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 purchase||6 months with no interest if paid in full|
|$750 minimum||12 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:
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.
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