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During the holidays a lot of high end purchases are made. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, more money is spent on gifts during November and December than the rest of the year combined. How do we, as American’s, fund these purchases? By credit, layaway, and by simply saving up.
Furniture can be a great gift for your spouse or parent, especially with all the great sales and deals currently being offered. One popular chain-furniture store, Ashley Furniture, offers financing options for your purchases. Financing can be through either GE Capital, Wells Fargo, or Landmark Financial, so this review is specifically related to the terms by GE Capital.
Let’s take a look at these options and see if it’s worth your while.
Ashley Furniture Home Store Card Features:
- 0% intro APR
- Special financing options available
- No annual fee
- 24/7 online account management
- Easy online bill pay
This card was a little trickier to analyze because the company is a franchise, so that leaves room for differences by store. I used the resources I found on the company website and consulted a friend whom is employed with the company in South Carolina.
What we Like
There are a few different financing options available, but how long the term lasts can be determined by the salesman if done in-store. The typical terms are for 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months, but they sometimes offer special promotional terms that extend to 48 and even 60 months -five years is a long time to pay off furniture. Discounts can then be applied to an approved financing plan that can range from 5-20%, which directly correlates with their finance terms.
We like that they prominently display the option for new card members to sign up for card security. This is good to have in place in case an “event” comes up. An event is defined by CardSecurity as unemployment, leave of absence, nursing home stay, death, hospitalization, and disability. It costs an additional $1.66 per $100 per month and covers the balance up to $10,000.
What We’re not so Crazy About
The major downside is the deferred interest. If you miss a payment your APR will default to the on-going rate of 29.9% interest on the remainder of the balance. If you fail to pay off your balance before your approved time period, you are charged the 29.9% APR rate from the date the item was purchased.
I’m always very hesitant about any credit card or financial arrangement where the exact terms and conditions are difficult to find. It makes me think they are hiding something, or worse, wanting the freedom to change their terms and conditions at will, with little to no conflict between what’s readily available and the newly drafted terms.
If you’re one of those consumers that never carries a balance, this card is a bad decision because you’re hurting your credit score by opening a new line of credit that you’re going to have paid off in 30 days’ time anyway. If you carry a balance, but set up auto bill pay to ensure you never miss a payment, this wouldn’t be a terrible option for you. Just make sure the monthly payment is enough to cover the charge by the end of your intro period to avoid retroactive interest charges.
If you want to avoid deferred interest, simply apply for a rewards credit card so you get cash back, or points, for all purchases and not have to worry about the sky-high penalty APR. Take a look at these offers and see how it adds up!
Citi® Double Cash- This credit card allows for 2% cash back rewards for purchases, and is top of the line for the credit card industry. It offers a 0% APR for the first 15 months, after that there is a 12.99%-22.99% variable APR. Other incentives include no annual fee, no restrictions, no caps on rewards, and no enrollment necessary. Cardholders receive 1% back for their purchases, and an additional 1% when they pay their monthly bill.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card- This is another great suggestion for a credit card that gives back great rewards. The Capital One VentureOne credit card allows cardholders to receive travel rewards for their purchases. It is possible to earn 1.25 miles per dollar every day, on any purchase. The rewards can be redeemed for airline flights, hotels, or car rentals. There are no blackout dates, or restrictions. The card offers 0% APR until July 2015, followed by a 11.9%-19.9% variable after the intro period. The card also offers no annual fee or foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad.
If you are still interested in applying, click here for the online application or visit your local Ashley Furniture store.
*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.