I know what it’s like. You unexpectedly need new tires (or some other costly auto repair) but you’re short on cash.
The store clerk offers a solution “apply for our credit card and you get no interest for 6 months.”
Is that really the best solution? Usually not…
The problem with Wheel Works
Contrary to what you may have thought, the Wheel Works card doesn’t always give “no interest.” On the application you will see something like this:
In plain English, that means you’ve got to pay off 100% before the 6 months is up.
If you can’t do that, then the interest is charged retroactively on the full purchase price… ouch!Of course when you’re in the waiting room of the shop, panicking about how you’re going to pay for your flat tire or busted radiator, it’s easy to overlook this big catch when you’re in a frenzy.
What’s your best course of action now?
If you’re already stuck with their card, your next best step depends on where you currently stand:
Can you pay it off in time? If you are 100% confident you can make all of the payments prior to the 6 months ending, then you will get no interest. The Wheel Works credit card only charges interest if there is still money owed after the 6 months (and when that’s the case, the finance charges will be calculated on the full amount you originally charged).
Is it taking you longer than expected? If you’re approaching the 6 month mark and know you won’t be able to pay it, then do a balance transfer to a 0% card. And do the same thing if you’ve already passed the 6 month mark, because now your debt is growing with a hefty 22.80% rate.
This article was written or last updated June 14, 2013