Even 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 promoted by sales clerks at the point of sale.
Should you utilize the financing? That would be a big fat no, 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…
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
- Variable Standard APR = 24.99%
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…
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”
On 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%.
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 initial 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.