Newest program from Hyundai could help credit challenged borrowers save up for a down payment as well as lower the costs of servicing their vehicles

Buying a Car Online Pays Off?

Hyundai Unveils Rewards Program

Here at Auto Credit Express we continually stress to the importance of down payments to applicants with bad credit. The fact is, most subprime lenders and car dealers that work with bad credit require consumers to come up with a down payment.

Looking at it more closely, most lenders require a minimum of either ten percent down or $1,000 – whichever is less. This can be accomplished with either a cash down payment –rebates or incentives are usually not counted – or a trade-in with real equity.

Not only that, but the larger the down payment, the more apt these high-risk borrowers are to approve a loan request. That's because, based on lender data, the larger the down payment, the more likely borrowers are to successfully complete a car loan.

Which is why, earlier today, we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that Hyundai Motors America launched a new program it calls "Hyundai Rewards" that's designed to help consumers save for a down payment or pay for service work simply by shopping online or servicing their vehicles at a participating Hyundai dealership.

Hyundai Rewards

The press release describes it thusly:

The free Hyundai Rewards program ( offers members points for every dollar spent shopping online through the Hyundai Rewards site or every time they visit a participating dealer's service department. Points can be applied towards the purchase or lease of a new Hyundai vehicle or future service visit.

Here's how it works: Both current and "future" Hyundai owners can go to Hyundai's website ( and create their own account to become a Hyundai Rewards Member. Membership is free and no rewards card is necessary. Because the Hyundai Rewards program is integrated into the site, once they've registered, users can log into their account and start using it immediately.

While only current owners can take advantage of earning points by having their vehicles serviced at participating Hyundai dealers, both current and "future" owners can take advantage of the site's online mall.

According to Hyundai, more than 3,000 merchants are participating in the program – a list that includes Best Buy, Staples and Target. Next to each merchant listed is the number of Rewards points per dollar spent that users can earn, as in some cases merchants multiply the Hyundai Rewards points per dollar spent. Once a purchase is made, points are automatically added to a user's account – points that can be used at participating dealers for both service work as well as towards the cost of a new Hyundai vehicle.

Limitations for consumers with problem credit

As with any program of this type, all is not perfect. After checking the website, we discovered that, as of this writing, not a single Hyundai dealer in Michigan is offering points for a service department visit and only a small number are accepting points as payment for service work or towards the purchase of a new car.

Secondly for credit-challenged customers, not all Hyundai dealers who participate in the program work with customers who've experienced credit issues. More importantly, car buyers with problem credit need to first qualify for a new car before they can take advantage of the program.

The Bottom Line

Despite its shortcomings, the new Hyundai Rewards program further solidifies Hyundai's position as the leader in finding innovative ways to approach automotive sales and service. That's because this newest program has the potential to help at least a few credit-challenged buyers save hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars on a new car. We can only hope other manufacturers will see the benefit and follow Hyundai's lead.

Speaking of benefits, here's one more: Auto Credit Express matches people that have experienced car credit difficulties with new car dealers that can offer them their best chances for car loan approvals. You can start the process now by filling out our online carloan application.