% introductory rate for the first nine months only. After that intro rate, the annual rate on the card will range from 14.99% to 24.99%, depending on your credit score. The interest rates are variable, and could go up or down in the future based on shifts in the prime rate.
A bonus for those signing up for the card of 10,000 points after spending $1,000 on the My GM Rewards Card in the first 90 days.
Gold and Platinum card members can receive a $100 statement credit for every $1,500 spent on fuel per calendar year.
For eligible GM electric vehicle owners, a $100 statement credit is available when you make six electric bill payments using the card per calendar year (Cardmembers must add their GM electric vehicle to their profile through My Account.)
Existing card holders will not receive the 0% intro rate or the early-spend bonus offer. Those deals are only for newly acquired customers.
GM said there will be other offers for converting existing customers. For example, a customer can earn points or earnings for setting up their Marcus account after the conversion.
The all-new credit card, the companies said, is seamlessly integrated into the My GM Rewards loyalty program, which was launched in 2018 and now has more than 6 million GM customers.
Like many credit cards, one point is worth one penny. So 10,000 points on the card will amount to $100 toward buying or leasing a GM car or truck or covering services at a GM dealership.
► What is driving US inflation to a 39-year high? The reasons and solutions are complicated
The card offers four points for every $1 spent for everyday purchases.
What will be attractive to GM customers, though, is that the card also offers seven points for every $1 spent for "GM Certified Service, GM Genuine Parts and ACDelco Parts, eligible accessories, and OnStar and Connected Services plans."
Card members can redeem unlimited points toward buying or leasing eligible, new GM vehicles.
But consumers can only redeem up to $1,000 toward the purchase of certified pre-owned Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac models.
Card members can redeem up to $250 toward GM services and parts, including GM SiriusXM.
Gold and Platinum card members can redeem up to $250 per calendar year on gift cards from a variety of eligible merchants, stores, restaurants and more, at a 1% redemption rate.
Consumers, of course, want to take into account the cost of their credit card debt if they're not paying off the bill each and every month.
Know the interest rate that you're paying for any credit card, as everyone isn't paying the same rate.
The average credit card rate is 16.13%, according to CreditCards.com. But people with lower credit scores can be paying an average of around 24%.
The environment remains competitive for most consumers. While the introduction of the new program will be attractive to loyal GM buyers, there are plenty of offers on the market now – unlike at the start of the pandemic two years ago.
"Credit card marketers basically went into hiding in 2020 as the pandemic set in and risk and uncertainty reigned," said Ted Rossman senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com.
"Card issuers were very worried their existing customers wouldn’t pay them back, given the sudden spike in unemployment and the widespread disruptions to business and society, and they had very little appetite to take on new customers," he said.
But the expected surges in delinquencies and defaults never materialized.
For much of last year, he said, card issuers were eager to grow their businesses once again.
"They wanted their share of the consumer spending rebound," Rossman said.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: New My GM Rewards Card is now digital-friendly credit card