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Yamaha’s slogan “revs your heart” sums up the exhilaration of riding one of the company’s high performance, sporty, WaveRunner watercrafts. Yamaha WaveRunner watercrafts are known for their engineering innovations, which make them fast, powerful, agile, and fuel efficient. Put it all together and Yamaha offers one of the most exciting ways to accelerate into summer for hours of thrills on the water.
WaveRunners are basically the same as jet skis, except that a jet ski generally has large on-board storage compartments and a considerably bigger fuel tank. Yamaha manufactures a large inventory of different types of WaveRunners, including those with ample cargo space, plenty of towing power for pulling skiers, extended rear platforms, and hefty gas tanks for longer distances between refills.
Financing the purchase is oftentimes the main hurdle consumer’s face, since WaveRunner watercrafts start at around $8,000. Depending on the model you buy, the price can raise to approximately twice that much. To assist in that regard, Yamaha offers its own credit card program, made possible through a partnership with Capital One bank.
Interest Rates and Terms
Determining whether or not Yamaha financing is an attractive option for those wanting to finance a WaveRunner will depend almost entirely on your credit worthiness. That’s because the available interest rate on the card will vary rather dramatically, based on your credit profile.
The standard APR is as follows, depending on your credit worthiness.
That represents a range of nearly 10%, which is a huge swing from one extreme to the other. The lower end of that range, 14.99%, is rather steep when compared to the kinds of rates that are currently available for other types of consumer loans. In June of 2014, for example, many banks and credit unions offered fixed-rate loans for jet skis with interest rates starting at 6.75% and topping out at 16.25%.
With a fixed-rate you have the same monthly payment for the entire time that you are repaying the loan. By contrast, the APR on the Yamaha credit card is a variable rate, which means that there is the potential for it to rise if prevailing interest rates such as the Prime Rate start to climb. That should not be much of a threat if you are only borrowing money for 2-3 years, and should not frighten relatively short-term borrowers away from Yamaha financing. A fixed rate does offer the added security of knowing exactly how much to budget, however, so it’s worth considering especially if you sign up for a long-term loan.
What We Like
If you are able to qualify for the best rate offered with the Yamaha WaveRunner card, then it starts to look pretty sweet. Under the terms it states that introductory rates may be available for 36 months, based on credit worthiness and other factors, and those range from 1.74% to 13.99%. Not bad! Yamaha also frequently offers financing promotions. Their current five promotions that end on July 31, 2014 include:
- $99/month payments during the first 36 months. APR ranges from 1.74%, 8.99%, or 13.99% based on credit worthiness. Minimum purchase of $7,999 required. See the terms and conditions for additional information.*
- $199/month payments on two waverunners for 96 months at 4.49% APR. Minimum purchase of $15,500 required. Fixed APR ranges from 4.49%, 5.99%, 7.99%, or 16.99% based on credit worthiness. See the terms and conditions for additional information.*
- Waverunners Guaranteed Buy Back. With this program customers can lower their cost of ownership with a 3 year commitment, receive ideal financing terms, and are guaranteed to walk away with their Waverunner or trade-in at no cost. See the terms and conditions for additional information.*
- Customers can choose to receive up to $1,000 in customer cash or free 3 years of Yamaha Warranty Coverage. See the terms and conditions for additional information.*
- Waverunner leasing. There’s no minimum FICO score required, applicants just need to make more than $1,500 per month in income and will receive 36 or 48 month finance terms. It’s only available in certain states. See the terms and conditions for additional information.*
We are a big fan of credit cards that easily display their terms and conditions and don’t make it hard for the consumer to locate vital information. So, we have to praise Yamaha and Capital One for detailing how long the borrower would pay the loan given the minimum payment and also detailing how much they will pay in interest by going that route. I haven’t seen very many, if any at all, credit card programs that actually lay that information out for the consumer.
What We Aren’t So Crazy About
An obvious drawback of this card is that it is not a full-fledged credit card. You cannot use it everywhere around the world. Similarly, the card is not a reward credit card – so you won’t get any extra credit for making purchases of Yamaha-branded products or services.
More importantly, the rates charged are not very competitive. Make a late payment and you’ll wind up in loads of trouble, too, because the penalty APR is a whopping 28.99%.Anyone using this Yamaha card should really try to get the lowest rate and pay off the loan before it expires. Otherwise it is wiser to shop around to find a cheaper loan from a bank, credit union, or credit card issuer.
The Bottom Line
Yamaha is a solid, reliable, trusted global brand with an outstanding product line and some fantastic WaverRunners. By all means, if you like what they sell, invest in a Yamaha watercraft, just keep in mind that the company earned its reputation for the products it manufactures, not for its popularity as a lender, which is a completely different specialty and industry. Trying to shop for a loan from a business that primarily deals in consumer goods can be like comparing apples to an antelope. Think of it this way: Some banks give away toasters if you open a checking account. Does that mean that to find the best toaster or other kitchen appliance you should shop at a bank? The same logic applies when seeking financing from a business that makes consumer products.
When buying a high-ticket consumer product it is generally advisable to shop around and try to source the loan from your bank or credit union. Lending money at competitive rates is what financial institutions specialize in and often do best. In-store charge cards and financing programs, on the other hand, are almost always too expensive – whether you are buying jewelry, a washing machine, a new car, or a watercraft. If you are still interested in applying, visit the Yamaha credit application form.
*Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.