Although the outdoor sporting brands Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops merged as one company in 2017, each retailer offers its own separate branded credit card — the Cabela’s CLUB Card and the Bass Pro Shops CLUB Card. However, the cards’ differences end at their names; they offer identical features, rewards and benefits, and can both be used at either store.
Both Capital One-issued cards charge a $0 annual fee and can provide decent savings for outdoors enthusiasts who don’t mind redeeming rewards strictly with the brands. But if you aren’t hooked on these shops, a general cash-back card can offer more value and flexibility.
Here’s what you need to know about the cards.
1. You’ll earn bonus rewards only for Bass and Cabela’s
The Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops CLUB cards earn 2% back in CLUB points for purchases made at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s (both in stores and online). Since these are Mastercards, they can be used anywhere those cards are accepted, but all other purchases earn 1% back in CLUB points.
The caveat here, of course, is that rewards are earned as CLUB points rather than cash back. That means that you’ll earn 2 points per dollar for purchases made with the retailers and 1 point per dollar for all other spending. Every 100 CLUB points you earn is equal to $1, so points are worth a penny each. If you spend $100 at Cabela’s with one of the cards, for instance, you’d earn 200 points — which can be redeemed for $2 worth of purchases. It could take a significant amount of spending to rake in meaningful rewards, even if you are a frequent Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops customer.
Nerdy tip: Cardholders also earn 2% back in points on purchases made at participating Cenex gas stations and convenience stores. But the brand is available in only 19 states across the country.
For more flexible rewards, consider opting for a general cash-back card that will pay you — in cash, not points — for everyday spending, or one that earns bonus rewards regardless of the purchase. The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card, for example, earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It charges an annual fee of $0 and offers more flexible redemptions like a check, statement credit or options specific to Wells Fargo customers.
2. Points redemptions aren’t a bait and switch
As is the case with most store cards, rewards earned with the Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops CLUB cards can be redeemed only toward purchases made within the brand. But unlike similar store-branded cards that come with excessive requirements or restrictions, the redemption process here is straightforward and uncomplicated.
You can redeem CLUB points in any amount and at any time. Plus, points don’t expire, and there’s no limit to the amount of points you can earn.
In addition to redeeming points for in-store and online purchases, cardholders can use points toward Bass Pro Shops hospitality locations when they sign up for “Pay with CLUB Points” through the Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s apps. Hospitality locations include Big Cedar Lodge, Big Cedar restaurants and Bass Pro Shops restaurants, among others.
3. You can elevate your status (and rewards) through spending
Both cards offer automatic CLUB Classic status, the base-level tier in the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s CLUB rewards program. CLUB Classic members will earn the cards’ rate of 2 points per dollar for brand purchases, but cardholders have the opportunity to boost their status and earnings by hitting certain spending thresholds.
When you spend at least $10,000 in purchases on your card per year, you’ll get CLUB Silver level, which boosts your points earning to 3 points per dollar for purchases made at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. With at least $25,000 spent per year, you’ll get CLUB Black status, which earns 5 points per dollar on purchases with the retailers. All non-brand purchases earn 1 point per dollar, regardless of program status. Note that your creditworthiness and credit history may also be evaluated in determining your eligibility for these elevated status levels.
If you’re spending enough to earn CLUB Silver or CLUB Black status, having one of these cards can provide worthwhile value, but not as much as a general cash-back credit card that earns 2% on all purchases.
4. You can reel in decent perks and benefits
In addition to ongoing rewards, the cards offer the following benefits:
New cardholder bonus: Earn up to $50 worth of CLUB points: $20 in points when you get approved for the card, $10 in points for making two purchases of any amount at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s within the first 30 days of card approval, and $20 in points after making five non-brand purchases with the card within the first 30 days of card approval. In total, this sign-up bonus is meager and won’t get you much, but it is in line with what store cards typically offer to newcomers.
Exclusive discounts: You will have access to member-only discounts, promotions and perks like price match. In addition to the price match offer available to all customers, cardholders will be offered an additional 5% off of identical products sold at a cheaper price by other retailers within 100 miles of their local Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s store, or on a qualifying website.
Access to CLUB Signature Events: Cardholders can join branded adventures and experiences like game hunting in Canada, saltwater fishing in Costa Rica, snow and ice fishing with experts of the trade, and more. While these events are exclusive to CLUB members, participants will still have to cover the full cost of their experience.
5. Your interest rate can be costly for non-brand purchases
As of January 2022, both cards charge interest rates of 9.99% for purchases made with the retailer. However, for all other purchases, your APR can be quite high. The ongoing APR for non-brand purchases is 15.24%, 18.24% or 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. The higher end of this is significantly more than the average APR charged for cards that incur interest, which means that carrying a balance can be costly.
Note that the cards occasionally offer interest-free periods for purchases, ranging from six to 12 months. Ask your local retailer which promotional offers are available before applying.