Big Lots Credit Card = Big Trouble For You

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Big Lots storeEven though it is not heavily advertised, Big Lots does offer big purchase financing like furniture. They don’t have the application online but it is available in stores, typically mentioned by sales clerks or at the point of sale.

Should you utilize the financing? That would be a big fat “noo”, and here’s why…

Problem #1: Unusual Fees

We all know banks have a penchant for dinging consumers with all kinds of random fees but the Big Lots credit card charges some unusual fees and takes this game to a new level…

reissued card fee

Really? A re-issued card fee? That might be expected on a prepaid debit card, but to charge this type of fee with a real credit card is ridiculous! In fact, there are no other credit cards in the market that charge this type of fee.

In addition to that, the Big Lots application says you “may be charged” a fee for the following:

  • Fee for payments made by phone (you have to pay for paying them?)
  • Fee for requesting copies of statements
  • Problem #2: Steep interest rates

    OK, now this is hardly that surprising – I don’t think anyone would expect a credit card from Big Lots to have a low APR. But regardless it’s still worth noting since the entire reason for shopping at their stores is to save money, right? If we were the top 1% types we wouldn’t be shopping there in the first place.

    So, based on the interest rates listed on their website, it doesn’t exactly look like you’ll be getting a bargain…

    • Variable Standard APR = 24.99%

    There’s nothing in the fine print which specified if its possible or not to get a better rate, so that’s highly unlikely.

    Problem #3: “No interest”

    12 months no interestOn their website There was a banner for “12 months no interest furniture financing” and next to it was a little asterisk. Be certain you read the fine print and see what that asterisk corresponds to, because this is not the same as getting a no strings attached 0%.

    fine print for Big Lots financing

    Make sure you understand what that means. With the Big Lots card you will be charged interest from day 1, retroactively, if you don’t pay off the full amount within that 12 month time frame. This happens to more people than you think and retailers that offer these “deals” are counting on a big percentage of their customers making this mistake – because it makes them millions in interest charges.

    In other words, the “no interest” only holds true if you pay off the full purchase within those 12 months.

    The Lesson: Make their card your last choice

    Perhaps you shouldn’t ignore this card entirely, because if your credit is terrible then this might be the best you can do. But before you apply for the Big Lots card understand that there are plenty of better deals out there. Check out this list first. Here are some entry-level cards I recommend checking out.

    Last updated August 1, 2014


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    Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

10 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. n.goss April 29, 2014 at 4:14AM

    I learned at the cash register on April 19th that Big Lots no longer accepts their own cards!! As I surprisingly asked the clerk when this happened, she very rudely informed me it was “back in February!!” When in fact it took place 19 days before this encounter!! Still!!plenty of time to make customers aware!! AWESOME CUSTOMER RELATIONS!! NOT!!

  2. Valorie April 1, 2014 at 4:38PM

    I priced a chair at Big Lots that was on sale through 3/31/2014.
    I went back to purchase it on 3/28/2014 and the store had signs
    everywhere saying they no longer accepted the Big Lots Credit Card.

    That is so wrong! I have to cancel the card now because it is useless!

    • Big Nots April 16, 2014 at 8:55AM

      I just found this out last night when I opened my Big Lots capitol One bill. “effective March 31st the account is terminated”. I just got this on April 14th!. I called Capitol One and they said they didn’t have any specifics(yeah right)but that they were no longer servicing Big Lots accounts. I have had this account since 2009. When I first opened it to buy furniture had a credit limit of $1600.00. Paid it off in large payments way ahead of 12 month terms, but as soon as it was paid off they dropped my limit to $405.00.
      DO NOT cancel your card! That will have a negative affect on your credit score. Capitol One has already closed it, it should reflect “closed by grantor” or something to that effect. Even if you close an account with a zero balance and good payment history it will have a negative effect on your credit. I’ve read many comments of people being denied card use while in the checkout of the store. Pathetic customers relations on the part of Big Lots for not informing it’s customers.

  3. andi August 24, 2013 at 2:32PM

    None of this sounds unusual, not even reissue card fee, most banks will do this as well.

  4. Shannon July 25, 2013 at 7:36AM

    My wife and I just purchased an Ashley sectional sofa during a 20% off sale and used the zero interest for six months promotion. We were planning on using a credit card at 11.9% interest and having it paid off in two months. The 6 months 0% interest offer is going to save us a few dollars in interest. But again, we had always planned to have the couch paid off in two months anyway. So in this case, the store credit card works in our favor. I got the impression from the furniture department employee while we were applying that they get a LOT of applications with a very low approval rate. The lady phoning in the application seemed very surprised when our app came back approved at well over the cost of the sofa. So my guess is this particular store credit card’s bizarre fee structure is an attempt to recoup some of the losses that is sure to come from issuing credit to a higher risk, lower income demographic. We often buy furniture at Big Lots but very little else that’s large enough a purchase to require financing, so this might well be the last time we use this card.

  5. Jenn June 24, 2013 at 5:48AM

    Yes Laura, you are right about the interest free thing. I have bought many things like this, the point is you have to have it paid off in the amount of time specified. My advise to anyone considering this is to make sure you can make the minimum payment asked and if you see that amount each month isn’t going to get it paid off in time then I suggest you pay extra each month. I try to buy things late in the year so that if I can’t get it paid off in time I can rely on my tax refund to pay the remaining balance before my contract runs out. It’s a no brainer people.

  6. Anna May 16, 2013 at 8:27PM

    I got married and needed to change the last name on one of my credit cards, which I was happy with the company up to this point. I was requested of them to send in my original documentation and written previous info, and current info. I thought “no problem” they’re just being extra careful with identity theft, the next thing the agent said “with a $25 payment to re-issue another card”…….uhmmm, NO! They lost a customer just that quick. So, $5 fee is nothing to what some companies have!

  7. Max April 29, 2013 at 2:20PM

    I agree with Laura. It’s not the greatest sounding deal, but then again no department store credit cards are. That being said, this all sounds pretty standard for the type of credit it is.

  8. Laura April 12, 2013 at 7:27AM

    Apparently you don’t do much business with 12 month no interest type of cards or programs. All programs like this add interest from date of purchase, it is not added to your balance until the promo period had ended. If you have paid the balance in full no interest gets added to your account. If you still have a balance, even $1 all the interest for the entire promo period gets added to your account. No payment/no interest programs work the same way. You are not required to make ANY payments during the promo period but if the balance is not paid in full by the end of the promo you get charged all the interest from date of purchase. This is nothing new & Big Lots is not being “sneaky” with these terms.

  9. peth January 7, 2013 at 6:06PM

    I never heard of reissue fees so I’m glad you told me about Big Lots. I would have gotten a card if I made a big purchase there.

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