Brief History of the Card - The Bass Pro Shop credit card has been around for a long time ever since they struck an agreement with MBNA1 (when they still around and not yet acquired by Bank of America). Ever since Bank of America took over MBNA, they have kept this card in their portfolio. Through our research, we also found a press release by GE Money in 2005 stating that they have come to an agreement with Bass Pro Shops to issue their credit cards2. In fact, you can still find an old fax application online! But upon calling them, they said they are not an issuer of Bass Pro Shop cards at all. So that clears up the confusion, but does not really explain that press release in 2005.
Improvement in rewards - While credit cards in general tend to reduce their rewards over time, the Bass Pro Shop® Outdoor Rewards Visa Card has actually improved their rewards in certain areas (with a little caveat)! In the past, the card allowed you to earn 4% "rebates" for every dollar you spend on Bass Pro Shop branded merchandise (which includes Bass Pro Shops, Redhead and Offshore Angler) at any Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Bass Pro Shops Sportsman Warehouse, Sportsman Center or World Wide Sportsman retail stores, catalog or basspro.com.. You earn 2% "rebates" when you buy non-Bass Pro Shops merchandise at Bass Pro Shops, catalogs or basspro.com. You earn 1% "rebate" on all other purchases.
If you are approved for Visa Signature version - For the new formula, the rewards you earn will depend on whether you are approved for a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum Plus card. If you are approved for a credit line that is $5,000 or greater, then you will get the Visa Signature version, which means you can earn 5% for every dollar that you spend at Bass Pro Shops regardless of whether it is their brand or not. And you would be better off compared to the older version of the card.
If you are approved for Platinum Plus version - But if you only get approved for a credit limit of less than $5,000, you will get the Platinum Plus version, which means you can only earn 3% for every dollar you wspend at Bass Pro Shop. You earn one point for every other regular purchases. One would assume that whether you get the Visa Signature version or the Platinum Plus version would depend on Bank of America's assessment of your credit standing according their criteria. One thing to take note of is that the 3% or 5% earnings do not apply to purchases made with other vendors within the Bass Pro Shop Retail Shops, including taxidermy services, purchases of licenses, food, or beverages, purchases of Tracker® Boats, Mercury Motors, RVs and ATVs and expenses incurred in connection with, or at Big Cedar Lodge. (note: under the old version of the card, you can earn 2% from purchase of non-Bass Pro Shop products in the store. So this is actually a "downgrade" versus the old features).
What Happens With The Points? - Rebates you earn are transferred to your Bass Pro Shops member account. $0.02 in rebates is equivalent to one point. Once you have 500 points in your account, you will be issued a $10 certificate, which can be used at Bass Pro Shops, catalogs and online store (500 points equals $10). Certificates are issued every month in $10 increments. The certificates are valid for at least 75 days and the expiration date is written on them. Certificates can also be converted to gift cards for stays at Cedar Lodge (even though you cannot earn the 3% or 5% rebates when you book a Cedar Lodge).
You can earn unlimited rebates.
Help Conservation Efforts - Whenever you use your card, the Bass Pro Shops and National fish and Wildlife Foundation will make a contribution to help conservation efforts.
Other Cards That Let's You Earn Rebates From Bass Pro Shops - One of the things you have to be aware of is that Bass Pro Shops is a partner in a couple of credit card online shopping portals. For example, the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall from Chase, Perk Central from Capital One and ShopDiscover from Discover all allow you to earn five points or 5% rebates when you shop online with Bass Pro Shops (though you can only shop online through the portal and you cannot get the 5% rebates for Fine Gun Rooms, Arctic Cat, Tracker Boats and Big Cedar Lodge) .Below are a couple of screenshots.
Is the Bass Pro Shop Card Good? - The Bass Pro Shop Visa is one of the better retail store credit cards because the points you earn (five points) from buying their products is at the upper end of the range. But there are several features that bothers me. The first is the fact that your ability to earn rewards is based on the credit line you are given (I've hardly come across cards like this). Secondly, the rewards that you get are worth 75 days. If you are not the sort of person that keeps on top of things like that, that could be a problem. But if you are an outdoor enthusiast who buys a lot of products from here, then this may be an ideal card for you.
If you are concerned that you may not get the Visa Signature version or you do not want to be bothered by the 75 day expiration rule, then you might want to consider other cards like the Discover More Card and the Chase Freedom card has online shopping portals that also allows you to earn 5% rebates and earn five points per dollar. And the advantage of these cards is that you can redeem the rebates and points for other products.
1. Bass Pro Shops Endorses MBNA Credit Card
2. GE Money Bass Pro Shop Application Page
Bass Pro Shops Reward Program FAQ