Mercedes Benz Credit Card Review: Worth The $500 Bonus? | CreditShout

Mercedes Benz Credit Card Review: Worth The $500 Bonus?

By Christine Layton / August 20, 2012
Mercedes Benz Credit Card Review: Worth The $500 Bonus?

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CREDITSHOUT RATING:
Good

There are two versions of the American Express Mercedes Benz card: a regular version and a Platinum version, which offers larger rewards, airport lounge access and a much higher annual fee of $475.

This review however, will cover the regular version of the AmEx Mercedes Benz credit card.

Interestingly, this card has a very limited market of consumers as it’s designed for people who buy or lease Mercedes Benz vehicles every year or so.

If you don’t find yourself buying or leasing Mercedes cars every year, this credit card probably doesn’t have much to offer you

Key Features & Benefits

The key featured and benefits of the American Express Mercedes Benz card are:

  • Welcome bonus of 5,000 AmEx bonus points. This is a fairly decent bonus that’s awarded after your first purchase.
  • $500 certificate annually toward Mercedes Benz lease or purchase. This certificate is awarded when you’ve spent at least $5,000 during the year and expires after one year.
  • $50 certificate for Mercedes Benz accessories when you renew your account. This certificate can only be used at an authorized Mercedes Benz dealership, not through their website.
  • 5/3/2/1x rewards points. Earn 5x points on Mercedes Benz purchases, 3x points on gasoline, 2x points on restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. There are some restrictions, as your Mercedes Benz lease or loan payments are not eligible.
  • 0% APR for 6 months; 15.24% variable APR afterward. This is an average APR, although the introductory rate may benefit you if you want to finance a purchase.
  • 1,000-mile waiver per year. If you go over your mileage allowance on a Mercedes Benz lease, you can apply up to 1,000 miles and have any fees waived.

American Express Mercedes Benz Rewards Program

The AmEx Mercedes Benz card has a very straightforward rewards program.

You’ll receive a $500 certificate every year you spend at least $5,000 on your card, which is good toward the purchase or lease of a brand-new Mercedes Benz vehicle. You’ll also receive a $50 certificate when you renew your account, which can be used toward Mercedes accessories.

Both of these certificates expire one year from issue date so you can’t accumulate certificates.

You’ll also earn AmEx Membership Rewards with your Mercedes Benz credit card.

You earn 5 points per $1 on Mercedes-Benz purchase, excluding vehicle loan and lease payments; 3x points on gasoline; 2x points on restaurants and 1x points on everything else.

Note, however, that gasoline purchases must be under $400 per purchase and can’t be made at a supermarket, convenience store, superstore or warehouse club.

Note: The 3-2-1 earning structure on this credit card is very similar to the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, which has an annual fee $80 higher. The PR Gold also gives you 3x points on airfare purchases and 2x on gasoline and groceries.

There Are The Two Major Downsides To This Card…

There are two major downsides to this card and both involve the Mercedes certificates you can earn. Your certificates earned through the rewards program expire after one year so you can’t combine them for more savings.

The 1,000-mile waiver can only be used once per year toward a single lease, so if you can’t split your mileage waiver.

You’ll lose any remaining points with no roll-over or accumulation. Unfortunately, you won’t earn 5x points on your Mercedes lease or loan payments which, while expected, is still a downside.

Final Thoughts – Worth the $500 Bonus?

Do you purchase or lease a Mercedes Benz every year or two? Do you spend a lot annually in gasoline and dining?

If so, this card is a pretty good value with an annual fee of $95 that’s $80 less than the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card with a similar MR earning structure.

If you change Mercedes vehicles frequently, this card will more than make up for the annual fee with the yearly lease/purchase certificates.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.Additionally, the opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site

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