The GM Card is a co-branded rewards credit card program with consumer and business cards offered by Capital One. Cardholders accrue earnings that can be applied towards the purchase of eligible new GM vehicles.
The first card offered under this program was issued in 1992. McCann Erickson, the initial agency of record, reported a budget of $70 million for the first year of advertising in support of the card. All of the cards available to new customers under this program have no annual fee.
The original GM Card offers cardholders an unlimited rebate equal to 5% of the first $10,000 in annual purchases made with the card ($500 in earnings per 12 month period) that can be applied to the purchase of a new card from GM. It has a $39 annual fee that is also applied to earnings and can be used for the purchase of a car. Points earned expire after 7 years on a rolling first in, first out basis. This card offers the best earnings program of all the GM cards. This card program still exists and is held by customers who were early card holders in the GM Card program (early 1990's). The card was made unavailable to new applicants with the introduction of subsequent (and less generous) GM credit card earnings programs.
In the early days of the GM Card, a Gold card was also available that allowed earnings of 5% on the first $20,000 in annual purchases ($1000 in earnings per 12 month period). However this generous earnings program was offered for a limited number of years before it was discontinued.
GM Buypower Card
The GM Buypower Card offers cardholders an unlimited rebate equal to 5% of the first $5000 and 2% thereafter in annual purchases made with the card that can be applied to the purchase of a new car from GM. Unlike many other reward card programs, the GM card does not restrict earnings to certain categories of purchases.
GM Flexible Earnings Card
The GM Flexible Earnings Card offers an unlimited rebate equal to 3% on all purchases that can be used to buy or lease a new GM vehicle. Unlike the GM Card, the Flexible Earnings Card offers the option of receiving rewards as cash back equal to 1% of purchases.
GM Extended Family Card
The GM Extended Family Card allows cardholders to combine GM employee and supplier discounts with earnings of 1% when purchasing an eligible car. Cardholders also have the option of receiving 1% cash back.
BuyPower Business Card
The BuyPower Business Card, issued by Capital One, offers unlimited earnings of 5% at GM dealers on GM parts and services, 3% at gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants, and 1% on all other purchases. No option for cash back is available.
Earnings on GM Card products can be applied towards the purchase of an eligible new GM vehicle from any Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac dealer. Earnings may be redeemed in addition to other discounts with some exceptions such as the GM Credit Union member discount, the GM Dealership Employee Purchase Program, the GM Enhanced Dealership Employee Purchase Program, and the GM Supplier Discount Program. There is no limit on redemption and earnings never expire.
The GM Card line of consumer products was originally issued by Household Credit Services (a division of the then Household International). On March 28, 2003, HSBC acquired Household International, which was merged in 2005 with a subsidiary company that became the HSBC Finance Corp. Capital One acquired many of HSBC's U.S. credit card customers and some of its products in May 2012 for $2.6 billion and another $31.3 billion to cover the balances on the accounts transferred. The sale was tentatively announced in August 2011. Prior to the sale HSBC issued credit cards through HSBC Finance Corp. and HSBC USA. This deal included accounts and products issued through HSBC Finance Corp. under the Orchard Bank and Household Bank brand names and co-branded products offered in cooperation with General Motors, Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and 18 other retailers. HSBC still issues credit cards through HSBC USA.