Summary: - If you are the owner of a BMW, you might just be a member of the BMW Car Club in your local chapter. It is the official BMW Car Club that supports BMW fans and enthusiasts with driving events, discounts and a monthly publication. As the association organizes lots of events for it's members and you do have to pay an annual membership fee to join your local chapter.
In 2009, BMW Car Club announced that they had chosen PartnersFirst Bank as their bank to issue their affinity credit card1. The credit card is obviously targeted to their members with benefits that are specific to the organization.
BMW Car Club Rewards - One of the things you have to know is that PartnersFirst issues mainly affinity credit cards for associations and organizations. The rewards are pretty standard across most of their cards. This is how it works. You get to earn one point for every dollar that you spend on the card. You can earn unlimited points. And the points can be used to redeem for cash rebates (1%) and other travel and merchandise rewards that are on PartnersFirst reward program2.
Aside from using the points you have earned for cash rebates or PartnersFirst rewards, you can also use them for BMW Performance Center driving experience, BMW gears and even your annual membership fee for the BMW Car Club.
Customized Photo On Card - One of the cool features of this card is that you can use your own BMW photo on your credit card. That creates a real custom look.
This credit card can be customized with your favorite BMW photo! Points can be redeemed for BMW Performance Center driving experiences, BMW gear and free membership.
Fees: There is no annual fee, late fee or over the limit fees. New cardmembers receive an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers for 6 months.
Feedback from BMWCC Forum - One of things I did when writing this review was to actually go to the BMWCC forum and see if there were any threads about this card. And it turns out that there were a couple of complaints3.
For example, there was a complaint about PartnersFirst calling the applicant to verify their address. After the member received the card, they were told that the card was closed the address was not verified!
There was another feedback that if you decide to upload your own BMW photo, it might take about 3 to 4 weeks before your card arrives3. Another person complained that he set up a autopay function but keyed in the wrong number. The next day, the payment bounced and he got a call from PartnersFirst (who did not identify themselves initially). Though the issue was solved, his card was put on hold for 10 days without him being notified.
PartnersFirst also raised rates for their cardholders in 20094 (like most Banks during that period just before the CARD Act passed) and pissed off many of their cardholders.
Why do you want to get this card? If you are considering this card, you have to ask yourself why you want it. If are attracted by their rates, you should shop around as there are other cards with lower rates. There are certainly cards with much better 0% balance transfer deals. If these are your reasons, then this will not be the best card to get.
But if you are getting this card to support the BWMCC, then by all means get this card. You have to be mindful that this is by no means the best rewards card around (not by a long shot).
1. BMW Car Club Launches Affinity Credit Card Program through PartnersFirst
2. Sample of PartnersFirst Reward Program
3. BMWCC Forum
4. BMWCC credit card increases interests for all?