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Zales Credit Card Review

Zales Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Oct 26, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Jewelry can be quite expensive, especially if you plan to buy an engagement ring or another high-ticket item. Zales offers a $0 annual fee store card — the Zales Credit Card — that can help you finance those purchases. But, like many store financing offers, this card comes with a deferred interest clause, which can lead to an unwelcome surprise if you don’t pay your balance in full before the end of the financing period.

In this review, we’ll evaluate the special financing offers provided by the Zales Credit Card and provide better alternatives for financing jewelry purchases.

What we like about the Zales Credit Card

The Zales Credit Card offers several special financing offers that can help you pay for jewelry over time:

  • No interest if paid in full within 6, 12 or 18 months*
  • 9.99% APR if paid in full in 36 months*

You can finance your jewelry purchases over six, 12, 18 or 36 months*. Keep in mind that there is a minimum purchase requirement to qualify for these offers, which you’ll need to inquire about at the time of purchase.

Other perks:

  • Free standard shipping (three to five business days) valid for the U.S. and U.S. territories
  • $50 off on your birthday
  • Exclusive cardholder coupons
  • 10% off any repair service when you use your Zales Credit Card

What we don’t like about the Zales Credit Card

The high cost to carry a balance. The Zales Credit Card has an extremely high 29.99% variable APR. This is not ideal for cardholders who carry balances month to month or fail to pay their balance in full before the end of the special financing periods. If you do pay on time and in full each month, this shouldn’t be an issue. We also don’t like the deferred interest terms mentioned earlier since they can cause some cardholders to incur high interest charges.

The fine print. After the special financing period, a 29.99% variable APR applies. In the terms and conditions, it’s stated that you need to make minimum monthly payments. If you fail to make any payment when due, the special financing offer will be canceled and the 29.99% variable APR will take effect. This is fairly typical of special financing periods. Also, there is a transaction fee of $9.95 per transaction when you use the 12- or 18-month financing periods, which is atypical.

Minimum spend requirement. There is also a required minimum purchase amount to take advantage of Zales’ special financing offers, and you’ll need to inquire at the time of purchase. Zales doesn’t list the minimum purchase requirement online.

Deferred interest. Many store cards charge deferred interest, and the Zales Credit Card is no different. This means that if you take advantage of a special financing option and don’t pay it in full before the promotional interest-free period ends, you will incur all the interest you would’ve been charged during the interest period.

Here are the deferred interest terms for the Zales Credit Card:

“Interest will be charged to your account (at the standard, variable Purchase APR) from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within the promotional period or if you make a late payment. Minimum monthly payments are required for this plan during the promotional period.”

To avoid deferred interest charges, make sure you pay your entire balance in full before the promotional interest-free period ends. Continuing to carry a balance after the special financing period defeats its purpose and may cause you to fall into debt since the interest rate is very high at 29.99% variable* APR.

Alternative ways to finance a jewelry purchase

While you may be tempted to use one of the Zales Credit Card’s special financing offers, there are better alternatives available such as intro 0% APR credit cards and personal loans. We’ll explain each alternative and provide options below.

Intro 0% APR credit cards

A better alternative to the special financing offers provided by the Zales Credit Card is a card offering an introductory 0% APR period. These cards offer no interest for a given period — typically six to 21 months — which can help you pay off purchases over time. Plus, all the cards mentioned below don’t charge deferred interest.

If you have an upcoming jewelry purchase, check out cards that offer intro 0% APR periods for new purchases:

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • Any amount, any time. Cash back rewards never expire*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 16.74% - 25.49% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit JourneySM

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

If you have existing debt on a credit card or your intro 0% APR period for purchases is about to end in two months, check out a balance transfer card. A balance transfer is when you transfer debt from one credit card to a card offering an intro 0% APR period on balance transfers. You may incur a balance transfer fee, but the cost is often outweighed by the amount you save on interest. Just note: Balance transfers can’t be done between cards from the same bank/Issuer. If you notice your special financing period is going to expire soon and you’re unable to pay off your balance, you should consider a balance transfer. This can save you money on interest charges that occur when you carry a balance after an intro period ends. Plus, you can benefit from more time to pay off your debt.

Here are our top picks for balance transfer cards:

  • 0% for 18 months on balance transfers & 0% for 6 months on purchases*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • 13.74% - 24.74% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Balance Transfer

More Info

Read our guides on the best balance transfer cards and the longest into 0% APR cards.

Personal loan

A personal loan is when you borrow a fixed amount of money — for a fixed period — often at a fixed interest rate. Taking out a personal loan can be a good alternative if you have less-than-stellar credit since many 0% intro APR periods typically require good or excellent credit to qualify.

You can compare personal loan offers from numerous issuers for free at LendingTree. (Disclosure: LendingTree is the parent company of CompareCards.) This comparison tool is customized to your needs, and you may receive offers from up to five lenders in a few minutes.

Bottom line

The Zales Credit Card can be a decent option to finance your jewelry purchases, so long as you pay off your balance before the interest-free period ends. If you’re unable to pay off your balance and it lingers after the intro period, you’ll be slapped with high interest charges that make this card a bad choice for jewelry financing. That’s why we recommend considering alternative cards for financing your past or upcoming Zales purchases. You can find these recommendations above.

This card is a decent deal if you don’t want to use the special financing options and instead want to utilize the added card perks. You can benefit from free standard shipping, coupons, a birthday reward and more when you use your card, all of which can help you save money.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.


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