Big O Tires Credit Card Packs a Nasty Bite!

My car is about 8 years old and I’ve been deliberating between:

Option A: Trading it in and getting something different.
Option B: Spending about $1,500 on cosmetic repairs and then keeping it a couple years.

That $1,500 would pay for both my front and rear bumper to be repainted, as well as have my rims refinished (which are somewhat scraped and tarnished). Being that I barely have 50k miles and this particular model is quite hard to find, I’m leaning towards Option B… the car will basically look new after those things are done.

As a result, I’ve been pricing these things out. One of the places I checked out for wheel refinishing was promoting the Big O Tires credit card as a way to pay for anything you got done at their shop.

Now of course, I would never apply for a store credit card. However, that didn’t stop me from investigating it…

The typical “no interest if paid in full” nonsense

Not exactly a big surprise – the Big O Tire card uses deferred financing on its 0% interest promotions. When I checked here’s how their system was setup.

Big O Tires interest-free deals

$250 minimum purchase6 months with no interest if paid in full
$750 minimum12 months with no interest if paid in full

What really disappoints me about this type of financing is that many people don’t understand it:

no interest deferred financing rules

See that part about interest being charged from date of purchase? Yeah, that’s not cool. It’s the trap you will experience with these types of offers. You either pay it off during the promo period – or if you don’t – face the wrath of the interest being applied retroactively to your account. You may also face that wrath if your credit card payments are late. With the high APR (28.99% as I write this) that will certainly be a painful experience for you.

28.99% interest rate

A lot of (most) store cards do charge interest rates in the 20’s but rarely are they ever above 24.99%. So to see the Big O Tires credit card charging even higher than that, it’s just one more reason the applications is a decision you don’t want to take lightly.

What are your other options?

The answer really depends on your credit. If you have a decent credit score then you should just apply for a normal credit card with a 0% deal that doesn’t use deferred financing. Here are some good options to consider:

  • For Great Credit: This is the best deal out there. It gives 0% for a very long time and there’s no fee for your first late payment. Learn more about Discover’s 0% offer.
  • For Average Credit: The Chase Slate is available to people with average credit and it features a good 0% promotion. Find out more about the Slate card offer.
  • For Bad Credit: Unfortunately you will be hard pressed to find a major credit card that gives 0% on purchases. If your credit is in the dumps, then you might have to apply for the Big O Tires card if you need financing, because it has relatively loose credit requirements for approval.

The only silver lining

There is one benefit to getting credit cards from Big O Tires and that is their Visa prepaid gift card incentive.

When you make a qualifying purchase of $500+ (pre-tax amount) with their credit card, there is a mail-in-rebate offer for a $50 Visa gift card. For a purchase of $250-499, it’s a $25 Visa gift card.

That’s actually not a bad “bribe” since card promotions are rarely available to people with bad credit. But if you have good credit, then it would be rather easy to get a cash back card offer of up to $200 or higher (that’s 4x more than Big O Tires).

Written or last updated in 2013

 
Comments
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I use Big O card to get tires, which for my truck are very expensive. The 12 mo deferred interest option is fantastic, you just have to…you know…pay it off within that time. Do that and it’s a great way to spread out a painful $1400 tire buying experience and will also build your credit. Like all lines of credit, late payments will of course be penalized. I wouldn’t say this card has a “nasty bite”, it just needs to be used properly.

Similar to Julia Dahl above, I paid it off a month before the promo 6 month period. So on month 5 I paid it off, I called it in as it was just the last day to pay for that month and the operator told me it was credited on that day. So my account was fine and paid off. I never got an email as they stated later they provided that they did not credit my account after all that day but their computer did it the next day making me late for that month, so a small fee was applied I never saw this or nor was provided a final pay off statement I asked for. Shocked four months later I am told I have over 100+ dollars in fees, for late fees accumulated on the initial late fee of like 2.00. Seriously huge late fees and no notice come through to my email alerts for over 4 months. I complained and they said, too bad we won’t remove the fees and if that is not bad enough, these went on my credit report and jacked my scores. Double whammy. Yeah, I got a 75 dollar rebate card up front but they got that back and more. Never had such issues ever in my life with any credit card account. AVOID AT ALL COSTS, they find ways to take advantage of customers and are not helpful when probelems arise, will not work with you to correct issues, and outright are dishonest about emailing alerts.

I just sent the final payment to Big O Credit Cards. I am paying off early and always made larger than required payments. HOWEVER, THE CLAIM TO CHARGE “NO” INTEREST IS MISLEADING. INSTEAD OF INTEREST, I WAS CHARGED A FEE EACH MONTH, USUALLY THIRTY SEVEN DOLLARS. I ASKED, IN WRITING, WHAT THE FEE WAS FOR OR WHAT I WAS GETTING FOR IT AND GOT NO RESPONSE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. THEIR CHARGES ARE OUTRAGEOUS. I PUT THE CARD IN THE SHREDDER.

HAD I KNOWN ALL THIS AHEAD OF TIME I WOULD HAVE FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO TAKE CARE OF MY EXPENSES.