Sometimes the only way to for a repair or maintenance issue to be resolved is to go straight to the dealership. Many car owners try to avoid this option because the costs to get the car back on the road can be higher, but the warranty on the work also tends to be better.
To help deal with these costs, many car manufacturers have developed “service credit cards” so that the cost of a repair or maintenance need can be extended.
You can use these manufacturer service cards on any vehicle service or maintenance need. This also typically includes parts and convenience items as well. The Ford Service Credit Card for example, offers account holders to pay for replacement parts, accessories, tires, and even insurance deductions. Extended service plans and loaner vehicles also qualify and some purchases may qualify for deferred interest financing.
Where Can I Use a Car Manufacturer Credit Card?
If the credit card is branded as a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, then you can use it wherever that logo is accepted for payment. Mercedes-Benz. actually offers two different credit cards through AMEX that offer you all of the features of a regular Platinum card. The terms and conditions of these credit cards are also similar to other “regular” cards that might be used without the manufacturer branding on it.
The fees on these cards can sometimes be quite expensive. For the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card, there is currently a $475 annual fee.
You Also Earn Rewards With Dealership Credit Cards
Some cards, such as the Dodge MasterCard by First Bankcard, offer a rewards program as a benefit. With the Dodge MasterCard, you earn 3 points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases at an FCA dealership. Travel purchases earn double points and then all other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. You have up to 7 years to use your earned points. If you make a purchase of $50 or more in your first billing cycle, you may even qualify for a $50 credit.
Other cards, like the Ford Service Credit Card, offer discounts and rebates as rewards instead. This card option will give you a $25 mail-in rebate for every $250 that you spend on the card. Dealership credit cards can offer a wide spectrum of rewards, but may also be brand-specific in nature. You couldn’t take a Dodge to the Ford dealership with a Ford credit card to get it repaired.
For the Lexus Pursuits Visa card, you actually earn 5 points for every dollar spent at a dealership. You can also earn 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. Under this rewards program, you can redeem the points for parts or services at the dealership or use them to pay for up to 10% of the price of a new car purchase or lease without an annual fee.
If you’re looking for an easier way to manage the costs of owning a car, then one of the first and best places to look may be at a credit card offered by your preferred automaker. Not only can your interest payments be deferred, but rewards can be earned, and that can help your budget at the end of the day.